Notice Grace is a heavy prog band based out of Georgia, featuring Zachery Kinsaul (guitars, vocals), Dennis Svela (bass, keyboards, vocals), Gib Heuett (guitars, vocals), and Rick Lewis (drums). And although the members have a long history in the Atlanta and Athens music scene, their 2014 release "Movements" is the band's debut album.
Also contributing to the album are Katie Svela Crews who provides a regal operatic opening to the track "Movements", and Rick Kinsaul who adds some excellent slide guitar to the track "Hard Times", giving the tune a distinct Lynyrd Skynyrd feel.
The band blends elements of 80s' arena rock bands like Bon Jovi, Tesla, Whitesnake, Enuff z Nuff, Night Ranger, Def Leppard, Europe, and later period Uriah Heep with neo-progressive bands like Abel Ganz, Comedy Of Errors, Grey Lady Down, and Pallas. But on the whole "Movements" is more rock orientated than progressive.
The instrumental opening track "Prelude" has all the ethereal elements of classic symphonic prog you would expect from a band like IQ with orchestral strings and faux Mellotron choir, whaling guitars, and all the power and passion you can possible muster in a three and a half minute tune.
Then there is the majestic voice of Katie Svela Crews as track two ("Movements") opens. The band Abel Ganz immediately comes to mind as the male vocals take over. And although the vocalists (not sure who is singing lead here) may not be as powerful as Meatloaf - his delivery and the vocal inflections bring the hefty rocker to mind. The excellent 12 minute track goes through a series of changes as echoes of bands like Rush and even Captain Beyond spring to mind.
Notice Grace has a definite retro sound to their songs as rocking tracks like "Protect This Sacred State" ring of vintage Bon Jovi; while the track "Avenger" has a "Juke Box Hero" Foreigner vibe running through it, and the bluesy track "Bleed" features elements of both Argent as well the British band Babe Ruth.
"Movements" is loaded with catchy hook laden tunes which should have you up on your feet - cigarette lighter raised high. Just enough of a progressive edge to keep a proghead like myself satisfied.
Quality musicianship. Great rock and roll. What more can you ask for?
Probably the only prog album you can bring to a party and not be booted out.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on April 30th, 2014