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“Platypus” is sort of a prog-rock supergroup as members of this band have performed or enjoy ongoing associations with the likes of such heavyweights as “Kings X”, “The Dregs”, “Dream Theatre” and others. With their follow up to last year’s hearty When Pus Comes To Shove, the band seems to have advanced their impetus on this new release, titled Ice Cycles.
The musicians go full throttle along with the occasional or perhaps subliminal nod to the “Deep Purple’s” or similar forefathers of the 70’s and early 80’s neo-Metal bands yet this aggregation invokes a contemporary slant with barnstorming pieces like the opener, “Oh God” and “Better Left Unsaid”. Here and throughout, guitarist/vocalist Ty Tabor turns in booming crunch chords, slick utilization of vibrato and affable vocals, while keyboardist Derek Sherinian displays articulate attributes as a stylist in a variety of settings which may include backwashes of church organ, dark – ominous synth soloing or ethereal EFX. The band exhibits a vigorous presence on “Cry” yet melds sonorous vocal choruses with Sherinian’s delicate piano voicings and Tabor’s blistering lead legato lines while the brilliant drummer Rod Morgenstein drops a few bombs here and there with able assistance from bassist John Myung. Many of these works exhibit multi-textural qualities and themes while the band also maintains a sense of well being and cohesiveness during the entire affair. On the multi-part suite titled – “Partial To The Bean (A Tragic American Quintology), the musicians convey an interesting mix featuring classic prog-like and often jolting rhythmic developments, tonal shade, strong thematic invention, and meaningful soloing combined with an upbeat demeanor! Essentially, Ice Cycles hits the mark in concentrated and heartfelt fashion thanks to four expert musicians who possess similar visions which at times counters the often superfluous or overly exorbitant world of progressive-metal-rock! – A noteworthy release indeed!!! * * * *
Ty Tabor; Guitar, Vocals: Rod Morgenstein; Drums: Derek Sherinian; Keyboards: John Myung; Bass
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.