Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Guido's Hand: Ictus

If someone told you this was the demo tape from an undiscovered 1970s Brit-prog act, you'd have no trouble believing them. It isn't, of course, it's actually modern indie progressive rock from an Atlanta-based bass / guitar / drums trio ... but you get the idea.

Guido's Hand's music is clearly rooted in the classics, and is characterized by dominant guitar work and soft mid-range singing with loose pitch control a la Gentle Giant, frequently supported by the backing vocals necessary to boost a not-so-strong delivery. The resulting sound ranges from Moody Bluesy Question-era folk, to avant garde rock, and back again.

Ictus is clearly self-produced, and as such, the guys have done an admirable job. But it takes a few listens to get past the production quality and appreciate the solid songwriting - which is the band's biggest strength. The bass, guitar and drum work sometimes seem to struggle for attention in the mix - competent guitar work dominates many songs, yet the bass work is often more interesting. The addition of keyboards might have added welcome texture.

The songwriting is solid, the artists are formally trained and technically very capable, and there are plenty of progressive elements - from odd-meter time signatures to angular discord to tempo shifts and on the fly key changes. It's the kind of spirited, energetic music that probably translates very well to the stage. All of which yield a satisfying listen to the well-versed prog fan, Guido's Hand's target audience.

16-minute "Allegro" is a strong piece - starting with plenty of Crimson-esque discord and interesting time signatures, and working through nicely managed tempo changes and long instrumental passages that range from jam-sessions to tightly composed sections, yielding an enjoyable listen. But that's not all, as tracks 2, 3 and 4 collectively form a 3-part 31-minute epic. The innovative "Garmonbozia" is the standout piece, though, and may be a challenging listen to some. It comes across as another multi-part song, although the CD tracks it as a single 17-minute piece - there are parts that could be the sound track to a horror-movie, parts that could have come from lost King Crimson recording session tapes, and parts that simply settle into a groove and jam happily along.

With 72 minutes of music, you'll certainly get your money's worth, and you may find the second half of the record better than the first. There are just 8 tracks, with 4 of them running between 9 and 17 minutes, leaving plenty of time for Guido's Hand to develop their ideas.

Good performances, and plenty of variety - and with improved production and strong marketing, these guys deserve to find an audience in today's art rock fanbase.

Yep - that describes it best. Art rock.


Track Listing:

1. Round

Il Tercoso Di Luce:
- 2. Allegro
- 3. Andante
- 4. Rondo

5. Nothing at all
6. Garmonbozia
7. Surf Vampyre
8. Hidden Track

Added: July 20th 2007
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: The Band's Website
Hits: 2117
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by