[Review] Lobate Scarp – You Have It All

Lobate Scarp is an American Progressive Rock band that mixes various styles, combining tradition and innovation of the genre. The new album “You Have It All” was released on May 06, 2022 and contains 9 tracks, including the title-track and the final of over 14 and 17 minutes. An album in which numerous guests from the international scene participate, giving life to a very intense album full of interesting ideas. The album opens with “Conduit” which immediately plunges us into the Prog atmospheres of the disc with positive melodies and elaborate solid plots that enhance the technique of the artists involved. Valuable duets between strings and keyboards, bass solo inserts and a succession of refined passages that mix the Symphonic traits of the Prog with the more technical ones. An excellent start, entirely instrumental and with a sound that captures the listener’s attention from start to finish. An intro of keyboards and deep bass lines opens “Nothing Wrong” characterized by a dark atmosphere and intensity that increases with the passing of the minutes. The vocal is warm and expressive, while the sound develops with tempo changes and symphonic openings that alternate with other more energetic ones. A dynamic and engaging track that is enriched with solo inserts managing to combine the most modern sounds of Prog with the personal traits of the band, showing a heavier facet of their sound. “In The Night I” is a short-lived interlude with dilated sounds and the strings in evidence, recalling the sounds of the 80s. “Life-Line” presents again more modern sounds with a solid and energetic rhythmic session. The vocal is warm and expressive, with the guitar at the center of the sound in the first part and the keyboards duet in a solo in the second part. We are in the central part of the album and the title track “You Have It All” opens by tracing the sounds of the previous one, enriched by valuable tempo changes. A long-lasting piece, in which intense vocal parts and highly sought-after instrumental parts intertwine that evolve the central theme of the track with high-quality ideas. Between continuous tempo changes and instrumental sections with solos and sometimes technical plots, it is an epic track that shows how this band is skilled in proposing an original and elaborate Prog sound with markedly personal traits. In the second part, with the entry of the strings, the track mixes more symphonic passages with the more energetic ones, creating an excellent intertwining with forays into Folk Prog with wonderful solo parts. “In The Night II” is the second part and is always a short-lived interlude from the 80’s, this time with a warm vocal and keyboard inserts. From the Folk traits that mix with the symphonic prog “Beautiful Light” is a very intense track that manages to bring the traditional sounds in a fresh and modern context. The plots and intertwining of the instruments are complex and refined but accessible to the listener who is involved in the pleasant atmosphere created by the band. Rocky and energetic “Our Test Tube Universe” shows a more Rocky facet of the band’s sound with massive guitar riffs. Valuable keyboard inserts and tempo changes, with an intense instrumental section in the central part accompanies us to the finale with fine workmanship solo inserts. The album concludes with a 5-part suite “Flowing Through The Change” that exceeds 17 minutes in length. A pompous intro in pure Prog style with the keyboards in great evidence, then developing between continuous tempo changes and the strings and the guitar that guide the sound. The bass lines are deep and load-bearing and the vocal is very intense and full of pathos, with the sound that up to the middle develops on more symphonic and delicate atmospheres. Midway through the song pick up the intensity and the guitar and keyboards take the stage with solo duets backed up by a solid rhythm session. In constant change and touching various genres of Prog, this song is one of the backbones of the album and one of the most intense and best developed of the modern era. An excellent album that confirms this project as one of the best in recent years, skilled in creating elaborate but accessible tracks to the listener. The technique of the artists involved adds quality to the compositions, which are highly sought after and rich in high-level weaves. A must listen for all Prog lovers, a masterpiece and a very intense album from start to finish, quality ideas and an excellent executive and compositional technique are skilfully enhanced.

Tracklist

01. Conduit (7:00)
02. Nothing Wrong (6:17)
03. In The Night I (0:55)
04. Life-Line (5:55)
05. You Have It All (14:25)
06. In The Night II (1:14)
07. Beautiful Light (5:46)
08. Our Test Tube Universe (7:33)
09. Flowing Through The Change (17:24)
– i. Futureflow
– ii. In The Night III
– iii. Dreamflow
– iv. A New Beginning
– v. Dreams Are Coming True

Lineup

Adam Sears– lead vocals, synths, piano, organs
Andy Catt– bass, vocals
Peter Matuchniak– guitar
Hoyt Binder– guitar (Track 2)
Nate Olmos– guitar (Track 7)
Eric Moore– drums (Tracks 1, 5, 9)
Jimmy Keegan– drums (Tracks 4, 8)
Mike Gerbrandt– drums (Tracks 2, 7)
Billy Sherwood– vocals (Track 5)
Jon Davison– vocals (Track 5)
Ryo Okumoto– B3 organs, synths, and jazz piano (Tracks 1, 8)
String Quartet
Aiko Jimena Richter (Violin), Yvette Holzwarth (Violin), Thomas Lea (Viola), Hillary Smith (Cello) (Tracks 1, 4, 5, 9)
Andrea Whitt– viola, pedal steel (Tracks 1, 2, 7)
Rachel Grace– violin (Track 2)
Tawnee Lynn Lilo– French horn (Tracks 1, 4, 9)
Steve Huber– violin and viola (Track 3)
Michael Bernard– synth and drums programming
Raul Hernadez– additional guitars
Steven Leavitt– piano and B3, Moog, synth programming, maracas, tambourine, glockenspiel, vocals
Rich Mouser– additional rhythm and lead guitars, 12-string acoustic guitar, mandolin, shaker, tambourine, dilruba

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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