After the critically acclaimed predecessor “Aviation”, Frank Us and his cohorts present their latest album “The Penrose Triangle”.
With small pop gems, driving rock songs to lush epic progressive works with running times of just under one hour, LEGACY PILOTS again show the full range of their musicality: Todd Sucherman, Marco Minneman, Pete Trewavas, Lars Slowak, John Mitchell, Steven Rothery, Finally George, Eric Gillette, Jake Livgren, Ricky Garcia as well as Liza offer, as was hardly to be expected otherwise, their skills at the highest level. Nevertheless, the music is again in the foreground and not the undoubted virtuosity of the musicians.
The opener “Better Days” is characterized by a driving and intense groove and John Mitchell’s ability to write hooks comes through very clearly in the chorus: once heard, the melody burns itself indelibly into the memory.
Mad Kings” is about people in the highest offices, who intoxicate themselves with their power and twist the truth in their sense. Resemblance to still living persons is absolutely intended. Todd Sucherman plays an incredibly powerful and pounding beat here, Jake Livgren’s voice carries the listener away and Eric Gillette, you know him from the Neil Morse Band, offers a furious guitar on this track.
“Coast Cards” is quite different, a very quiet track that provides a respite with Liza’s soft almost fragile vocals. While it may seem like a pop track at first, a closer listen will reveal not only changes in meter, but also very delicate instrumentation.
The centrepiece of “The Penrose Triangle” should be “A Change of Mind”, which with a playing time of over 10 minutes is also the longest title on the new album. Here the content is about questioning one’s perspective in some moments. Things that seem obvious, are in fact not. Similar to looking at a Penrose triangle.
Marco Minnemann and Pete Trevawas are here again congenial partners in the rhythm section while “Finally George ” and Frank Us share the vocals.
An undisputed highlight for all friends of progressive instrumentals comes at the end of the album:
“A Compendium of Life” illustrates what life is all about – joy, complexity, tranquility, melancholy and just also unbridled energy.
With different metrics and also tempo changes, refined rhythmic structures, recurring melodic arcs that first end in elegiac grace and then in a fulminant finale, this nine-minute piece reflects the diversity of a single life.
Special attention should be paid to the drumming of Todd Sucherman, who displays the full range of his skills, and the bass playing of Lars Slowak, who perfectly supports both rhythm and harmonies. Not only as a composer but also on the keyboards Frank Us shows where his roots lie: More than on any other track, you can feel his connection to the golden years of progressive rock every second.
“The Penrose Triangle” takes its listeners once again on an audiophile journey, which despite a running time of almost 60 minutes, always knows how to captivate.
Who appreciates interesting and varied music, is in good hands here.