The Danish prog formation Fall of Episteme (FoE) was formed in 2015 when bass player Søren Foged returned to Denmark after several years in Africa. He teamed up with singer Rune M. Nielsen and was soon joined by drummer Rune R. B. Eskildsen, Kent B. Eskildsen on guitar and on keyboards Fleming K. Pedersen. Flemming, Søren and Kent have a history that goes back to the prog-rock band Atlantis, founded in the Eighties. They played extensively on the club scene in Denmark and were a frequent guest on the major festivals like Roskilde Festival. Atlantis composed a lot of music and had a few tracks out on record and private releases, but most of the music remained unreleased. So as well as composing new music FOE has been digging out some of the Atlantis classics and giving them new life. FOE draws the main inspiration from famous prog bands like Saga, Pink Floyd, Camel, Jethro Tull and Tangerine Dream, as well as more recent acts like Ayreon, Dream Theater and Marillion. Quite a lot of tracks were composed and rehearsed, and FOE began recording in their separate studios , making a debut CD. Due to personal circumstances Søren had to withdraw from the band and, while looking for new bass players, the band intensified their work in the studio. In the beginning of 2017, Søren was replaced by the bass player Jan Juel, who has played a lot of live shows in various constellations. His live debut concert was at a private party in the autumn, held to celebrate singer Rune M. Neilsens 40th birthday. In December 2019 FOE finally released its eagerly awaited eponymous debut CD.
This new Danish band succeeds to surprise me in a positive way on its first release: the rhythm-section is a solid unit, the singer has an obvious accent but I like his pleasant and inspired vocals, and the contributions of the guitars and keyboards sound are very tasteful. The first four compositions clock between 8 and 11 minutes, and each contains its own atmosphere and musical ideas.
Dynamic Neo-prog between up-tempo with propulsive guitar riffs and mellow with dreamy synthesizer flights and moving guitar runs in Love Will Stay.
Wonderful work on kebyoards and guitar in the alternating Experience Oblige, from dreamy piano to lush Hammond organ, topped with a strongly built-up guitar solo, in the end howling runs. This is Neo-prog Heaven, reminding me of Pendragon, along with hints of Eighties Camel.
Inspired vocals and strong guitar play in the dynamic Accelerator.
And from dreamy to a slow rhythm and finally a Saga-like sound featuring flashy synthesizer flights in Punchline, very catchy and tasteful.
The epic of this album is the alternating Invisible Crusader (around 15 minutes), it delivers lots of fluent shifting moods (from mellow to bombastic), topped with beautiful piano play (from tender to sparkling), moving guitar work, emotional vocals, Saga-like synthesizers, a surprising break with a sequencer sound, and in the end fragile guitar runs. This is the band in its full splendour!
The final song Guiding Star is the shortest one, a beautiful ballad featuring acoustic guitar and saxophone, emphasizing how tasteful and elaborate FOE colour its music. The music builds from mellow to powerful, with strong rock guitar.
Danish prog band Fall Of Episteme shows its potential on this debut CD, especially the fans of bands like Saga and Pendragon will be pleased.
***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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