Days Between Stations, In Extremis, 2013

days between stations - in extremisWhere the 2007 album by Days Between Stations was an all instrumental affair (that I enjoyed very much because of its originality and authenticity), this new effort sees the duo of Oscar Fuentes Bills and Sepand Samzadeh host a whole bunch of well known names like for instance Tony Levin, Peter Banks, Rick Wakeman and Billy Sherwood. The latter also being the co-producer.

So it is not a big surprise when in track 3, the 10 minute plus Visionary, the vocals take centre stage. As they do in 4 of the in total 8 tracks clocking in at almost 70 minutes. The opening songs No Cause For Alarm and In Utero harken back to the debut, with the use of trumpet being one of the original finds. Overall this music is still very dynamic with beautiful moody and instrumental parts. But the influence of Billy Sherwood is big. Not necessarily in the album´s sound, as this seems a bit warmer than I am used to from him, but the (backing) vocals of Sherwood are very recognisable and leave a big mark on the total. And while I happen to like all things Billy is involved in, in this case I am not sure it helps the project. After all, part of the uniqueness now seems to have diminished. But hey, half of the CD is non vocal and the other songs have a lot of instrumental parts, so maybe I am exaggerating here. Still I am sure that people into progressive rock will like this one very much. And with the names involved Days Between Stations should be able to reach a bigger audience and that is a good thing no matter what.

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Days Between Stations, Same, 2007

Days Between StationsAnother instrumental album. But a whole other affair than my previous post… Tagged as classic prog, but I don´t think that term does this justice.

This I would like to describe as a mix of soundscapes, groove, fusion, and psychedelica. It sounds weird, but it is actually rather hypnotic. The way they change moods, in and between songs, without sounding forced, can only be the work of talent. Sure you hear references here and there (Pink Floyd anyone?) but I feel this is a unique record. At least in my collection. Even the very ugly cover I suspect has a deeper meaning. Not that I became aware of it, but when people create something so out of bounds, yet so addictive, they are likely to take the time to wrap it in something that only adds to their creation. At least I hope…

Hard to name play tips: I think you should listen to this a few times back and forth in order to get into the flow. And if you still don´t get into it, you are maybe just not ready for this. Not for everyday. But qualified to chill out to.

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