Priam

Diffraction

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Priam's second CD takes the French quartet's sound developed on Three Distances/Irregular Sings further down the experimental road, while holding on to its jazz-rock and space rock origins. Most tracks feature Chris Casagrande's impressive guitar work. He has learned Allan Holdsworth's lessons and found a way to put something personal in his sound. Laurent Lacombe-Colomb provides dizzying keyboards, and his interplay with Casagrande recalls Fonya's own brand of space rock. Bertrand Hulin-Bertaud (bass) and Emma M. (drums) provide suitable rhythmic flooring. Guest musicians include a saxophone quartet on "Congruatic Blvd," electric violin, various percussionists, and a choir. Where Diffraction becomes really interesting is when the jazz-rock/space rock frame is relegated to the backstage to make room for a classical choir ("Stella..."), Arabic singing ("...In Pace"), or even short, deeper, sonic experimentations (the intro and conclusion of the kaleidoscopic "Sensitiviris [Chrysalid Square]"). Fast-paced numbers like the title track are appreciated, but the band's numerous trips out of the jazz-rock genre are what makes Diffraction an unpredictable and highly enjoyable CD. With this release, the musicians of Priam proved they were more than a nice rocking progressive rock-gone-jazzy combo -- that they were able to sculpt impressive aural journeys allying virtuosity and art.

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