I have great news for people who start to find prog rock a bit boring. This news comes all the way from Uzbekistan! Wow, who would have thought that?! Quite unbeknownst to me, From.Uz comes all the way from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Unfortunately their website did not give me much information about them. On their facebook page I found they had released two other albums – the debut album Audio Diplomacy in 2007 and Overlook in 2008.
So that makes Seventh Story their third release. And an impressive third album, I might say. I found that when I started to listen to the album it really captured my attention. The songs are very strong and filled with so many layers and details, it will be a pleasure to go and explore what all the other songs have to offer. The sound of From.Uz is heavy prog rock, laced with fusion elements, and they even incorporated some local folklore - just listen to the second half of Desert Circle.
The music is powerfully driven and well played by this quintet. I must confess that Uzbekistan would be the last place where I would expect to find a prog rock band, but From.Uz are amazing and so talented! Listen to the guitar parts by Vitaly Popeloff, who wrote the music of Seventh Story. He is a real virtuoso! Or the driving keyboards by Albert Khalmurzaev and Igor Elizov for example on Taken.
But the real strength of this quartet is the fact they have composed original music. No hints of Yes, Genesis or any other classic band. The music sounds so fresh and tasty. And they bring a lot to the table: besides the standard guitars/bass/dums/keys, they also use instruments like vibraphone, marimba and tubular bells. Although their music is not strictly instrumental, there are not that many vocals on the album. Surprisingly I didn’t even miss these. The music is so lush and fantastic, it just takes me away to a much nicer place…
As I am listening to Taken, I think to myself, “It doesn’t get any better than this… it is so fantastic!” And then I still have two songs to go on the album. But my mind is already made up…Seventh Story by From.Uz is a very serious contender for my top 10 over 2010!
If you are looking for original, fresh and good prog rock, definitely check out this album! For me it is a ‘must have’ album - delightful from start to finish. I am quite happy to have this album and will definitely play it quite often. I hope you will do, too. Trust me - it will be a pleasant experience for you!
**** Marcel Haster (edited by Paul Watson)
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