Fireworks

Progstone - 'Unplugged' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/a2/33/fc/progstone-unplugged-57-1474306627.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 19, 2016    
 
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One of those times when it definitely pays to be brave.

It's unlikely that Swiss, unplugged and Grunge are the most welcome three words you would hope to see when reading about a band you've probably never heard of. Progstone's 2014 debut album 'Out From There' was very well-received (by those who discovered it) with a more melodic take on the Pearl Jam, Audioslave sounds of the nineties. So for Progstone to try and build on their reputation through the complete contrast of unplugged could be seen as a brave move at best.

Comprising of five new songs and five re-workings from 'Out From There', the album opens with 'All' and right from the start the standard is set with the acoustic guitars of Julien Broussett and Alban Wirthner providing stripped down, open rhythms with a hypnotic feel that draws you into the song. The addition of a violin and cello provide the melodies and harmonies that combine delightfully with guitars to give a full and rich sound to the proceedings. The strengths of the debut such as 'Blackout' and 'Alone Together' remain highlights, the new versions simply highlighting that a great song will remain so when treated with such care.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The arrangements are excellent throughout. There is balance between the guitar and strings, each in turn taking the lead, and there are no heavy drums but the percussion, though always there in your head, becomes a seamless part of the rhythm. Broussett's vocals are the defining character though; rich, soulful and packed with an emotion and passion to deliver what feels like a very personal performance. That adds a tension, an almost uneasy feel, to the experience (at times) but one that is ultimately so rewarding.

You could say doing something so different is one way of overcoming that "disappointing second album" syndrome as 'Unplugged' in no way can be labelled as disappointing. There's always a place for quality and passion in music and this is proof, if ever it was needed, that you don't need big, heavy guitars and riffs to be powerful. One of those times when it definitely pays to be brave.

Ian Parry

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