Seldon's Inquisitor - Why Not?

Year of Release: 2004
Label: M And M Music
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:59:00

So many modern-day bands try to emulate the sounds of prog's glory days of the 1970s. So few succeed. Seldon's Inquisitor is a welcome exception to that rule, and has produced a wonderful soundscape that evokes memories of the sounds, the instruments, the styles and the productions of three decades ago.

Seldon's Inquisitor is a project of Steve Rego and Pat Connor of Massachusetts. The pair write the songs and play most instruments themselves, and augment their music with guest members ? including Bill Noland (from Eccentric Orbit) and Alysoun Rich on backing vocals. Their sound is clearly rooted in traditional seventies progressive rock ? not only in the extensive use of Moog, Hammond and Mellotron, but also in their style, the song structures, and the imaginative approach to their music. This is complex, well structured music that will hook you after the first spin. Expect to hear tons of 'Tron, Moog and Hammond. The guitar work is good and tends to be in the growling mid-ranges, and the bass drives almost every step of this music.

The band's name appears to be a reference to the psychohistorian character Hari Seldon in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, and Why Not? seems to be themed on those lines. There are short passages of sound samples that speak to advancing a storyline on a concept piece, but the esoteric lyrics, the liner notes and the web site give no hint of any underlying theme.

The band admits to influences from Yes, Gentle Giant, Rush, Queen, ELP, and Led Zeppelin, and you can have fun playing spot-the-influence because so many passages recall those early inspirations. Connor also claims influences from modern bands like Dream Theater Anglagard, Izz, and Anekdoten. But I doubt you'll hear any of those inputs. This music shows that although you can draw inspiration from the best bands of the past, but that doesn't mean you have to copy them. Seldon's Inquisitor's music may be very faithful to the classic style, yet it is in no way derivative. This is all original.

Production seems a little rough around the edges, though they don't detract from the listening experience. The mid-ranged vocals are good in many parts, and the addition of female vocals in the last minutes are a welcome addition and should be used more. (Okay, so I'm a sucker for female vocals!)

Four of the six tracks run between 9- and 15-minutes, and there's an all-too-short 4-minute ballad that will tug at the heartstrings, and serves as an excellent showcase for the multi-layered, overdubbed vocals. The songs are titled "a-Why Not," "b-Walk A Mile," and so on, through "f-?". Quirky, but sensible, I suppose.

We've all been influenced by the prog of the '70s in one way or another. Seldon's Inquisitor's attempt to merge the old and the new with Why Not? is not only a successful exercise, it's also a darned good listen!

a - Why Not (8:45) / b - Walk A Mile (14:19) / c - Day In Life (3:36) / d - Shattered Glass (4:00) / e - Wheel (15:05) / f - Conflict (12:14)

Patrick Connor, Steve Rego

Guest artists:

Bill Noland ?keys
Alysoun Rich ?vocals

Ghosts Of Change (1999)
Earthtide (2001)
Why Not? (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: May 2nd 2004
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website:
Hits: 1858
Language: english


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