Exposé Online banner

Ovrfwrd — Blurring the Lines... a Democracy Manifest
(Bandcamp no#, 2018, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, 2020-04-22:

Blurring the Lines... a Democracy Manifest Cover art

Since their first album in 2013, Ovrfwrd has been honing their craft, taking their time and producing quality music. With their third studio album, they’ve arrived at a sophisticated instrumental blend of styles new and old. These tracks touch on a variety of styles and moods while retaining a sense of identity and continuity. Much of Blurring the Lines sounds like something that could have been recorded in the late 70s, with Hammond organ, piano, and vintage-sounding synths along with guitar, bass, and drums that don’t venture into recent trends, but the music doesn’t sound dated at all. As instrumental progressive music, it shares some commonalities with bands like Deluge Grander, Mahogany Frog, Eccentric Orbit, though Ovrfwrd has their own take on the style. One thing that really struck me in listening to the album is how well it works as a whole, starting out with “Wretch,” which fades in with a big chord on keyboards to introduce stabs of distorted guitar and finally a rolling mid-tempo rhythm from bass and drums. It develops into a great tune featuring leads from guitar and synthesizer and backing from organ and piano. The next track ramps up both tempo and intensity, with fast riffing and precisely executed breaks, an aggressive bass line and what sounds like mallet instruments (but is most likely keyboards). And just when it’s needed, we get a lovely acoustic guitar piece called “Kilauea,” which is a bit like Steve Howe’s short solo pieces on Yes albums, both in functionality and skill level. In spite of its title, it has more in common with classical guitar music than Hawaiian styles. Next comes the throbbing synthesizer and heavy drum beat of “The Trapper’s Daughter,” which also features mallet instruments (real ones credited this time). Later we get more tastes of acoustic music, with sitar featuring prominently on “Cosmic Pillow,” reminding me of some parts of the first Shadowfax album. “Mother Tongue” shows us another side of the band, with more improvisation. And to finish off after this well-designed rollercoaster of ups and downs, they leave us with “Usul,” a dramatic piece that ventures into atmospheric moods, providing a perfect end to the journey. Ovrfwrd is richly deserving the attention of progressive music fans, easily equal in quality to many more well-known bands.


by Henry Schneider, 2020-04-22:

Instrumental prog group Ovrfwrd released their fourth album — third studio album — Blurring the Lines in the summer of 2018, but I did not receive a copy to review until a few months ago. Ovrfwrd continues to grow and mature their chops with the twelve new instrumentals on Blurring the Lines. I’ve been thinking about the title and my guess that the meaning is that they blurs the lines between genres on each of the twelve tracks. This is pretty sophisticated music that will appeal to those listeners who enjoy complex compositions and instrumentation. The blending of genres varies from track to track. Be it symphonic prog blending with jazz fusion, melodic prog with metal prog, percussive dissonance with delicate bucolic acoustic guitar, raga rock with Brian Eno ambiance, jazz fusion with King Crimson heaviness, etc. Ovrfwrd never fails to please. This is one cool disc. Personal favorites include “Cosmic Pillow,” that starts with simple drones and sitar to morph into raucous heavy prog, the cool eerie snow covered boreal forest of “Taiga,” and the intro to “Usul” that begins with white noise and bass, eventually moving into harsh territory with aggressive guitars. Definitely an album worth investigating while you are riding out the coronavirus and practicing social distancing.


Filed under: New releases , 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Ovrfwrd

More info
http://ovrfwrd.bandcamp.com/album/blurring-the-lines-a-democracy-manifest-2018

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cast - Endless Signs – Cast has carved a niche for themselves in the neo-prog scene for good reasons. Their sound is very melodic and flowing. As with almost all bands lumped into the "neo-prog" classification,...  (1996) » Read more

Keller & Schönwälder - The Reason Why... Part Two – I already thought that The Reason Why from Keller & Schönwälder’s 3-CD box set was excellent. But then I kept reading reviews of people who had attended the show, claiming that, as...  (2001) » Read more

Phaesis - Puzzle – Phaesis from France is no new band, in fact they can celebrate their 25th anniversary in a few years time, since the band was founded in 1982. This is their fifth release to be precise. They seem to...  (2006) » Read more

Solaris - Live in Los Angeles – For anyone that was completely blown away by this band's performance at Progfest in November '95 (everyone in the house, from what this writer could ascertain), this two disc set is nothing...  (1997) » Read more

Alan Gowen & Hugh Hopper - Bracknell Bresse Improvisations – The legacy of rare and obscure recordings continues on Voiceprint! Another Alan Gowen set of live recordings and free soloing ideas is released to the anxious awaiting public! Well, maybe it's not...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues