Special Providence – Soul Alert

Since forming in 2004, Hungary’s Special Providence has released two albums, Space Café (2006) & Labyrinth (2008). Soul Alert is their third album, out on 12th January on Hunnia Records.

The band cook up a melodic dish driven by powerful dynamic rhythms, and although there are short solo sections, no one player gets to dominate proceedings for too long, the group preferring an engaging integrated approach, and their music could be described as symphonic prog-metal-jazz-fusion.

Babel Confusion toys with the listener by introducing some atypical speed metal riffing at the beginning, but soon settles into what becomes the band’s trademark style, melodic synth lines leading the way, followed by fluid jazzy guitar solos from Kertész and soaring synth workouts from Cséry, the metal theme returning to underpin the song.

A stylistic trait throughout is the centring of compositions around deceptively simple but catchy motifs. You won’t find interminable aimless wigouts in A minor here, and that’s a good thing too! There is nothing “flash” about this band, as can occasionally be the case in fusion when a band tries to disguise its lesser abilities by “shredding”, as fusion is not a style to be attempted without the necessary chops, which these guys definitely possess in spades.

The rhythm section is direct and unfussy, the drummer and bassist creating a punchy intro to Asparagus for example, over which a melodic guitar line sets the theme. Fehérvári shows what a great bass player he is on Return To Childhood and closing song Fences Of Reality surprises firstly by having vocals and secondly by reprising the melody from Lazy Boy where it was taken by the synth. A clever touch that brings a smile to my face!

Steering a path through Euro funk on Lazy Boy to melancholic jazz balladry on Incredible Flower, to prog metal on Soul Alert, Special Providence show why they are highly regarded as a live act, for although this CD is undeniably powerful, I can guess that they must be truly captivating on stage. These guys never attempt to dazzle with excessive virtuosity but prefer to stick to team playing, and they have hit on a formula that is both uplifting and involving, and you will be bopping round the room by the end. Most certainly a good purchase for the aficionado of prog metal jazz fusion.

Listen to samples on myspace

Tracklist:

Babel Confusion (7:24)
Lazy Boy (5:59)
Asparagus (8:20)
K2 (6:13)
Untold Chapter (5:12)
Incredible Flower (8:10)
Standing Still (3:52)
Soul Alert (7:40)
Return To Childhood (3:42)
Fences Of Reality (3:50)

Line-up:

* Cséry Zoltán – Keyboards
* Kertész Márton – guitar
* Fehérvári Attila – bass
* Markó Ádám – drums

1 Comment

  1. jim

    February 26, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Stunning! Stumbled down to the puter Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and discovered this……great arrangements, musicianship……..technical melodic prog fusion……………very nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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