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Deluge Grander

The Form of the Good

(Emkog; US: 14 Apr 2009; UK: 10 Apr 2009)

Dan Britton, keyboardist and composer behind the Baltimore quartet Deluge Grander, doesn’t want his band’s music to be labeled progressive rock, so let’s call the group’s 2009 sophomore album, The Form of the Good, symphonic rock. This is an apt description for an outfit who augments its core of guitar, bass, drums and keys with cello, clarinet, violin, oboe and other entries from the orchestra pit. Also, aside from some brief chanting, there are no vocals on the record. Then again, it would be unfair to both the band and its likely audience to shy too far away from the prog tag. Fans of Genesis, Camel and ELP are the people who will want to experience these 53 minutes of complex, epic rock. There are changes in tempo and time signature, an emphasis on exacting musicianship over grooves and a good many solos. There’s even what would appear to be a sample of a dying Pac Man midway through “The Tree Factory”. Mostly, though, The Form of the Good is far from frivolous. Britton is serious and passionate about his music, and he clearly devoted many hours to writing and scoring these pieces. Densely woven and delivered at a furious rate, the melodies here are a bit hard to latch onto, but the grandeur of Deluge Grander is apparent. For all you prog fans who think the lyrics are often kind of dorky, the symphonic and progressive rock found on The Form of the Good is for you.

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Michael Keefe is a freelance music journalist, an independent bookstore publicist, and a singer/guitarist/songwriter in a band. Raised on a record collection of The Beatles, Coltrane, Mozart, and Ravi Shankar, Michael has been a slave to music his whole life. At age 16, he got a drum set and a job at a record store, and he's been playing and peddling music ever since. Today, he lives in Oregon with his wife (also a writer, but not about music), two cats, and a whole lot of instruments and CDs.


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