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Retroheads: Introspective

Following up their excellent debut Retrospective from 2004, Norway's Retroheads are back with the equally impressive Introspective. While the band has had numerous line-up changes since their debut, they still deliver here on their sophomore release quality modern progressive rock with plenty of 70's flavor and hints of jazz. Lovers of vintage keyboard sounds will no doubt once again enjoy the layers of Hammond organ, Mellotron, and Moog synthesizer that permeate this disc. Vocally, things are more varied this time around, as the band now employs new lead singer Mike Mann, as well as Deborah Gurnius on background vocals and flute. Deborah works well here with Ann-Kristin Bendixen, as the two provide a nice backdrop of jazzy female vocals that complement the more rock-meets-stage type vocals from Mann. Rounding out the band is keyboard player Gry Anett Stordahl, guitarist Tommy Berre, band mastermind Tore BÝ Bendixen on bass & keyboards, and drummer Trond Gjellum.

Most tracks here range in the 5-10 minute range, which leaves plenty of room for symphonic instrumentation and soaring solo flights, especially from Berre and Stordahl. Each track is a prog-rock gem, especially the Yes & Camel flavored "I Turn to You", the mix of blistering guitar rock and haunting Mellotron on "Slaves of Gold", or the dark and complex sounds of "Karma". As mentioned earlier, there's no shortage of vintage sounding keys here, and Stordahl pulls out everything but the kitchen sink on the Genesis meets Spock's Beard bombast of "Living in a Bubble", complete with enormous amounts of Mellotron, Hammond, and blazing Moog passages.

Retroheads once again have done a great job of mixing influences like the greats of the 70's with the current crop such as The Flower Kings , Glass Hammer, and Spock's Beard. Introspective is a wonderfully enjoyable CD for prog fans who perhaps aren't looking for the most original music ever to be released, but want something that sounds vintage yet modern at the same time.

Track Listing
1. Rainy Day 5:28
2. Living in a Bubble 8:32
3. Black Hole Eyes 6:51
4. One World 5:36
5. Be Aware 6:21
6. I Turn to You 6:32
7. Slaves of Gold 7:14
8. Tidel Wave 8:26
9. Karma 9:28

Added: August 2nd 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Retroheads Website
Hits: 3939
Language: english

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