junXion -
Stories Of The Revolution


(CD 2019, 41:09, Manomedia Records)

The tracks:
  1- Polyalphabetical Substitution Cipher(13:16)
  2- Epiphany(11:01)
  3- Compulsion To Psychogenesis(11:55)
  4- Breaking Waves (Bonus Track)(4:57)






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Website information. junXion is a Dutch epic modern day '70's progressive rock band, founded in 2010. The band's core business is telling stories, stories that take place on Planet X, somewhere far in the future, however inspired by current reality on Earth. For that, the band combines various styles, such as jazz/fusion, electronics and metal, with unexpected twists. Artists such as Steven Wilson, Pink Floyd, Camel and Ayreon melt together into the unique filmic junXion-sound. The sound of the 4-man core is enriched with selected guest artists from various disciplines to reinforce the stories being told; stories based on cultural and social problems, philosophy, politics, science... and rabbits. In 2017 the band released its debut CD entitled Inevitable Red, it contains 8 tracks and is a concept album concerning the rise and fall of a dictatorial regime. And late 2019 junXion released the successor entitled Stories Of The Revolution, my first musical encounter with this Dutch band.

1. Polyalphabetical Substitution Cipher (13:16) : In this first of three epics junXion delivers a dynamic and varied blend of several styles (from fusion to prog metal), topped with excellent work on guitar (Maarten Jung) and keyboards (Martijn Hak), and strong musical ideas. The mellow moments in between the heavy and bombastic parts create a lot of tension. The one moment it's a heavy guitar driven mid-tempo with Rush-like keyboards or a bombastic explosion with an awesome Mellotron choir sound, sparkling piano runs and fiery guitar leads. The other moment dreamy with subtle guitar and tender piano, or a slow rhythm with delicate electric piano. The female vocals by guest musicians Marijn Zeeman and Jryh Luz range from melancholical to powerful. The rhythm-section with Roel Trommelen on drums and Julian Haerkens on bass does an outstanding job, very fluent and adventurous. A strong start on this debut album.

2. Epiphany (11:01) : This compelling instrumental track showcases the band in its full splendor, what an exciting work on keyboards and guitar, and what an awesome interplay, often jazz rock inspired. Lots of shifting moods, wonderfully coloured with wailing cello (by guest musician Nathalie Flintrop), sparkling piano, a sensational Minimoog solo with use of the pitchbend button, majestic Mellotron choirs and exciting guitar play (from fat guitar riffs to biting runs), wow!

3. Compulsion To Psychogenesis (11:55) : First a spacey sound with inventive drum beats and electronics, and whispering male vocals by bassist Julian Haerkens. This is followed by fragile guitar, electric piano and mellow female vocals. Then the music alternates between bombastic, heavy and mellow, very fluent and dynamic. I love the subtle use of the Mellotron choirs, it matches perfectly with the tender piano, and the heavy guitar. To me it sounds as a very exciting musical experience, these guys can write prog compositions.

4. Breaking Waves (Bonus Track) (4:57) : The final piece is a short one. The intro delivers fiery distorted electric guitar and piano, then a slow rhythm with bombastic keyboards (evoking Yes). Halfway a mid-tempo featuring a heavy guitar solo, this sounds like 'metal-meets-jazz rock', with a fluent rhythm-section. Then a bombastic part with sparkling piano and propulsive guitar riffs, followed by a tender jazzy-oriented guitar solo and flowing electric piano. Finally a bombastic explosion with fiery guitar, incredible how the guitar player switches so flowingly from heavy to jazz rock, he is the ace on this second album of the band.

This new Dutch prog formation has delivered an impressive, very varied an dynamic album, I am sure it will please many fans who are into harder-edged prog, fusion or jazz rock, highly recommended!

**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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