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After the intro of media hysteria comes the opening track, “Fear Is Not A Feeling” Laced with chunky grunge guitar riffs the song is a self-affirmation of strength amidst the madness “Kill The Messenger”sets the musical direction towards more traditional heavy metal as the bass and drums come to the fore. “Auf Weidersehen, Au Revoir” opens with atmospheric keyboard while guitar versatility kicks the song into a pop feel, with a humorous slant on the domestic life lyrics of a musician. “Funky Buddha” again highlights the versatility of guitar in the sound of the band. The overall sound of the band lends itself to a live environment. This song is an album holder, maintaining the pace set in the early numbers. “Dogs Run Wild” introduces piano to accompany a strong vocal. This lighter, slower paced piece retains an edge and feel that keeps within the non-commercial sense of the band. The band know their progressive aims and hold on tight to them.

In days gone by, we would say at this point we had flipped the album on to Side 2, and certainly the musical angle streams toward further listening challenges. “Constellation Blues” does what it says on the tin, with space themed lyrics backed with bluesy guitars, bass and drums. The vocals give continuum to the band’s identity. “Don’t You Know The Feeling” continues the vibe while lifting the pace and reintroducing a rockier tilt.

“Seeking Chaos” returns to mid-tempo as the sense of album crafting dominates. The band are not out to make a bunch of singles here, rather to carry the stamp of their sound through out the experience. “Edge of Time” segues into the musical statement of intent with its Doors sounding influence. “Lost At Sea” ends the album with acoustic guitars joining piano. The vocals are big enough to handle the grandstanding as the band reach out into rock ballad land. And it works.

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Overall then, an album that sees the band holding on to their progressive sound throughout, while not being afraid to venture into different song styles within that. Crucial to them are remaining faithful to their audience aims. The manner in which they achieve this while experimenting along the way is hugely entertaining and it would be easy to see them making waves amongst those who love a bit of progressive rock. This album certainly is progressive within its aims.

INFO: www.bravadocartel.co.uk

ALAN EWING

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