Spektrum - Spektrum

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Progress Records
Catalog Number: PRCD 010
Format: CD
Total Time: 41:35:00

Very nice guitar work characterizes the 2003 debut from Spektrum, one of the newer projects from Hansi Cross, who provides that guitar work. If you like symphonic progressive rock a la The Flower Kings, then this will be your cuppa. In fact, what will attract most, I think, is the music, as opposed to the vocals: epic prog with lotsa keys and guitar. And maybe more than a few hints of late 70s-early 80s Genesis. Aside from Cross, Spektrum includes Lisette von Panajott (Lisette &) on lead vocals and keyboards, Olov Andersson (Grand Stand) on keyboards, acoustic guitar, Turkish mini bells, and vocals; Göran Fors (Galleon) on bass, vocals, and Taurus pedals; and Göran Johnsson (Grand Stand) on drums, vocals, electric guitar and keyboards. Cross also contributes vocals and keys.

You know what kind of music you're in for with the brief opening track "Spektrum" - and it is brief, it lasts :33. It leads into what I found to be the most annoying track vocally, the cherubic "Land Of Longing." Although the vocals are a bit strained on the later track "The Quest," it is here where the vocals are a bit fuzzy and "sore-throatish" - I think there's an effect in place here (and more than one voice), since elsewhere Lizette von Panajott reminds me of of Alanis Morrisette or Avril Lavigne, though I suspect that she's a bit older than either. "The Quest" made me think of Lullacry a bit, if not quite as heavy musically.

My favorite vocal track is "Ivory Tower," where Panajott wears her emotions on her sleeve, singing with a sly sultriness style we heard from classic Pat Benatar. Though here the topic isn't of romance; I think what is there is a vague socio-political comment; vague, because other that what the title implies - those who are distant from the what's going on in the "real world" - the message isn't quite cut and dried. Lullacry really came to mind with the rocking piece "A Chemical Release." The keyboards and the throbbing rhythm speak more of an AOR influence than prog, but the high energy is infectious. The concluding keyboard passages and swirling guitars can't help but make you think of Genesis, though here the percussion sounds soft and squishy? and at the same time shimmery. It's actually a rather fine, epic moment that just about leaves you breathless? not quite, but almost.

One of the epics - both in sound and length (9:24) - is "Now." My favourite part of this track, however, is the latter half (from about 5-6 minute mark), where the rhythm is at first more aggressive, with sort of a strut, before we get an extended, and very "proggy" keyboard section. You will think of a dozen UK prog bands here, and even more so with the guitar solo that follows - ringing notes full of emotion. Stylistically and functionally, my usual suspects come to mind (SR and DG), but sonically, Cross' sound is a bit sharper, a bit tartier?

However, my favourite instrumental is the lovely "Perpetuum Mobile" which goes from sparse, tinkling percussion (think a child's musical box), to a lanquid and subdued reflective section of piano-like keyboards, sprinkled at first with just an accent of spacey sounding keys (and later this come more into the whole mix) and acoustic guitar. It's epic and expansive, but Spektrum aren't done yet, as they up the ante when the exhalted and exhilarating guitar solo begins. Add in an angelic chorus and you have something extremely grand. The shifts come subtly, an organic evolution of sound. This track alone is the reason to check this CD out!

Spektrum (0:22) / Land Of Longing (5:39) / Now (9:24) / Perpetuum Mobile (5:55) / The Quest (5:16) / Ivory Tower (5:57) / A Chemical Release (8:52)

Lizette von Panajott - vocals, additional keyboards
Olov Andersson - keyboards, acoustic guitar, mini bells, vocals
Göran Fors - bass, vocals, Taurus pedals
Göran Johnsson - drums, vocals, electric guitar, additional keyboards
Hansi Cross - electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, additional keyboards

Spektrum (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: September 5th 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.progressrec.com/spektrum/
Hits: 1078
Language: english


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