Band: Kinetic Element
CD Title: The Face of Life
Label: Melodic Revolution Records (2019)
Rating: Delightful and Winning Symphonic Prog Sound
Richmond, Virginia based Kinetic Element are back on the scene with their third release entitled The Face of Life with the sub title A symphony in E Major. Sporting a new guitarist (Peter Matuchniak) and vocalist (Saint John Coleman) the band’s sound has taken a bit of a shift but still falls squarely in the Symphonic Prog genre thanks to the compositional skills of keyboardist and main man Mike Visaggio. Their last album Travalog offered up echoes of ELP and Genesis and you can add Yes to that mix with this release. But they are just that, “echoes” as the sound of Kinetic Element is very much a thing of their own making. Clocking in at forty-nine minutes we have five compositions, two of which fall into the epic-length category being 16 and 19 minutes. As expected these compositions provide for all the familiar prog tropes: long introductions, musical change-ups, varying dynamics and both short and long instrument solos. Add to this plenty of grand musical accents, huge dramatic sweeps of instrumentation all leading to either keyboard or guitar solos and you get the picture. To my ear everything I love about the genre is here performed with confidence and produced cleanly allowing for the depth and fullness of the music to blossom while at the same time allowing for softer introspective moments to accent the whole of the composition. I will admit to struggling with the new vocalist’s tone on some of the tracks as he seems to be “reaching” in a way that seemed to work against the tone of the music. This is most evident in the first track “Epistle” [7:10]. That said he seemed more comfortable on the very next track “All Open Eyes” [19:35]. That small quibble aside this is another great release from Kinetic Element. Fans of Symphonic Prog would do well to check out The Face of Life. Recommended.