Flying Colors

Domination

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Artist: Flying Colors​
Album: Flying Colors​
Tracks: 11​
Duration: 60:26​
Genre: Progressive Rock​
Released: 26th March 2012​



01 : Blue Ocean (7:05)
02 : Shoulda Coulda Woulda (4:32)
03 : Kayla (5:20)
04 : The Storm (4:53)
05 : Forever in a Daze (3:56)
06 : Love is What I’m Waiting For (3:36)
07 : Everything Changes (6:55)
08 : Better Than Walking Away (4:57)
09 : All Falls Down (3:22)
10 : Fool in My Heart (3:48)
11 : Infinite Fire (12:02)


By now, prog fans should have already known of Mike Portnoy's 'departure' (to put it in more pleasant terms) from progressive metal legends Dream Theater. And post-DT Portnoy has been involved in several projects (read: supergroups), first was the more straightforward Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band Adrenaline Mob, and now another of his projects, the band Flying Colors, jsut released their eponymous first EP a few days ago.

Flying Colors features many accomplished musicians with pretty impressive portfolios. Obviously there's Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, Transatlantic, etc.), then there is guitar legend Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple, etc.), bassist Dave LaRue (Planet X, Steve Morse, etc.), keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist and veteran prog musician Neal Morse (Spock's Beard, Transatlantic, etc.) and there's vocalist Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev, Endochine, etc.) who is relatively new to me, and probably many others.

Sorry but the but didn't have set up any streaming for the album, and there are no videos of the album to be found on youtube, yet (well, technically there are videos of people covering the songs with the track playing in the background, but I'm sure we don't want that), so you would have to buy it or listen to it some other way.


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Well, from the caliber of the musicians, its probably pretty obvious the music would at the very least be listenable. Personally, I found it to be a really amazing record. The album is not as progressive and technical as Dream Theater or Transatlantic, and it doesn't need to be. But its definitely something creative (unique, even), fabulous and beautiful. It has the technical edge of prog to certain songs, while still having a smooth and polished sound to other songs, and sometimes it's a blend of both. The album is a very pleasurable experience that is an extremely eclectic blend of Progressive Rock, catchy Alternative/Pop Rock, classic 70's Soft Rock, powerful Hard Rock, and some smooth and soulful Jazz and Blues.

Casey is what really surprised me. I didn't really know much about him and he was the 'unknown factor' but he really exceeded my expectations. Casey's smooth voice, style and technique brings something really new to the band, and his singing fits into naturally into the music. In fact, I find the 'unknown factor' to have became the 'X-factor' of the band and his voice is very integral to the sound of the band, and I am constantly drawn to his voice away from the instrumentation despite the great musicians accompanying him. While Neal Morse does share some vocal duties with Casey, I find Casey's vocals the most enjoyable on the album.

And I find Mike's drumming to be quite fresh on this album. Because of the nature of the music, his drumming is less 'in your face' and he manages to fit into the background with intricate use of slower rhythms and utilising his cymbals with a different approach, but he still manages to retain much of his 'oomph' and unleash his power when needed.

I think there's a strong chemistry in the band and everyone, despite their various influences and styles, manage to fit snugly into a flawlessly completed puzzle. The result: A proficient band that is very melodic and smooth, while also being technical and abrasive when it needs to be. This album is undoubtedly an amazing amalgamation of several proficient and extremely talented musicians.

My favourite tracks:
3. Kayla: The vocal line is amazingly smooth, the bass line is solid and the drum is intricate during the smooth sections and suitably aggressive during the climax. And the guitar is extraordinary on this track, I especially love the solo, it's just a bluesy Hard Rock solo but Steve Morse's skill and feel with the guitar is apparent here.

4. The Storm: One of my favourites of Casey's vocal performances on the album. The vocals are catchy and somewhat reminiscent of Coldplay when he sings the line "All your secrets come undone". The instrumental on this track is great, the drumming is a little more in your face here and the instrumental as a whole is definitely quite proggy,

11. Infinite Fire: Ah, the only track of the album that exceeds 10 minutes. The colossal, grand, majestic and epic coda to the album. This is quite different from the rest of the album and Casey has a harder 'rock edge' to his voice here. The rest of the band displays much of their technical prowess here with greater complexity, there are many great instrumental interludes in between and I think it would satisfy prog fans' thirsts for indulgent and over-the-top instrumental showmanship.

My rating for this album would be 9.2/10. Its an amazing and unique record, no doubt, but there are some disappointing moments here and there. It is poppier than I would have liked it to be, but the pop elements are mostly enjoyable and doesn't really get in the way of the listening experience, and its still a great rock album. Overall, it is a more than satisfying and really impressive debut album.
 

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