Not Otherwise Specified – Projective Instruments

Not Otherwise Specified - Projective Instruments

Not Otherwise Specified has come to be known as a modern blend between ‘80’s progressive rock and heavy metal ingeniously put together by the multi-instrumentalist Craig Kerley. Following the debut album, “Judgment”, Not Otherwise Specified’s endeavors are reunited once more under the mask of a new album deceivingly entitled “Projective Instruments”.

The album offers the listener a bit out of everything during its seven songs, one longer than the other. Right from the opening track, “Harvest Soul”, an 80’s progressive rock intro with versatile and eerie keyboards that reminds us of Genesis and King Crimson and fast atypical rhythm changes manages to hit all those famous progressive passages between soft and heavy. The song, though it may lack some dynamism at some point, isn’t at all restricted by the rules of the genre. Groovy vocals lead the way to an epic outro where instrumentals take the center of the stage and provide great contrasts between progressive harmonies and dreamy blues solos. The following tracks, “Hold on” and “Falling”, escalate from the classic progressive arpeggios and catchy vocals to Dream Theater-ish riffs and crushing tapping and takes a step back into the past with the aid of the flute’s soft tone. “Sorbert” has a classical pace to it and it best showcases Kerley’s musical background in this entire instrumental piece. “Racing Shadows” manages to reach new levels of technical complexity while the songwriting follows the same brilliant patterns that Genesis used in their earlier songs. Though the voice is the one that really stands out mostly because it has a different range than what you usually hear in progressive, giving the record an interesting groove, this song also progresses towards its end to a theatric and atmospheric driven musical piece through a rollercoaster of repeated tapping meant to put an emphasis on the dramatic solos that intertwine the classic acoustic guitar work with the electric multifaceted madness.

Well, “Caveat” is a special track. It deprives the listener of the progressive contrasting instrumentals and it makes room for gospel vocals. This a capella intermission fits right into the record, allowing the listener to let the rest of the album sink in.

The closing track, “Signal to noise”, is one of the heavier songs off the record and ends the listener’s eerie ride with a cascade of angry riffs following few normal musical conventions whilst building a bridge between the 80’s and the present.

“Projective Instruments” throws the listener into a whirlwind of diverse instrumentals and atypical time signatures. Bottom line, this is what progressive is all about.

Favorite songs: “Falling”, “Racing Shadows”.


1. Harvest Soul
2. Hold On
3. Failing
4. Sorbet
5. Racing Shadows
i. The Starting Line
ii. Pitfalls
iii. I’m the Man
iv. Fine Dead Song
v. Again
6. Caveat
7. Signal To Noise


* Craig Kerley – all instruments, vocals


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