Friday, December 16, 2011

Eснolyи - Sυffocαtiиg Tнε Βlooм (1992)

One of the best progressive rock bands to come out of the U.S. who were not part of the oversaturated "neo-prog." scene of the 80's, Eснolyи are the ideal mix of Alternative rock, Yezda Urfa and the masters of polyphony themselves Gentle Giant. Technical beyond reproach, off-kilter and yet at times startlingly beautiful and accessible, this band was a driving force in establishing progressive rock as a viable genre in the eyes of a Generation X who only knew of prog. as "that old genre my Dad/musician uncle was into".

Released in the early, tumultuous days of the group's initial four-piece existence, 1992's Sυffocαtiиg Tнε Βlooм showcases this remarkable bunch at their rawest and most spontaneous. There's a wonderful sense of spasticity and mania in the rhythm section, especially on wildland romper 'Wintherthru' and within the jittery jazzmatazz of '21', but even slower cuts like the woodwind-flavored 'One Voice' are accentuated through actual strings that lend these songs a special authenticity no matter their tempo.

"I feel that I'm always sawing through the branch I'm sitting on," laments vocalist Ray Weston on the final part of the Everyman suite which bookends the record. A summation of the human condition indeed, and it couldn't have come on a wonderfully more organic & alive sounding record than this one. For those of you seeking art, this will seem an unsung masterpiece...and you won't find me disagreeing.

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