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Kinetic Element - Face of Life

Kinetic Element
Face of Life
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 22 February 2019, 6:41 AM

Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, comes the Progressive Rock quartet KINETIC ELEMENT. They were formed to perform the music of Mike Visaggio's solo CD, "Starship Universe" which was released in 2006 after Mike was selected to perform at the 2006 Pop Montreal festival. Since then they have assembled a repertoire of that entire CD, plus selected Classic Prog and Classic Rock covers and their new Prog pieces they have put together since they formed which comprise "Powered By Light," which was recorded during the summer of 2009 at Sound of Music Studio in Richmond, VA and released on Sept. 5, 2009. It was nominated for Best Debut CD of 2009 by The Prog Awards, which was at that time an Italian reviews website. Today, the band presents their second album, titled “The Face of Life,” which contains four tracks.

“Epistle” is the seven minute opener, with a thick bass line and keys, landing somewhere between PINK FLOYD and GENESIS. The bass maintains a steady presence throughout the song, while the vocals are somewhere in the tenor II category. The music itself is fairly dark and somber, with noticeable keys. What doesn’t come through in the mix very well are the guitars. “All Open Eyes” is a fifteen-minute opus. It move along with twists and turns here and there, darting in and out of the light and retreating into shadow. The vocals peak sometimes and they build along a nice melody line throughout. You could accuse them of meandering a bit at times, but hey it’s Prog Rock so let them indulge. Just after the half-way mark it picks up, with thick keys and a guitar solo. A gong strike sounds another change, and the original melody line returns.

“The Face of Life” is nearly twenty minutes in length, opening with tender piano and guitar notes and a bit of a sad sound. The first five minutes are without vocals. When the vocals come in, it’s a balance between light and dark. The melody in the chorus is great. Some of the bass work reminds me of the command that Geddy Lee has on his instrument…confident and poised. It take a right turn around the ¾ mark, picking up in speed and with much haste, and then finishes as it started. “Last Words” close the album; a short four-minute cap. The vocals are pensive and strings can be heard. The harmonized vocals are quite charming, and this song leaves a lasting impression on the listener.

Overall, if you’re in the mood for a long ride, let this play out. Judging by the length of some of these tracks, you can’t expect a solitary riff or sound throughout. It twists and turns as it should, sometimes losing me for a spell while other times not. My only real knock was that it lacked dynamism. You expect mellow Prog and that is what you get, but some accents could have helped break up some of the extended passages a little. Still, an enjoyable listen overall.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Epistle
2. All Open Eyes
3. The Face of Life
4. Last Words
Lineup:
Mike Visaggio – Keyboards/Vocals
Michael Murray – Drums /Vocals
Todd Russell – Guitars
Mark Tupko – Bass
Saint John Coleman – Vocals
Record Label: Gentle Art of Music
     


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