A quick glance at the tracklist of this album from any Fromuz fan will reveal that this is not a “new album”. Quartus Artifactus, or the “fourth work” of Fromuz, is not new, and yet it is. It is an hour and a half plus of reworkings of previously released music from the band’s relatively short career. While previous albums generally utilized electric instruments, this album went for a mostly acoustic, chamber sound, which sought to emphasize the band’s jazz fusion rather than metal roots.
This approach worked very well on most of the album. Tracks such as Stone Salad, Familiarization Results, Harry Heller Theater, Babylon Dreams, and Crashmind were full of repetitive electronic effects on their original albums that generally gave the music an unorganic, but thoroughly modern feel. These effects are obviously gone on Quartus Artifactus, and this makes the tracks, as I said before, much more organic. The change is enough to make the tracks feel fresh and new even if you’ve listened to the tracks on their previous three albums hundreds of times like I have.
I would say the only thing I didn’t particularly enjoy was the new rendition of Parallels, from Seventh Story. I felt like the original droned on a bit long, and this version somehow managed to amplify that. I feel like if a piece of music is going to be twenty minutes long it should be more dynamic to keep things interesting. The other track from Seventh Story, Desert Circle, doesn’t suffer this same problem. It didn’t on the original album, however, so I guess this makes sense. One thing I do appreciate about the new Parallels is that the theme running through it sounds less like the theme for Rush’s YYZ. I love YYZ, it just seemed odd that it sounded so similar, and I’m glad to hear it altered slightly here.
Overall Quartus Artifactus is different enough from earlier Fromuz albums to certainly be worth a purchase by any of their fans. It’s probably a lot more accessible at the same time, so I would highly recommend it to anyone trying to get into the band’s music. They’re a top quality quality prog fusion band for anyone, and certainly worth checking out.
1. Stone Salad (13:26)
2. Familiarization Results (7:45)
3. Harry Heller Theater (12:11)
4. Perfect Place (1:37)
5. Parallels (20:01)
6. Influence of Time (10:22)
7. Crashmind (9:57)
8. Desert Circle (15:51)
9. Babylon Dreams (9:38)
* Igor Elizov – keyboards, synths, MIDI, grand piano, voice
* Albert Khalmurzaev – keyboards, synths, 12string guitar,flute
* Vitaly Popeloff – acoustic steel & nylon guitars, voice
* Ali Izmailov – drums, percussion
* Sur’at Kasimov – fretless bass