CD Title: Signal 9
Label: Cuneiform Records (2017)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
The Montreal based Miriodor have been around a long time and yet this is only their ninth album. Thatís actually quite surprising. Right at the outset some thirty years ago the band made quite a musical splash and established their ďcredĒ in the progressive music world playing a complex and intricate kind of Avant Prog that fell quite nicely into the Rock-In-Opposition world of music. This puts them in the same sphere of adventurous musical practitioners as Henry Cow and Univers Zero. This is music that borrows and mixes from the typical genres of Jazz, Rock and Classical but mixes those influences in a very specific and unique way. The albumís eleven instrumental compositions are constantly in flux, shifting from one musical idea to the next with little notice and those shifts can be dramatic and startling. A tune will be shuffling along in one direction, seemingly building on a specific melody only to bump into a whole new set of musical elements. Buried deep within these musical layers appear song segments rich in melody and beautifully symphonic Prog passages. Too often in modern music and I mean modern music of all stripes, the level of musicianship tends to be low Ė itís all about the song or the overarching sound. Thatís not the case with Miriodor; these four musicians are consummate musicians and these compositions being instrumental thatís obviously the focus. From start to finish, whether the song is four-minutes long or nine-minutes long we are treated to a virtuosic performance. Moments of driving, pulsating performance are sliced in two with a song devolving instantly into spacey synths or pastoral passages. Expect lots of minor notes and minor chords, segments of strange angularity capped off with dissonant climaxes. This is busy and intense and haunting music created to be listened to with focused attention. That said there are also moments here and there where the band shows off by injecting a variety of different short musically humorous interludes. Itís one more way that Miriodor keeps you guessing. In my books when it comes to the Avant Prog genre there are no better practitioners than Miriodor. I have no hesitation recommending Signal 9 to fans of adventurous progressive music.