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Jam It! - Following The Unknown CD (album) cover

FOLLOWING THE UNKNOWN

Jam It!

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.75 | 19 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Once again I feel satisfied for the recommendations that I receive via web. This time, I was asked by Nikolaj (who already introduced me to the amazing Pandora Snail) to listen to another Russian band whose music would not let me down, this band was Jam it! A band whose music was unknown to me but that right now I appreciate a lot, simply because the music is great. So Jam it! Is a four-member band that was formed back in 2006 inspired by Mike Portnoy and Dream Theater's music; they have so far released 3 studio albums being Following The Unknown the most recent one, released in 2015. The music can be easily categorized as jazz fusion, and though it does have some metal-like or heavier tunes, I can say this album does not sound like Dream Theater of its offshoots at all.

It features seven songs making a total time of 58 minutes. The opener is "Following The Unknown", an amazing progressive-jazz-fusion song with an outstanding guitar work, though I must say the four members create awesome music, all playing their instruments doing their best but working for the band, so it is evident that at least musically speaking, they get on well each other so the result is pure bliss for the listener. This is a solid song that perfectly works as the opener for this album. "Sea Breeze" is a bit friendlier, I mean, the sound is catchier for prog fans and even for pure jazz fans. After a couple of minutes the song introduces heavier tunes that talks about that influence bands such as Planet X could have had on Jam it! This is a nice song but not my favorite of the album.

"Through the Forest" is a great track, exquisite jazz fusion more in the jazzy side than in the metal one, definitely, with even some 70s nuances that remind me mainly of Dixie Dregs. Great bass lines and amazing drums, complemented of course by the "leading instruments" such as guitar and keyboards. "Mountain of Solitude" is a longer track, reaching almost the 10-minute mark, this one is not that bombastic like the opener, here the sound and rhythm are softer, much softer but enjoyable as well; and though later it progresses and implement new nuances and atmospheres, I think there is something missing, so I could never fall in love with this track.

In "Avalanche" the instruments that caught my attention at first were drums and bass, but mainly drums and that is something not common on me, I actually use to give less importance to drums because they are not my favorite instrument, so when I notice it from the beginning is because they must be awesome, just like they are in this song. I like how the band makes those nice changes, from a soft melodic tune to heavier and rockier moments, all played with delicacy and ambition, always taking care of details. This is one of my favorite tunes here. "Into the Mist" is a softer and shorter track, but man, it is a delicious one. Here its delicacy matched with me, so since the very first time I listened to it I loved it. Music for my senses!

And finally the longest one: "Random Name Hero". A progressive metal / jazz fusion epic with several contrasts, passages that go from soft nuances to heavy and powerful textures. Here I love the work of keyboards and how the band dedicates every single minute of the song to bring different experiences, passages that might tell a story guided by the lead instrument in turn and by the intensity of the sound. Of course, the guitar riffs are also amazing, so it was a great decision to finish the album with this epic track, summing up the best face of Jam it!

The album is wonderful, the musicians are incredibly talented and since I first listened to the album I like it overall, however, I think there are some uneven moments, some passages that I did not love and that in a bad day, I might skip (it has not happened, but might happen), which is why I will give this album 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |

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