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Fragile Vastness info

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by FataMorgana, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. FataMorgana

    FataMorgana Fates Warning!!!

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    Below is a review of Fragile Vastness "A Tribute to Life" that was posted on the Perpetual Motion forum.

    Stacy

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    By Random Axe

    It's a bit lengthy, so I apologize if you can't make it through the whole thing. Bottom line, this is a must have disc for the adventurous and a buy or die for fans of Fates and PoS.

    Fragile Vastness - A Tribute to Life
    Released: 2005
    Label: Sleaszy Rider
    Catalog Number: SR 0042
    Running Time: Disc1- 40:39, Disc 2 - 53:28

    When does an album become more than the music? When do the lyrics become more than just words? A Tribute to Life, the new album by the Greek prog metal band Fragile Vastness, answers those questions and proves an album can be much more than the sum of it's parts. An album with this level of emotion and a sad, yet poignant message is a rarity in the music industry and delivers the goods in a huge way, both musically and spiritually. You are young and healthy and you have just been told you have less than two months to live. A Tribute to Life is a 2-disc concept album that follows the last two months of a man's life after he learns he has a fatal form of cancer. Anger, disbelief, crushed faith, denial and finally acceptance are all covered on the album's 17 tracks with skillful playing and a soulful touch.

    The main character eventually sells all of his possessions and decides to satisfy is lust for travel and go places and see things he always wanted towhile he can. This journey brings out the true strength of the band, their ability to use so many worldly musical styles and borrow from many genres to create a truly inspiring mosaic of multicultural songs. As our character travels the globe, the styles switch off depending on what part of the world he finds himself. Here you can find Peruvian chants, flamenco guitar, mariachi guitar and several varieties of middle-eastern music. There are several guest musicians on this album bringing in and expanding on their international vibe. I think I heard a sitar, violin, clarinet, saxophone, marracas, timpani drums, pan flute and several additional instruments I am not knowledgeable enough to identify. This mixing of styles can draw in listeners from all walks of life and from all musical influences, but the foundation is clearly built on progressive and symphonic metal.

    The band clearly displays it's musical chops on the opening instrumental, Where Everything Began, with it's grooving guitar riffs and absolutely crushing drum and rythym section. Normally, an opening instrumental sets the tone for the remainder of the album, but this is probably the heaviest track on here and grabs hold of you instantly. This is followed up by a spoken interlude by another character that becomes the most touching and heartfelt moment of the entire album. The album is about half songs with vocals and half instumentals and interludes and all are important and meaningful segments of the story. The first song with vocals and the one they chose to make a video for, Somewhere, is a ripping and dynamic example of softer, introspective music mixed with aggressive guitar and keyboards. Although the band draws on countless influences, they also pay tribute to a few bands who are pioneers of the genre, Fates Warning and Pain of Salvation. Vocalist George Ikosipentakis absloutely sings his guts out and brings the somber, angry and hopeful words of this disc to life with equal fervor. The Ray Alder style of singing cannot be ignored here, but he brings his own range and style to the table. His ability to switch gears between screams and softer whispered parts is perhaps only rivaled by Pain of Salvation singer Daniel Glidenlow. The emotive quality of his voice brings to mind a combination of Entropia and A Pleasant Shade of Grey, a difficult task to be sure, but one he is more than equal to.

    The overall sound of this album is absolutely huge and crystal clear. Bass player, musical composer and main producer Vangelis Yalamas successfully mixed and combined these countless musical elements and created a deep, satisfying sound. Every instrument, no matter how small a part, is audible and made an intricate piece of this progressive pie. Guitarist Alex Flouros makes the most of this broad musical opportunity by displaying a classy, aggressive style combined with a subtle soulfulness when he goes acoustic. His strength is definitely in his versatility and ability to handle complex and ever-shifting styles. The musical picture is fleshed out by the hauntingly beautiful and often heavy keyboards of Evi Katsamasa. The Kevin Moore influence is apparent as they both have an atmospheric, yet integral part in the songs. There really is no guitar or keyboard wankery going on here as every note is played with meaning and has a purpose. The drums of Babis Tsolakis are, quite honestly, lethal in their precision and sound. You would normally find this kind of drum and snare sound on a heavier, maybe death metal album, but it works very well in this format and plays a large part in the delivery and impact of the songs.

    Taken as a whole, A Tribute to Life is not an album you listen to, you experience it. Much in the same way you become immersed in a movie, you need to set aside time and go through both discs of this album. While some of the songs become a little vague in their meaning in the later tracks, overall this is one of the tightest concept albums I've ever heard. There is a second booklet explaining the story and fleshing out the individual tracks. The songs can be enjoyed by themselves without any further reference, but to fully understand and feel this album, it needs to be absorbed in it's entirety. A Tribute to Life has set the bar pretty high for future concept albums, and with it's international vibe, adds new meaning to the word progressive. More than most, this album has a message. This is about a man who does not start living till he knows he's dying. Out of the darkness comes a light, and out of Greece comes one of the best progressive metal albums in years.

