In 2005, original members, Adrian McCloskey (drums) and Paul Briscoe (bass) reformed Meridian Voice along with new musicians, Lloyd Landesman (keyboards) and Randy McStine (guitar). I’m not sure how they sounded before but they’re in the modern sounding prog/fusion camp. They released their debut album "Atypical Symmetry" in 2010 on their own.
I have to admit, instrumental prog/fusion is a genre that I have very little knowledge of. I will just go by what I know, and I really like it. It took me several listens to be able to explain what I hear. One element that made it easier for me to digest the music is the guitarist, Randy McStine. I reviewed his prog band, Lo-Fi Resistance release “A Deep Breath”.
From the opening track, “Swing Shift” (4:00), they immediately start off in a very modern version of jazz fusion. There’s a quite a bit of funk too. The music goes down a few notches on “Briscenes From an Italian/Jewish Restaurant” (5:40), which has a very melodic and progressive feel to it.
The next song, “Hacker” (5:13) borders on metallic fusion. It packs several punches. This is one of my favorites off the album. “For Eddie” (6:42) is a nice guitar/piano driven jazz-fusion with some prog in it. It’s also the longest track on the album. Everyone seems to be relaxed on this song. There’s a jam/improv feel to it as well.
Okay next up is “Dream State” (5:24) which is light jazz mixed in with just enough prog to make it interesting (to my ears). It also has some very good playing by everyone especially Randy. The vibe continues with the next track, “Kitty” (5:48). There’s more of a prog element showing on this track.
Next is a rock song, “Kernal Panic” (4:31), which has very little jazz and prog but there’s some heavier moments that make it interesting to hear again and again. Everyone is in top form here.
They end the album with a very somber sounding, almost light jazz, track called “I Heard Things” (4:56). Even with the ending of the song, done in a funky bass/wild jazzy keys wasn‘t doing that much for me. The previous song would have been a better choice to end this wonderful and fantastic album, in my humble opinion.
In closing, if you’re into modern jazz-fusion bordering on prog with some metallic and funky vibes, then look no further than Meridian Voice’s 2010 album “Atypical Symmetry” ASAP! I do look forward to what they have for a follow-up.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on July 10th, 2011