Progressive-rock and jazz-rock often share a common bond, yet many artists either tilt the scale towards technical gymnastics or focus on strong song-form and fine-tune the balance of justice with judicious soloing spots. This eponymous release marks the first album by Relocator, a band which has experienced personnel changes and a breakup, spanning the recent past. Here, founding membersguitarist Stefan Artwin and bassist Michael Pruchnickienlist eminent prog-metal keyboardist Derek Sherinian to round out a multinational quintet.
The musicians uphold a well-defined, group-centric line of attack, consisting of foot-stomping fuzoid rockers, often tempered by violinist Bartek Strycharski's sonorous phrasings. Artwin's zinging crunch chords and soaring single note leads are contrasted by Sherinian's fluidly streaming synth lines. Moreover, the band integrates catchy themes into these impacting works. Thankfully, Relocator attains an equilibrium, where dynamics are acutely employed among the swirling interludes and off-kilter time signatures that instill a sense of adventure into the grand mix.
The band launches a Ravel type motif on "Proxima," abetted by thumping rhythms and deep bass grooves as Sherinian spices it up with a stately synth theme. The artists project a weighty sound, underscored by buoyant and fluent movements. At times, they venture into jam-band territory while maintaining more structure then the norm. But a portion of their sound is designed with brief nods to the days of progressive-rock yore, with a manifesto that transmits a hip group-centric disposition, tinged with modernist tendencies. Overall, the material reigns supreme, and it's easy to discern that this is not an album that was recklessly slapped together. Relocator's self-titled recording debut is a persuasive one, indeed.
Personnel: Stefan Artwin: guitars, programming; Michael Pruchnicki: bass, fretless bass; Derek Sherinian: keyboards; Bartek Strycharski: electric violin; Frank Tinge: drums, percussion.