An Endless Sporadic- Magic Machine

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Formed in 2004 by Zach Gammis and Andy Gentile, An Endless Sporadic have endured a somewhat strange and unique existence thus far. Their brand of vividly obscure instrumental progressive rock has already been featured in high-profile video games, most notably the inclusion of the mind-boggling noodling of “Impulse” on Guitar Hero 3 garnering them some notoriety.

Since their self titled 2009 album however the unit has proven quiet, taking seven years to release a follow-up full-length, and some changes in the ranks. The departure of Gentile saw Animal As Leaders’ Navene-Kopperweis behind the kit and Jonas Reingold of The Flower Kings on bass. Not to mention guest appearances by Jordan Rudess adding to their wonderfully chaotic mix.

Instrumental prog albums generally prove busy and frenetic and Magic Machine (Self released) is no different, but even so, the depth it provides is simply staggering. Venturing further down the rabbit hole on this album, Gammis has combined the tangent structures of previous with further quirky instrumentation and a backdrop which veers from contemporary sounds and classical/early influences. Each song is packed with ideas and never sits on one direction for too long, but does so without sounding cumbersome and messy. “Finding The Fall” for example takes a large passage of modern tech metal riffing, before interspersing with Jethro Tull like, flute led folk tinged rock and even violins further in.

In its atmosphere throughout it effortlessly alternates between that of sci-fi to the likes of fantasy, again, without hesitation. The opening to ‘Sky Run’ brings up forest imagery complete with woodwind instruments, contrasting to its synth and guitar work. As colourful and downright bizarre as this all sounds, Magic Machine is a complex yet captivating listen which offers what should be a mismatch of styles but instead works with aplomb.

8.0/10

CHRIS TIPPELL

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