Special Providence - Will

(CD 2015, 51:51, Giant Electric Pea GEPCD1056)

The tracks:
  1- Akshaya Tritiya(5:28)
  2- Irrelevant Connotations(4:27)
  3- A Magnetic Moment(5:15)
  4- Will(3:32)
  5- Neptunian Pyramid Chill(4:40)
  6- Slow Spin(4:32)
  7- The Rainmaker(6:44)
  8- Mos Eisley(4:16)
  9- The Ancient Cosmic Bubble(7:25)
10- Distant Knowledge(5:32)

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Over the years Hungarian progressive fusion band Special Providence has definitely created their own recognisable sound. A sound defined by Adam Markó's heavy, but still very melodic and jazzy drumming. Alongside of Attila Fehervári's impressive bass playing, occasionally contrasting Márton Kertész's djenty fusion guitar and Zolt Kaltenecker's atmospherically jazzy keyboards. All in all a quartet that is both able to compose incredible music as well as to play those compositions in a fabulous way.

After their previous release Essence Of Change (2015, see review) Kaltenecker definitely has settled and his keyboard and piano parts are both melodic and jazzy, but also atmospheric and experimental, all in the benefit of the still amazing compositions. In fact, six of the compositions on Will are by his hand. Nevertheless Special Providence remains what they always have been and the overall sound of the band remains as good as always. During the opener Akshaya Tritiya, the keyboards really are leading the first half of the song, but then the groove kicks in. This wonderful collaboration of drum and bass set the perfect base for the first amazing guitar solo. The funky soulful keyboards in the back only enhance the fun. Irrelevant Connotations is more a trademark composition for Special Providence; both heavy as well as adventurous playing. Great bass parts alongside furious drums and a guitar that is both djenty and very melodic. Keys preserve a dedicated jazzy base for this one. A Magnetic Moment also is a heavy instrumental progressive track, drenched in fusion. This time the keyboard solos and guitar parts are equally divided, but listen to the almost bluesy guitar solo. Amazing. After these first few songs the overall sound of the album really stands out, from the solid bass drum, to the rumble of the bass, the clear keyboards and raspiness of the guitar during the djenty parts, the harmony in sounds is wonderful. The title track Will is a smooth combination of guitar and keyboard melodies, backed with dedicated bass playing and very modern drum parts. During Neptunian Pyramid Chill elements of Dream Theater or Liquid Tension Experience pass by, but still the overall feel remains Special Providence's own distinguished sound. Trance influences in Slow Spin? Yes, and like on previous records, this combination does work very well in a further very fusion laden composition. As far as an instrumental progressive rock album could have a ballad on it, The Rainmaker would be the one for Will. However towards the end the typical drum/ staccato guitar parts take the ballad feel away in favour of spacey progressiveness. Mos Eisley sees the perfect blend of electric powerful guitars and an amazing piano and solid drums. This track reminds me of Frank Gambale's music from years ago, nice!! The final tracks The Ancient Cosmic Bubble and Distant Knowledge both are heavy fusion driven, but still have that fine progressive touch. Both show great keyboard parts that are original as well as recognizable for Special providence's music.

Special Providence is one of those bands that haven't disappointed me so far, musically these guys haven't reached the ceiling, I am sure. But for now, Will is a brilliant way to show themselves to the audience. Great songs, wonderful playing and a perfect balanced sound.

****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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