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Specimen13

Echosystem EP

Review by Gary Hill

This is an EP that’s tied to a graphic novel. The band is really just two guys, Denis Rodier (drums and electronic percussion) and Martin Vanier (guitars, bass and Soundscapes). There are some seriously big name guests, though, at least in the progressive rock world. Those guests include: Adrian Benavides, Trey Gunn, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Markus Reuter. Musically, this fits well into a modern King Crimson kind of vibe. That makes sense considering that several of those guys have played in Crimson or in Crimson-like projects. This EP is quite cool.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sheer Force
This powers in with “Sheer Force.” It’s got a Tony Levin styled rhythm section and some seriously crunchy guitar elements. It drops way down to atmosphere before moving out into an off-kilter jam that’s very much King Crimson-like. They merge the two sounds as they work forward. There are a number of cool twists and turns involved in this beast.
Icarus
This is more atmospheric, yet it’s got a real groove to it. It’s kind of like stripped back industrial music.
Juggernaut
Given the name of this song, one would expect it to be heavier, and it is. Even when it turns mellower, there’s a heavy undercurrent. This is like modern King Crimson turned fusion in a lot of ways. Again, there are a lot of shifts and turns and twists and varying moods.
Citoyen Robot
What a cool piece this is. It’s definitely tied to the type of sounds on the previous cuts, but also works out in different directions at the same time. It’s an expansive piece of music that is the most dynamic and diverse of the set. The percussion is really prominent a lot of the time on this number.
Torngat
Atmospheric, strange and sedate, this is also very cool. There is sense of mystery and even some foreboding about this. It’s definitely space music.
 
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