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Fibonacci Sequence: Numerology

Numerology is the progressive rock instrumental debut from Milwaukee band Fibonacci Sequence. The band name may come from a numerological sequence that always start with 0,1 – however I'm pleased to say that this is one album that is most definitely not music by numbers. Comprising of Michael J. Butzen (guitars/mandolin), Thomas Ford (drums/percussion) and Jeffrey Schuelke (keyboards/piano), the trio add guest musicians in the shape of Chris Kringel who plays some wonderful fretless bass across almost the whole disc, Chad Burkholz (bass on "Missing In Time", the only song not to feature Kringel) and Elizabeth Grimm who adds violin to three songs.

Preferring a style of prog that dips a toe into prog metal territory, Fibonacci Sequence use the tougher edge that tag suggests to compliment an engaging and song based set of tracks that never needs lightning fast flurries to impress, but still contains them none the less, with the occasional blistering riff in evidence and more impressive time changes than you can shake a fretless bass at. Instead of being an excuse to show off, the musical dexterity of the trio is used to fill the space where vocals would often sit and it is a credit that (though I am partial to instrumental music) that not once is the lack of a voice an issue. Actually the absence of words allows the wonderfully frantic, yet melodic passages in the likes "Primrose Place", or "Faunus" more space in which to express themselves. Not surprisingly for an instrumental effort, the songs can be quite lengthy, but the variety between and within them is enough to hold the interest; however what I especially enjoyed, is the short mood altering tracks "Dawn" and "Illuminati" (the latter not even reaching a minute in length) that offer a simplistic, brief, yet entirely welcome breath of air between the grander songs. It is almost like cleansing one's palate between courses of a particularly rich meal. Of the longer tracks "Catlord" combines angular crashing riffs and pointed keyboard with sections that are almost light and airy in contrast and when the pumping fretless bass is added the effect is sharp and punchy. "Neap Tide" on the other hand is far more keyboard based, with runs up and down the keys being complimented by a gentler, yet equally effective guitar approach that when combined gives a faintly jazzy feel that is intentionally at odds with the meaty riffs that welcome the next song "Primrose Place".

"Neap Tide" is also available on a two track CD that the band released at the end of last year with a rather wonderful rearrangement of the John Hopkins Jnr "We Three Kings" song which is a well loved Christmas Carol. It is to the band's credit and also an illustration of their skill, that you instantly recognise the music in "We Three Kings", however somehow the song becomes a progressive work-out and is never twee in the slightest, as these adaptations can often become.

Fibonacci Sequence have put together an extremely intense and impressive album for their debut and one that suggests this is a band you will be hearing about for some considerable time to come.

Track Listing
1. Commencement
2. Neap Tide
3. Primrose Path
4. Dawn
5. Catlord
6. Illuminati
7. Work In Progress
8. Missing Time
9. Faunus
10. 10

Added: March 22nd 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 7806
Language: english

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Fibonacci Sequence: Numerology
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-03-22 20:03:10
My Score:

OK, I'll admit it: I'm partial to Milwaukee-area prog bands. After all, the region is known more for beer, Happy Days and Harley-Davidson than for music. But the home of the Violent Femmes, the BoDeans, the Gufs and Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison also has spawned its share of progressive-rock artists — perhaps most notably, Genesis guitarist Daryl Stuermer. Others include the long-gone Mas Optica, Secret Society of Starfish, Dimension X, Kopecky, Strange Land, Far Corner and now Fibonacci Sequence.

This instrumental trio (officially expanded to a quartet after the recording of its debut CD, Numerology) takes its name from a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers; similarly, each track on Numerology tends to build on the ones that came before it. As a result, Numerology is as complete of an instrumental prog-rock record as you're likely to hear these days. Hell, even non-proggers will find plenty to dig, beginning with the melodic piano lines in opening track "Commencement," which gives way to Michael J. Butzen''s soaring guitar. In subsequent songs like "Neap Tide," "Missing Time" and the lovely "Dawn," Jeffrey Schuelke's keyboards take center stage, navigating intricate melodies and making listeners forget that Fibonacci Sequence doesn't have a vocalist. Thomas Ford's drums and percussion add a progressive-metal edge to the dense proceedings (especially on "Primrose Path" and "Catlord"), and a guest violinist on three tracks suggests Fibonacci Sequence has a lot more to prove.

The permanent addition of Strange Land's Chad Novell on bass makes Fibonacci Sequence a complete band; topping Numerology might be tough, but these guys are from Milwaukee — so I know they can do it…

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