    5 out of 5

    Disc one: Where Everything Began/ Maya's Diary/ Somewhere/ Ya va illegando el dia/ From East to West/ Failte rombat a chara/ Love and Loss/ Help/ The Sun Shines for All of Us

    Disc two: Heart of a Lion/ Gaia/ Renaissance/ I Want to Do Something That Matters/ Going Down/ Coma/ Don't Wake Me Up Till I'm Dead/ Maya

    George Ikostpentakis - vocals
    Alex Flouros - Guitar http://www.musicv2.com/artist/alexflouros
    Vangelis Yalamas - Bass
    Evi Katsamatsa - keyboards
    Babis Tsolakis - Drums

    http://www.fragilevastness.com/

    http://www.sleaszyrider.com/

    http://www.lasercd.com/Merchant/lasercd/
     
  2. J-Man

    J-Man Old as Yoda

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    This album will be in my top 5 for 2006 guaranteed. These Greeks are so awesome, as i have said before i have heard them perform live in GREECE and their show is nothing short of life changing experience. Not only is the music awesome, they draw you into the music, and you become a part of that music, and the experience of their performance.

    Would they, and should they be a candiate to play ProgPower? In my opinion they should be the #1 candiate for Next year, they would totally amaze everyone. Who knows maybe Shane picked them up for the pre-party this year. Well, i can hope can't I?
     
  3. FataMorgana

    FataMorgana Fates Warning!!!

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    Shall we start pestering Glenn now? ;)

    Stacy
     
  4. J-Man

    J-Man Old as Yoda

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    The sooner the better. I think he will like them alot.
     
  5. ashaman7122

    ashaman7122 Crazy on a ship of fools

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    Damn it...I just got a stack of 6 CDs in the mail from Laser's Edge today...now I have to place another order!


    Rock on!
     
  6. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    me too! :lol:
     
  7. Rakosh

    Rakosh Member

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    Wow! I've been spinning this cd for almost a week now. The review above does a good job giving the basics, but like it says, you need to experience it from start to finish non-stop. Believe me, it's worth it. The Pain of Salvation meets Ayreon's "The Human Equation" vibe really works here. It may be a little mellow for some, but the musicianship is superb. Highly recommended!

    I've been looking for another band to rival PoS in my esteem for a while now...and I may have found them.

    :Smokin:
     
  8. TwizstedJesus

    TwizstedJesus Member

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    Ok,I will admit that A Tribute to Life is definitely a damn adventurous disc and Fragile Vastness are certainly a band to watch in the future,but the Ray Alder comparison is a complete joke. George reminds me a little bit of Daniel Gildenlow,but he is nowhere near a great singer as of yet.He has improved in leaps and bounds since their previous disc (Excerpts) ,but that is one area he could improve upon.
    I've spun the disc at least 10 times and I will say it is definitely a good disc which grows on you...and for those of you who like adventurous , humongously long progressive discs should get a copy of this as soon as possible. Dont forget the out takes and bonus songs on disc two,about 10 minutes of dead air before they kick in.The Ray Alder outtake is funny
     
  9. TwizstedJesus

    TwizstedJesus Member

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    About Glenn...I wondered myself why he chose Wastefall over Fragile Vastness,same label,same country,same amount of discs...Fragile Vastness being slightly ahead of Wastefall on the talent and overall accomplishment dept.
    I,ve tried more than once to sink my teeth into Wastefalls discs,but they just dont hit me as anywhere near impressive as of yet; Disc # 2 being the better of the two by far....and I really want to go to Greece someday soon...I just cant convince my wife...she wants Ireland....Any good progressive Irish bands out there?
     
  10. J-Man

    J-Man Old as Yoda

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    Wait until you see WASTEFALL live they are awesome, they do lage FRAGILE VASTNESS a little but Live they will both blow you away. As far as going to Greece goes, GO FOR IT MAN!!!!!! I was there on business from Aug 2002 until Feb 2003 and then back again in Feb 2004 till the end of Mar 2004. We had a fabulous time, even though we were working. The Greek nightlife is to kill for, the clubs are great, especially the TEXAS CLUB in PYRAS ouutside of Athens. The best hotel The OASIS in Glyfada a five star with 2 star prices, we paid 69 euros a night for a one bedroom suite, poolside. Go if you get the chance.
     
  11. Pellaz

    Pellaz Tigron of Immanion

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    Just speculating, but I think it might be because Wastefall was getting mentioned fairly often here on the Forum during the fall....and I've never heard the name Fragile Vastness before this week.
     
  12. ashaman7122

    ashaman7122 Crazy on a ship of fools

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    All too true...I first heard the name Fragile Vastness on Ken Golden's recent thread announcing restocks for Wastefall...which, unfortunately, became a Fragile appreciation thread (rather than a continuing plug for Wastefall).

    Upon locating a few online tracks, however, I quickly ordered A Tribute To Life...and...WOW!

    Prog fans...just get it...cuz you will "get it!"

    It just plain kicks ass...from an emotional and musical standpoint...you will not be disappointed!

    Obviously, Wastefall will kick ass at PPUSA...but the boys from Fragile Vastness certainly could use some North American exposure as well...so spread the word!

    Rock on!
     
  13. TwizstedJesus

    TwizstedJesus Member

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    I wonder how many PP devotees have picked up this disc and their opinions are???
    I bought it through LaserCd at the same time I picked up Wastefall Soulrain...and it just hit me that much harder. I was already not expecting much from Wastefall due to their poor first disc...but Soulrain is kinda like...say...Secret Spheres disc right before their PP appearence...Its not bad,it doesnt stand out amongst the crowd,but after seeing it live it may have some replayability...memories of the show,seeing how they performed the material live,etc...
    I'm certainly not slagging Wastefall...I'm just promoting A Tribute to Life because it is one of the "Out of left field" classic prog discs
     

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