Band: Days Between Stations
Band Website: www.daysbetweenstations.com
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2013
Five years after their first recording the dynamic duo called Days Between Stations is back with their sophomore musical project entitled In Extremis. And know one thing for certain there is no sophomore slump here! The duo of Oscar Fuentes Bills (piano, synthesizers, Rhodes, Mellotron, Hammond Organ, electronic percussion) and Sepand Samzadeh (guitars) have matured musically and this time around have worked with an extensive cast: Tony Levin (bass), Billy Sherwood (drums, lead vocals), Peter Banks (2nd lead & rhythm guitar on Eggshell Man, In Extremis), Matt Bradford (Dobro on Visionary), Colin Moulding (lead vocals on The Man Who Died Two Times), Ali Nouri (Tar solo on Eggshell Man), Jeffery Samzadeh (sonati vocals on In Extremis), Rick Wakeman (Mellotron Flute, Minimoog solo on Eggshell Man), Chris Tedesco & The Angel City Orchestra: No Cause for Alarm, In Utero, Visionary, Waltz in E Minor, In Extremis, Josh Humphrey (keyboard effects and textures on In Utero, electronic drums & programming on Visionary) and Chris Tedesco (trumpet solo on Visionary, In Extremis). Musically this is grand and symphonic prog in the finest tradition.
In Extremis consists of eight tracks including the twenty plus minute, six-part epic title track. It features everything you might expect to hear on a symphonic prog album including an overture consisting of full orchestra performing themes to be heard later in the disc. You’ll also hear plenty of Mellotrons, Hammonds, and all manner of flutes and guitars. It’s a prog tour-de-force you might say. The significant difference between In Extremis and their first self-titled disc is the introduction of vocals, but even with that many of these selections are plenty long allowing for lots of great instrumental virtuosity to come shining through. Thematically these compositions are all structured around the moment just before death where your life flashes before your eyes however this is not a dark and brooding album in the least. The music is dramatic and atmospheric but in the end maintains a very positive tone. The music is also quite complex in performance and arrangement. There are lots of musical changeups and different instruments that add layers of complexity. At times compositions weave a trail that’s fast to slow, soft and delicate to hard-edged and mournful to majestic. It’s all here.
Days Between Stations have really matured into a first class symphonic prog band with the music created on In Extremis. There are so many wonderful moments where the music takes flight and goes in completely unexpected directions. And that’s one of the things we’ve come to love about prog. In Extremis fulfills all musical expectations in that sense. Why, there’s even a wonderful “hit song” in the name of “The Man Who Died Two Times” [4:11]. Check them out – highly recommended.