Sunday, 24 July 2016

Contact "First Contact" (2014)

Two years before "Zero Moment" the Pittsburgh based duo release this, their debut record, a shorter listen at twenty seven minutes between the four tracks its made of. Much like its successor a clean and animated assembly of synthesizer instruments play Progressive Rock with a VGM characteristic about it. Like in the first record the opening self titled track jumps right into the prog style with a bold, warm and thick synth lead that guides the song with an active melody. After this one the prog takes a back seat to a much calmer and ambient tone as the jovial leads give way to looping background melodies and accompanying strings. On "Terminal Point" a light Rock guitar fuzz's in with a fading overdrive in the opening moments and returns later to play a subdued solo with synths dancing between its breaks. It finds a terrific climax in the end as the guitar and drums continue to grow in volume.

"Distant Voices" slows the tempo down and lightens the percussion as we gently drift through a void of minimalism, with a quiet melody looping in the distance and various instruments taking the lead in a very subdued manor. Its executed brilliantly, creating a warm and friendly atmosphere that feels a little mysterious given the brooding baseline which pops in spaciously with its melody. Some light vocals creep in too, used to sound like another atmospheric synth.

"Icefall" builds up slow, starting with atmosphere its set the tone for another ambient track of subtly and slow progression. At the midway point it picks up pace with fast bustling synths and opens up into an epic setting that feels like reaching a destination. Each song is interesting in its own way and the band seem to sway between its Progressive Synth sound and what I could most accurately describe as VGM music with a hint of ambience. Both aspects are brilliant, even though they are executed well together I get a sense that something greater could come of their music. Either way its an enjoyable half hour of time spent.

Favorite Track: First Contact
Rating: 6/10