For me reviewing albums is usually one of the most enjoyable things to do; listening to new albums, writing a review that other people may use to decide whether they check out the album and buy it or not. Sometimes after just one listen it's clear that the album is a winner; with others you immediately realize that it's going to be a tough one. As far as I'm concerned the debut album Ignition by the Portuguese duo Flammärion belongs to the latter category. Bruno Miguel and Luis Afonso both sing and play guitar and they did all the programming.
While listening to this neo-progressive rock album the influences of other prog rock bands are obvious. I heard elements of bands like Genesis, Pink Floyd and Camel, but also from AOR-bands like Toto, Asia and Styx and even metal bands like Avantasia or Kamelot. These are all big names and it would be great if Flammärion could have followed in the footsteps of these giants. But unfortunately, they're far from the quality level of these bands. Sometimes you'll hear nice passages like the spoken word section in Declaration Of Insanity or the heavy guitar parts in Look The Other Way, but mostly I have my doubts about this duo. Look The Other Way has some vocal parts that knit my brows meaning: oops, out of tune...
This singing out of tune occurs just too often, but that's not the only problem. The musicians use computers to create the basics of their compositions. Sometimes a band gets away with it, but here the drums sound very computerized. In Look At Me, it looks as if the guitar sounds come straight from a program like Guitar Pro. Reading the information on the CD booklet, Flammärion thanks the sound font designers, who put their work on the internet for free. Without it the album could never have been made. So all credits for being great programmers to the duo...
Ignition is a tough album to review, but if you like to hear music that has been created by borrowing pieces of music from the internet then Flammärion will be your thing. People who read my reviews on a regular base know that I like musicians of flesh and blood instead of computers. This always results in a lower rating, however, I would like to add a plus for the impressive programming.
**+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013