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FM - Transformation CD (album) cover

TRANSFORMATION

FM

 

Prog Related

3.91 | 32 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Reboot, Re-Awaken

Progressive Rock has seen an absolutely incredible resurgence in recent years with many classic bands making surprising and excellent comebacks. Canada's FM returns to the scene here with their first new studio album in almost 30 years (and almost 40 years since the band's original formation in 1976). Transformation is a stellar album showing a more mature sound and eclectic style than the band's early albums. What remains is the strong presence of violins here also further augmented by viola and mandolins over the standard drums, bass, keyboards, and vocals. I think I can also hear some flutes and even brass instruments occasionally. Unlike most Rock bands, FM does not however involve any guitars, but sometimes the violin takes on a guitar-like sound. I can hear similarities with acts as diverse as Curved Air, Gentle Giant, Kansas, and Nektar. There is a folky flavour to some of the songs, especially in virtue of the mandolin and fiddle.

Comparing this album to what I've heard from the band before, the sound of Transformation is quite different. The sole original member left is Cameron Hawkins, perhaps symbolized by the lone figure on the cover? While the band's new sound intrigued me right away, the melodies took a few listens to sink in and make their proper impact. After several listens it became clear that Transformation is indeed an excellent album and personally I think that it surpasses the band's early albums. Though, as pointed out, this is obviously a rather different beast, and which you prefer will depend on which style you like more. I would recommend this album even to people who were not very impressed by earlier albums of the band. Fans of Crossover, Eclectic Prog, and Prog Folk might want to give this a chance.

A very nice surprise and an excellent album in its own right!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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