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Pravda: Monophobic

According to the Collins English dictionary monophobic is "a strong fear of being alone". Does this have anything to do with the music found on the latest Pravda CD? To be perfectly honest I am not sure. What I am sure of is how much I enjoyed listening to Monophobic and just how powerful and moving instrumental music can be.

Hailing from Boise, Idaho band members include Dave Thomas (drums, percussion), K.C. Thomsen (keyboards), Tom Svanoe (bass) and Dan Sejd (lead, acoustic and rhythm guitars). The press release states the band sounds similar to Liquid Tension Experiment, Rush, Dream Theater, Genesis and Spock's Beard. I suppose you can hear bits and pieces here and there of the aforementioned bands, but Pravda are pretty unique and not derivative in the slightest. This is progressive rock with elements of progressive metal, classical and the occasional jazzy motif. Although entirely instrumental, this is pretty accessible stuff, if only because there are so many nice melodies permeating their sound. I like how they incorporate heavy riffs and shredding guitar with melodic guitar lines and catchy rhythms.

Starting off the CD is the quirky sounding "Butterfly Needle", the album's first single, filled with nifty electronics, spacey synths, crunchy riffs and ending with some shredding guitar. One of my favourites has to be the progressive rock extravaganza that is "Symphonia" an apt title without a doubt. This is a multifaceted nine minute mini epic featuring variations in tempo spread across different movements of classically inspired keyboards, classic progressive metal and melodic lead guitar work laid over dramatic organ flourishes. Also worthy of special mention is "Cattlecar Galactica", another one of those lets 'throw everything in but the kitchen sink' efforts, and I mean that as a compliment as each component adds to the greater whole. Soft guitar, dreamy keys, heavy drumming, crunching riffs, Floydish lead guitar and even a jazzy section hinting of Steely Dan all fit together nicely creating a fine slice of progressive music.

While this is an excellent release I do have some minor complaints. The short percussion and drum driven "Thru the Trees" would have made an interesting intro if further developed and the album's longest song "Radio Halo" sounds a tad disjointed in places, but still very enjoyable nonetheless.

Putting the minor complaints aside, Monophobic should garner a lot of attention in progressive rock circles and should be well received by readers of this site. Well done gentlemen.

Track Listing:
1. Butterfly Needle (4:56)
2. Symphonia (9:23)
3. Thru the Trees (1:16)
4. Cattlecar Galactica (6:07)
5. Syncope (0:41)
6. The Nexus (4:17)
7. All Metal (4:11)
8. Mor Guitar (1:57)
9. Radio Halo (9:50)

Added: August 30th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 2857
Language: english

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