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Album review: Alessandro Bertoni – Keystone

Allesandro Bertoni - Keystone Genre: Progressive jazz-rock fusion (instrumental).
Recommended to: Eclectic metal and prog fans.
Release date: September 9, 2013.
Label: Generation Prog Records.

It’s happened again. I played this album through a couple of times. The first time, I put my brain in neutral gear and let the total effect of the music tell me what it was about. The second time was a more critical listening to identify the interplay and the nuances of the various instruments. The seven or eight subsequent complete play-throughs, however, have been motivated by sheer greed. I can’t get enough of this album. It keeps getting better.

Who should listen to Keystone outside the community of jazz-rock fusionists? Bertoni’s eclectic compositions should appeal to followers of avant-garde and symphonically inspired prog metal, symphonic prog rock and Rock Progressivo Italiano.

Bertoni is a king of the keyboards. The music he writes is understandably keyboard-based. Metal fans are usually more interested in supremely good guitar work, which abounds on this album. If you like the jazzy hard/fusion rock of guitarists such as Craig Chaquico, Steve Morse, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai or the late Kevin Peek, you’ll be in for treat with Bertoni and his band.

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Fusion Jazz Funk Prog Metal with a Health Dose of Sax

While Between the Buried and Me are gearing up to get their upcoming album out into the fans hands, their bassist Dan Briggs has teamed up with his friends Walter Fancourt (tenor saxophone/flute) and Matt Lynch (drums) to form the band Trioscapes.  Alls I gots to say is that this here song, “Blast Off”, that they’ve released from their forthcoming album, Separate Realities, is nothing short of pure, unadulterated awesomeness.  If you found yourself digging on stuff like Liquid Tension Experiment, and Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai but wished there was saxophone instead of guitars, here you go.  I am totally pumped up for when this record hits on May 8th, 2012.  You can pre-order the record through Metal Blade Records here.  Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!


Here’s a bit from the press release on how the band came together.

Trioscapes started in the summer of 2011 when bassist Dan Briggs (Between the Buried and Me) contacted Walter Fancourt (tenor saxophone/flute) and Matt Lynch (drums) about working up a rendition of the Mahavishnu Orchestra classic “Celestial Terrestrial Commuters.” The group also messed around with a few original ideas with the intent of playing a one-off live show.

However, after rehearsing the material and playing the show, the group decided the music was so demanding and fun to perform that there should be more of a future for the project. A few more songs were written near the end of the summer and a full length album was recorded the first week of October with Jamie King in Winston-Salem, NC. Trioscapes combines elements of 70s fusion with progressive rock, dark syncopated grooves, a flare for the psychedelic, and an unabashed love for both quirky Zappa-ish melodies and thunderous abrasive trade-off lines.

Trioscapes currently has one show confirmed for this May to celebrate the release of the CD on Metal Blade Records. The 12″ LP is also available via Dan Briggs’s own Hogweed & Fugue Records. Both will be available for purchase at this show. More shows are currently being confirmed.