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Exodus To Infinity – Archetype Asylum Award winner

Exodus To Infinity
Archetype Asylum
by Ian Yeara at 27 March 2021, 11:46 AM

Every month I get a new pack of promos, I would say I usually know what to expect, but honestly my editors keep me in suspense. Last month I got a bunch of re-releases of 80s/90s prog thrash and it was surprisingly refreshing. Normally I get a lot of generic Power Metal and Atmospheric Black Metal titles, but there’s always a surprise or two and this month this one is the big surprise. With a name like EXODUS TO INFINITY, I assumed this was going to be a Melodic/Prog Death Metal album, but instead I got a Progressive Rock/Fusion band and I couldn’t be happier about it! Every moment of this album is dripping with passion and fun, I can’t remember the last time I heard a band having this much fun (actually I can, but hyperbole is a critic’s best friend). Maybe add a little Alternative Rock to that genre label, but this is kind of in the Frank Zappa style of eclectic proggy blending of genres.

I would normally talk about the band background in the first paragraph, but I guess I'm mixing it up today. EXODUS TO INFINITY is the recording project of Danny Mulligan. Danny is a largely self-taught multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer with a degree in music composition from UW-Madison. I hadn't heard of Danny Mulligan before, but now I will definitely be following his career with great interest.

Now I've been extremely complimentary so far and that is very much warranted, but I want to get my main complaints out of the way here. Songs like "King Other", "Right Now" and "The Body, The Drive, And The Dreamer" are funky and unique which are the elements I love most about this album. I kinda wish they would have done more with the weird, I know I made the Zappa comparison earlier and I stand by that statement, but know that it's rather sparsely sprinkled throughout the album.

Beyond my desire for more weirdness in Prog, this comes off as a good, maybe even great Prog Rock album with glimpses of brilliance. Every song has its place on the album, but I really want to talk about "King Other"; with it's carnival frivolity, sets the tone for a gloriously goofy and funky journey that doesn't really borrow too heavily from any one source. I can hear at least 10 different bands that would seem to influence the music, but I'd rather give credit to Danny Mulligan for actually being creative and writing a brilliantly unique Prog album that touches on the everyday and the insane.

I mentioned the songs that I find to be weird and quirky before and somehow I left out one of the best songs, "Shadow Self". If you can’t deal with a jamming rap section then you might want to skip the intro, but damn I love it. Danny Mulligan is a musical genius and it’s astounding to me how well he fits Prog with Funk and Disco on the song "Right Now". I have a lot of friends who don’t really like most Metal and Rock because they feel like it misses the Funk and Soul of Jazz and Fusion. This guy has done an immaculate job in making the funkiest Prog song I’ve ever heard in "Shadow Self" and it’s a major highlight of the album.

We get a barbershop quartet interlude in "Plaza Thursday" leading into the best Disco track I’ve heard in a while. I immediately added "Plaza Thursday" and "Right Now" to my wedding playlist that’s how much I enjoyed these tracks. Then of course we get to the obligatory fourteen minute epic "Second Innocence", which is really good, but maybe lacking in the wow factor of the rest of the album. I love longer tracks and I defend them tooth and nail from the ravening hordes of critics who don’t get Prog, or don’t even like it and feel the need to say “it would have been good if they had cut part of it” and then my eyes roll into the back of my head. If they wanted to spend fourteen minutes wrapping up their album then more power to them, and I personally think it’s a phenomenal ending to the album.

I feel like I should have more to say about an album that I’m rating so highly, but I find myself slightly stunned. I knew when I first heard "King Other" that I was going to be very intrigued by this album, and then step by step as I waded deeper into the album I was more than intrigued, I was entranced there’s so much variety in the sounds on display and every song is bursting with fun and energy that’s absolutely infectious. This was great, this was refreshing in a world where I listen to Black Metal project no. 14693, I occasionally need some sunlight and a breath of fresh Prog and this album gave me that and then some, it’ll be interesting to see where this places on  my year end list by the time 2021 is over.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. King Other
2. Shadow Self
3. Just Like Us
4. The Body, The Drive, And The Dreamer
5. Trickster
6. Plaza Thursday
7. Right Now
8. Second Innocence
Lineup:
Danny Mulligan – All instruments
Record Label: Independent
     


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