Exposé Online banner

Ashby — Fragmental
(Bandcamp no#, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-07-15

Fragmental Cover art

This German band got its start in 2011, and like the majority of recent progressive bands, there’s more than a little metal in their sound, courtesy of Jan Göpelt’s guitar. Joel van der Heiden’s keyboards are the other prominent instrumental sound, with a variety of different tones, sometimes reminiscent of piano, but more often masses of generally string-like synths. One thing you don’t get is a lot of retro analog sounds. In this case, though, the tones are good enough that not much is lost. On the vocal side, there is Sabina Moser, who has a strong voice that commands attention when she’s present, though there are many long instrumental passages where she can step out for a beer or a coffee. Unlike many singers in progressive rock or metal, she has a bit of grit in her tone, giving her a somewhat bluesy sound even though the music is quite far removed from the blues. This combination works well for the band, and calls to mind some past references like Jumbo, Gabriel-era Genesis, and so on. Apparently she was a contestant on the German edition of The Voice, but I think she’s better served creatively in a setting like this than covering pop songs. There are occasional backing male vocals, though this is not a prominent element of Ashby’s sound. It’s almost a cliché to round out a review by saying the rhythm section (in this case bassist Christopher Streidt and drummer Rik Schindler) holds things together or something like that, but these guys really have their stuff down, with some nicely coordinated transitions and tricky little details that elevate the music beyond just riffs and chord progressions. Ashby’s full-length debut is a supremely polished example of modern progressive rock of the variety that doesn’t harken to nostalgic styles — and doesn’t sound like Porcupine Tree either.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Ashby

More info
http://ashbyofficial.bandcamp.com/album/fragmental

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Iconoclasta - La Reencarnación de Maquiavelo – This is the recent release from Mexico's premiere band. However my first question, after noting that the band is now ten years old, was, "Have they sold out yet?" Seems like all the best do...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues