Band: Long Distance Calling
Album: Long Distance Calling
Genre: Instrumental Prog
An often criticized point of much prog music is that there is too much wankery, or perhaps too much wondering, that often times the song itself is lost. However this is hardly a complaint when it comes to instrumental music, where pushing the limits of your capabilities is almost a requirement to be taken seriously. What Long Distance Calling has done is break that mold, and even within instrumental music they have managed to return the focus on the song.
While contemporaries Scale the Summit managed to effectively achieve similar ends with short concise songs, Long Distance Calling have done it with pure simplicity. I’m not saying the guys in the band are sub-par musicians, far from it, but even with many songs clocking in at over seven minutes, all the songs seem to flow wonderfully. The songwriting is so focused, one wishes the band would take advantage of the situation and add a vocalist, and that wish is granted, for one track at least. The eight and a half minute “Middleville” features the guest talents of Armored Saint and ex-Anthrax vocalist John Bush, who helps demonstrate the potential the band has if they ever decide to add a vocalist in the future.
Of course the six other tracks on the album feature only the instruments the German based quintet bring to the table, and top to bottom those tracks deliver. I think it’s a true credit to the band that they manage to be highly compelling with very little flash, a trait perhaps best displayed on the album’s final and longest track, “Beyond the Void”. The track takes more than three minutes to really get started and yet I wouldn’t cut a single second.
If I had to lodge one complaint, it would be that while the focus on song-writing is refreshing, and very well executed, a little pizzazz wouldn’t hurt now and again. One might listen to the album several times and not remember one track from another despite all the tracks being great, simply because not enough sticks out to make each track memorable. This is a minor complaint though, and now that I’ve been exposed to this band I look forward to their future output knowing it will, as a whole most likely stand out against the other bands and artists of the genre.
Nick's Rating: 9/10