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The Far Cry — If Only...
(Bandcamp no#, 2021, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-01-09

If Only... Cover art

If Only… offers proof that the old prog dinosaur is not dead — in any creative sense, at least. This may be the debut album by The Far Cry, but it’s a fully-formed effort brimming with the kinds of sounds that made progressive rock so exciting in its heyday, and somehow they also manage to avoid the pitfalls that led to the genre’s demise. Listeners familiar with the classics will find hints of Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Kansas, Utopia, and more, but all blended into a sound that doesn’t come off as derivative. The album consists of eight tracks, with three substantial pieces over ten minutes in length, three mid-length songs, and two shorter interludes. The Far Cry excels at all lengths, producing music that presents complexity in a relatively accessible way, combining melodicism and power. You’ll hear outstanding keyboard work from a wide array of instruments, full of classic tones but not sounding retro or fetishistic. What you won’t find is any influence from metal — while the guitar playing is stellar, it avoids the tropes of heavy rock. My favorite track is probably “The Mask of Deception,” which features some wonderful complex chords that inject a little hint of King Crimson into the mix, but it also features a great synth solo that is more Relayer than Red. The Far Cry is a shining exponent of modern progressive rock that isn’t influenced by Porcupine Tree, and a strong contender for debut album of the year.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): The Far Cry

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