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Prospero – Turning Point

Prospero - Turning Point

CD, Artoffact Records, 2011

Prospero presents his new album, “Turning Point”, which introduces a wide range of musical stylings, but the variety of styles does not always meet with great results. Musically this album is all over the place, going from typical rock songs to rhythmic noise pieces to ambient constructions.  While I’m all for diversity being present in an album, the way it is pieced together here makes the entire thing feel disjointed and uneven.
“Fallen Angel” starts out as a basic rock song with chugging guitar and live drums, but you can make out the electronics in the background. Further on in the song, some spacy atmospherics are added in to try and enhance the rock aspect, but the combination just doesn’t quite sound right, like each part was just thrown into the mix without regard to how well they fit together. There is a significant amount of heavy metal-type guitar used on some of the tracks that seems to be competing with the electronic aspect rather than trying to work in harmony.
If the listener were to hear most of the tracks on “Turning Point” in isolation, they would probably begin to appreciate the musicianship that went into creating them. For instance, “Taiko’s Prophet” brings an epic feeling that harkens to visions of a great battle about to be fought.  One of the best tracks is the title track, which contains a driving beat, includes thrilling keyboard work, and has a slight Skinny Puppy feel to it. This track includes Xorcist on vocals, but he adds very little to the song. I found him more of a distraction than anything else with the way his vocals are put forward, using a high-pitched whining robotic effect; it starts out as a bit humorous at first, but gets more annoying as the track wears on.
Prospero is very adept at presenting a number of different musical approaches on “Turning Point”, but the way it is conveyed here does not make the album flow well together, in the end making for a disorganized listen.


— Kevin Congdon

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