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Xavier Reija: Resolution

Mark F. Turner By

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Like the classic game Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots where the goal is to literally knock the other opponent's head off, Catalan drummer/composer Xavi Reija delivers plenty of head-banging good times in his power trio date Resolution. Yet this isn't your typical fusion-esque recording as it takes some unexpected detours from the progressive-rock idiom with its panache and methodology.

A graduate from Berklee School of Music's class of 1999 and widespread activity in Barcelona's eclectic music scene, Reija's wellspring of experience and chops are evident. True to form, there are thundering rhythms, a pulsating low-end from bassist Bernat Hernandez and scorching riffs provided by Serbian guitarist Dusan Jevtovic. While sonic jams such as the contagious "Unfinished Love" totally rock the house, other pieces are filled with freedom and exploration from the simpatico trio.

"Flying to Nowhere"'s stress-free presence juxtaposes melodicism and heavy metal as Reija's multilayered percussion traps fuel atmospheric guitar tones. "Macroscope" is as thrilling as hang-gliding over a mountain with a breathtaking vista. It highlights Hernandez playing an impressive fretless solo with Jaco Pastorius-like ease as Jevtovic silhouettes the theme with ethereal noises in tandem with Reija's jazzed beats.

The musicians are clearly having a blast as they work creatively through the program's multi-textured set with elements of ambient-noise in "Dreamer" or gritty avant-punk in "John´s Song." Whether jamming through undulating changes in the "Abyss" or the artistic changes of "Gravity" and the title track, the trio captures a unique balance of sound, performance and improvisation.

Track Listing: Flying to Nowhere; Macroscope; Shadow Dance; Dreamer; Abyss; The Land of the Sirenians; Unfinished Love; John´s Song; Resolution; Gravity; Welcome to the End.

Personnel: Xavi Reija: drums; Bernat Hernandez: bass; Dusan Jevtovic: guitar.

Title: Resolution | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Moonjune Records

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