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King of Agogik - Exlex Beats CD (album) cover

EXLEX BEATS

King of Agogik

 

Neo-Prog

4.03 | 13 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An amazing journey through progressive rock!

First of all, I would like to thank Olav Bjornsen for introducing me to the music of Hans Jörg Schmitz, a talented German multi- instrumentist who creates music under the nickname of King of Agogik, a project which started back in 2006 and so far has given us five studio albums, being this one the latest and honestly, the first I knew. Schmitz is a wonderful drummer, we can notice that through the whole album, however, he also has the creativity to compose bombastic and challenging songs that work as an example of what progressive rock is about, and also as a rendition to some rock and prog icons.

The album features 11 songs and a total time of 77 minutes in which Schmitz and a lot of great musicians collaborate to give the listener a vivid musical journey, full of virtuosity and entertainment, in which symphonic prog and heavy rock meet, just as we can notice in the simply stunning "11th Sense", a mini-epic in which the music is fulfilled with energy and different changes, creating a truly progressive rock fiesta in which fragments of old and better known songs/bands are taken as a tribute and as wonderful elements that bring original music. Here you will remember (on purpose) Yes, AC/DC, ELP, Van Halen, Asia, among others.; and you might also associate of King of Agogik's music with other great musicians such as Willowglass. Great track!

Every time I listened to the album I wondered why this project is listed under the neo-prog genre, because the music is truly eclectic in spite of the evident symphonic tendency some tracks share. A great example of eclecticism comes in "Nomouglea" a song that has a beautiful folk-like first part, with a delicious violin included courtesy of Steve Unruh, but later the song changes and offers a terrific guitar solo that will make you have a memorable moment. In fact, there are several wonderful moments throughout the album, pieces of prog rock that any fan could appreciate.

It is incredible to see the different "faces" of King of Agogik from one track to another, however, all of them were composed and recorded with passionate musicians that let us know that progressive rock is alive and kicking asses, despite the low profile of projects like this have, profiles that we (the listeners, reviewers, etc.) should try to elevate. Artists such as the same Willowglass (Andrew Marshall) who collaborates in this album playing spanish guitar in "Sheol", another pretty eclectic track.

The musical journey might be endless here, so the surprises, because after some short tracks such as "Lick Me" which once again shares some renditions to old iconic songs such as My Sharona, Are You Gonna Go My Way or even Smeels Like Teen Spirit, King of Agogik delight us with a prominent 23-minute epic full of sounds, changes, rhythms, a mighty progressive rock rollercoaster that would satisfy any prog fan. I totally love the keyboard work here, it is amazing, and I like how they manage to make infinite changes and keep us enthusiasted listening to the music, so there are not weak moments here, I believe. In this long epic Schmidt makes another tribute, this time to Jethro Tull and the amazing Thick as a Brick.

The only thing I could say that did not make me happy is that the album is quite long, I mean, when the music is great you enjoy it no matter if it lasts 5, 30 or 60 minutes, but for a single record I believe 77 minutes are too much, so the listener could feel a bit tired in moments. But well, after all, I am so happy to see these kind of musicians creating wonderful music and spreading it through the world, because they deserve to be better known, the music speaks for itself.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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