I have been getting some cool material submitted and having the opportunity to hear new music is always a pleasure. I have actually been sitting on this one for a while as time restraints have held me back from reviewing it, but rest assured that I have not forgotten about it.
When I hear something that is so different yet so memorable I have to listen many times over to absorb the true substance of the material. With substance, oftentimes comes the inability to put it all together to make it function as a piece of music that flows. Well, let me tell you that there is a band out there that puts plenty of substance into their music and pulls all of it together and it translates into an instrumental masterpiece titled “The Morbid Tango.” The band is Cosmosquad and to my ears it is, fusion meets RUSH – Dream Theater – YES – Genesis – Asia even some classic ZZ-Top, etc…, with a darker side and eerie, subtle flow. Taking it all in is an experience for the mind, body and soul. Let’s just say – a Tango of imagination and Tranquility.
I was going through my email a few months ago and I came across an email invite from A.R.M. mgmt. and media services and my friend Chris inviting me to check out and review an album. Well, I’m always about that and that is how this all got started. I had never heard Cosmosquad and after pressing play I was ashamed of myself for not having so. The album possesses so many diverse styles that it just may have a serving of every musical genre and all mixed, forms a melting pot of precision and class.
To open the opus my ears are treated to a cool acoustic intro that is skillfully transitioned into an electric cha-cha that drives into a full-out, hard driving power jam; cool flow with off-beat power that sets the tone for what is to come.
I have listened to this album several times and my favorite is track #2, “Cyclops.” I get a taste of a heavier Rush to open and the song transitions into that smoking Progressive vibe. After a minute of slow tempo, in kicks that nice, powerful, Dream Theateresque thunder and I easily find myself cranking this to 11. The musicianship of these guys is just amazing.
Did I mention how diverse this album is? Well, to cement that diversity, track #3, “The Ballad Of Rick James” provides that funky groove, “Superfreak” on steroids.
With the title aptly being “The Morbid Tango,” there is a dark overtone throughout and that is prominent in the quick hitting “Anatomy of A Beatdown” and the powerful, Recollection Epilogue.”
Just when you think that you are going to remain in the groove, the boys pull a switch; in kicks “Always Remember The Love.” This is a magical ballad of melodic precision that takes me to a place of quiet and inner peace. It is played with feeling and accentuates the chops of Jeff Kollman. There is so much feeling in this one and Kollman masterfully plays each note like they were meant to be flown on a cloud of pure melody.
The band is powerful from start to finish and my ears are continuously surrounded by a barrage of soulful melody. How can a 3-piece band sound like a 5-piece is beyond me, but Kollman, Shane Gaalaas (Drums) and Kevin Chown (Bass) do just that on songs like “Crosses, “Still Life” and the bluesy “Sangfroid.” There is so much going here that you are constantly intrigued by what the next move will be and yet content on just being immersed in the moment. Even to the bitter end of the album with “Beyond Death’s Door” and “Beyond Death’s Door Reprise” there are moments of everyone’s life experiences that can be captured as the music opens your mind. These guys have nailed it.
Throughout life’s journey that is “The Morbid Tangle,” there is the classic rock mixed with a sonic ride of progressive fusion that in so many ways makes this musical escape one that is well worth the price of admission. I have not heard a musical album like this and for all of you that are reading this now, I highly recommend that you take a seat and capture the feeling with your own ears. Cosmosquad has taken me on a ride that I will not soon forget and “The Morbid Tango” is the finest demonstration of pure musical feeling captured in a crystal ball. Hopefully, this album is in your future.
Jeff Kollman – Guitar
Kevin Chown – Bass
Shane Gaalaas – Drums