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Special Experiment - Fortune Memories

Special Experiment - Fortune MemoriesSpecial Experiment is the project of Polish composer and instrumentalist, Dzidek Marcinkiewicz.  Dzidek, who now lives in Germany, has a blues background but leaves all that behind for this album, which follows the prog to prog-metal route.  Dzidek (keyboards, acoustic guitar) who composed all the music is assisted by Frank Tienemann (guitars, drums), Daniel Seebass (bass), Joseph Kappl (bass), Carsten Witte (drums) and Janine Tienemann (backing vocals) in bringing the music to life.

Perhaps surprisingly, when you consider Dzidek is a keyboard player and the composer, the music balances out the instrumentation well, with plenty of blinding guitar licks and passages to match his powerful keys.  The pace is storming and amazingly upbeat considering the track titles such as Kiss Of A Vampire, Dark Angel etc. 

First impressions are of 80’s hard rock on steroids on similar paths to Asia and UK say, but more complex and fuller sounding.  As the album unfolds, the feel turns towards IQ and Pallas combined with Steve Vai.  Very powerful music with nice prog and even funky moments.  The album is wholly instrumental (Janine Tienemann does some backing vocalisation, i.e. no lyrics) which works well but I realise some people prefer to hear lyrics.  To me, lyrics are not missed for one minute as far as this album goes, but there again, I do tend to have a foot in the instrumental album camp!

The album is extremely accessible not only as a result of some very catchy riffs and melodies.  Those of us who require more than catchy melodies in our music will not be disappointed; that is sealed by the clever arrangements and, of course, the exemplary musicianship. 

I wouldn’t categorise Fortune Memories as a neo-prog album because it isn’t neo-prog in the sense that we have come to recognise.  Safer to say that is just very good music that should be enjoyed by prog lovers of all sub-genres and probably a few ‘outsiders’ who still reckon prog is a four-letter word! Recommended.

(Fortune Memories can be ordered directly from the Special Experiment website, link below.)

Jem Jedrzejewski

Special Experiment

 

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