[Review] Octavision – Coexist

Octavision is a project of the guitarist and composer Hovak Alaverdyan formed in 2016 with the collaboration of top level artists from all over the world. The result is a supergroup that counts in its ranks musicians among the best of the Progressive scene such as Billy Sheehan, Jeff Scott Soto, Victor Wooten, Roman Lomtadze, Murzo and Avo Margaryan on blul. With this stellar line-up, on December 29, 2020 they release “Coexist” containing 7 tracks of medium-long duration mainly instrumental, except the 2 sung by Jeff Scott Soto, also author of the lyrics. The compositions are brilliant, as well as the execution is superb with all the technique and virtuosity of the artists involved which is expressed at the highest levels. The “Mindwar” opener features powerful guitar riffs, electronic sounds in the rhythm and orchestral layers of the keyboard, resulting in a boombastic sound. The continuous tempo changes and the intricate rhythmic session are an added value, passing from more taut moments to more calm ones. The guitar and the blue alternate in the solo inserts, giving space in the second part even to a single keyboard. An excellent start that immediately plunges us into the atmosphere of the album. “Coexist” is the title-track and starts with a slower rhythm but with darker and heavier sounds with an excellent work of effects on the instruments. It is also the first of the two sung tracks, with Jeff’s unmistakable voice blending with the music, always very expressive and passionate. The intensity increases with the passage of the piece, which alternates more powerful sections with more melodic openings, and then in the second part becomes more intricate with a sequence of virtuous solos and a pompous orchestral section. “Proctagon” is characterized by an oriental percussive intro and then develops a massive Prog Metal theme with an accelerated rhythm. In the first part the guitar is the protagonist with a valuable solo insert, followed by another keyboard and the piece is a continuous succession of tempo changes and virtuosity of the highest level. An instrumental piece that always leaves us with bated breath and in constant change. certainly one of the highlights of the album in terms of technique. “Apocalyptus” is the longest track on the record and continues on the line of the previous one, with the addition, however, of the vowel which is sometimes clean and sometimes smooth. In the long instrumental section all the instruments have the space to express themselves freely by showing the technique of the musicians involved with a very complex and elaborate final of absolute power and speed. With the return of the initial theme the piece closes with the last vocal parts. Already released as a single “Three Lives” is another of the longer tracks, exceeding 9 minutes in duration. An interweaving between keyboard and guitar characterizes the very tight beginning, and then decelerates and becomes more elaborate. The alternation of accelerated rapids and softer openings guides us throughout the track and makes it very interesting and original. Another very difficult piece to reproduce that only artists of this level could give birth, a unique mix of style and technique. “Stormbringer” begins with atmospheric noises and a melancholic harp guitar on an orchestral carpet, giving us a dreamy moment. With the entry of all the instruments we return to the field of Prog Metal, developing here however a softer theme that increases in intensity with the passing of the minutes. The solo inserts are valuable, as are the bass lines that are load-bearing and penetrating. Closes the album “So It Begins” which kicks off with plots close to Fusion with a high concentration of virtuosity, then transforming itself into a bursting Prog Metal. Blue adds a touch to the melodies and this track is the perfect conclusion to the album, keeping the quality and technique expressed at a very high level. Here, too, we find some original ideas and the usual time changes that are right and artfully executed. A concentrate of technique and unique power, an album that perfectly summarizes the concept of Prog Metal, infused with technique, tempo changes and intricate passages that are very complex but at the same time pleasant. All the virtuosity expressed here is never an end in itself, but it makes this record a masterpiece of its kind, reaching very high stylistic and technical levels.An album that I am convinced will soon become a Prog Metal must-have, one of the best releases. of the last years. A big applause all the artists involved who have given life to a work that at every listening always gives us pleasant ideas and reveals its exquisite quality.

Tracklist

01.Mindwar (07:19)
02.Coexist(07:48)
03.Proctagon (05:28)
04.Apocalyptus(09:58)
05.Three Lives (09:38)
06.Stormbringer (05:41)
07.So It Begins(08:06)

Lineup

Jeff Scott Soto / Vocals
Hovak Alaverdyan / Guitars
Victor Wooten / Bass
Billy Sheehan / Bass
Roman Lomtadze / Drums
Murzo / Keyboards
Avo Margaryan / Blul

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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