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Conflux: Spark

Based in Chicago Conflux are a young jazz fusion four piece. What they are attempting to fuse that jazz with isn't rock, but "raw heavy metal brutality" and in the main, the most surprising thing about their debut EP is that it works. While not really heavy metal in the strictest sense, what Conflux do create is a severely beefed up blast of jazz that should appeal to the more adventurous fusion fan although I'm not sure I could imagine my more metal minded mates getting into it.

Comprising of guitar, tenor sax, bass and drums, Spark definitely leans more heavily into jazz territory than metal, but it does offer an altogether more aggressive rhythm section and distorted guitar sound than you would normally expect to hear in this genre. The guitar and sax pairing of Kevin Florian and Dan Burke respectively, spend most of the EP locked together mirroring each other's frantic bursts and the bouncy tones of the sax do actually benefit from Florian's hard edged attack. Not to be outdone Steve Florian on drums and Brian Burke on bass also throw out a succession of licks and motifs that weave through and compliment the main musical threads.

There's no denying that hearing some double kick drum pounding, pummelling bass lines and distorted guitars backing Dan Burke's tenor sax takes a little getting used to. However for the more eclectic jazz fan, there really is much to enjoy on Spark and it is refreshing to hear a band genuinely trying something a little different. Even if it doesn't really quite have enough heavy metal to entice many listeners from that genre.

Intense, vibrant and just a little unusual, Spark is well worth checking out and I would guess they are an amazing sight live.

Track Listing
1. Luncheons And Wagons
2. Repent At B
3. Fire Garden
4. Straight Up
5. Stomping Grounds

Added: September 21st 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Official Conflux Site
Hits: 3212
Language: english

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