This is the sophomore release from the Russian progressive music band Infront. It’s a very well executed progressive gem with mixtures of jazz/rock/classical/RIO and technology that has a unique sound as if Gentle Giant, Pekka Pohjola, Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, Simon Steensland, and Pierre Vervloesem all got put into a pot of stew and got served as a fantastic meal. At times it is very Canterbury (both Phil Miller and Egg) sounding and then you have the nice classical structure of the music along with the jazz rock and RIO soaked compositions.
Although I will use the term “light” as one descriptive term for much of the music on Inescapable, I point out that in places ( like in Track 3 “Postcard Notice”) they give a heavier dose of progressive rock than other times. Here is where the Porcupine Tree sound comes out most. But as you get used to that, they kick into a quick moment of swing jazz and then go right back to the heavier part. Another thing I hear is some great use of quirkiness and humor in the music. One example of both lies in that track 3 song and at the end, it even has a simulated ending as if the song was on vinyl and skipping at the end, to make a repetition happen.
This CD is not without some varied atmosphere as they use a gloomy goth intro on track 4-5 “Least They Forget ( they combine the songs like that as one title ) that quickly rolls into a Uriah Heep ( Easy Living ) sounding cut. It doesn’t stay there long, as it then goes to their unique melodic sound, then back again to the rocking out Heep sound. Just over 6 minutes into that same song, they are doing exotic Latin music like Santana’s slower groove instrumentals. It’s hard to see how they get from point A to point B, and C, and D, but they do it in a very cohesive and smartly composed way. They truly cover a lot of ground over the disc. Where some bands that do this much variety can sound butchered, Infront just keep sounding like themselves. It gives the listener a good ride, and keeps them interested.
The next set of tracks ( also listed as 6-7 “Runnn3") brings in some heavy riffs alternating with the melodic stuff. It’s P.T (modern day with Gavin Harrison) mixed with King Crimson (both early and latter), and proves to be a killer song of the CD. Just awesome in all ways. One of those songs that has the gentle melody, then the high energy kick butt riffs, then long bridge of slow build of cello, Frippoid lead guitar, and ornate drums, to bring it all to a boil. I love this stew!! Then if that is not enough, here comes a huge 3 part song called “Jokes Aside” that plows through all the great butt kicking progressive rock you could want. Crazy touches like a stutter placed in there to make you think your CD is defected with a skip, then they bring in a keyboard crescendo that kicks the song back into rock out mode. They do a break up near the end of part I as well. Everyone is playing their hearts out and the drummer is doing double bass in many parts. Infront get to show out on this 16 minute plus song in three parts.
I admit to not ever hearing this exact combination of styles and sounds, done in this way. That is precisely why I love it. It’s an fine example of what the whole idea of progressive music was and is to be. New ideas, done in various ways. Not cookie cutter bands that just keep using same ideas over and over. Infront have really gone beyond what I expected on Inescapable. And what is actually inescapable, is the fact that this band has put out a great release. In short, it’s Infront’s own genius concoction of all things great. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on April 26th, 2011