Rock Impressions

******* OVER THE TOP *******
Levin Minnemann Rudess
Lazy Bones Records
Genere: Virtuoso / Prog
Support: CD - 2013

- Italian version

It’s almost impossible for a rock fan not to have at least one record Tony Levin has worked in. We’re dealing with one of the best known Chapman Stick player in the world and a master in playing bass guitar. As regards Marco Minnemann, we recently admired him alongside the prog rising star Steven Wilson. He began playing in bands such as Kreator, then contributed to the works of Paul Gilbert and Joe Satriani. His drumming is dynamic and full of fancy. Jordan Rudess, once with Dixie Dreags of Steve Morse (Deep Purple), is currently the Dream Theatre keyboardist. A great business card indeed. Three virtuosos combined for a brand new project, we couldn’t be more curious.

The epic “Marcopolis” starts the album. It’s a crackling and bright piece, rich in great technical passages. Levin and Minnemann form a stunning rhythmical section and Rudess shows excellent solos in a music marathon which invites us to carefully listen to the rest of the record. “Twitch” is darker and clearly progressive. Here Levin and Rudess make duels that give the shudders while Marco performs astonishing rhythmical sequences.
A slow pace and a pleasant groove distinguish the powerful "Frumious Banderfunk". Rudess and Levin take turns in the solo parts and Minnemann’s drumming shows stunningly complex times. Last Jordan’s solo sounds fabulous. "The Blizzard" is more quiet, romantic. The feeling predominates and virtuosity serves the melody. Chills are assured. Terrific the subsequent, “Mew”, a track to be listen and listen again. No time to get the breath, there are two other riddles coming: the short but intense "Afa Vulu" and the seemingly simple "Descent". The following, "Scrod", has been chosen to introduce the album. It’s a very progressive piece, not so vivid at the beginning, as the other tracks are, but intensely growing half way in a very strenuous crescendo. "Orbiter" is dreamy and more experimental, almost a space rock song: a high-class moment. As far as the musical theme, "Enter the Code" is similar. Here the musicians seem to lay down arms. The composition sounds less rippling, but thick of good taste. A fall? Not at all. It’s time for the restless "Ignorant Elephant," a great piece, then the jazzy "Lakeshore Lights", less immediate than the preceding songs, however equally enjoyable. A further remarkable effort in sound experimentation is clear in “Dancing Feet", where the creativity of the musicians express more than ever. Last song of this magic album is "Service Engine", a refined and highly technical track, surely warm hearted.

Years ago supergroups used to cause a sensation, stirring up interest and sprightly curiosity. Nowadays we may have become accustomed to transversal collaborations, so finding three musicians of such a level gathered in the same project could not have an effect upon both the audience and reviewers. If so, that should be a pity, because Rudess Minnemann and Levin have given birth to a great album, as brilliant as few others, and produced a first-rate music really subordinating their high technical level to listener advantage. GB (translation by Laura Medei)

Flash Forward Magazine

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