Never Pet a Burning Dog

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The morphing of Canterbury jazz fusion into prog rock has been a slow but steady changing of the guard, headlined by the participants of the trio dubbed douBt. Electric keyboardist Alex Maguire, electric guitarist Michel Delville, and drummer Tony Bianco are taking yet another step forward with this heady and potent brand of heavy music based in large beats and even bigger amplified sounds. Assisted on three tracks by one of the British pioneers of this music in bassist/vocalist Richard Sinclair (ex-Caravan, Camel, Hatfield & the North, etc.), douBt leave no question as to intent, where their music stems from, and where it's moving toward. At times loud and hard rock-faced, as on "Laughing," with heavy metal casts with rhythm changes for "Cosmic Surgery," or thrusting with loose, raw power during "Beppe's Shelter," the group is not shy in turning up the volume and the gothic dread dynamics. "Sea" is extremely busy with Maguire's keyboards underneath Delville's sizzling guitar, and snarly on Terje Rypdal's "Over Birkerot," but Sinclair urges the band into some lighter funk or waltz tempos that accurately reflect the Canterbury sound of the old days. Maguire is the centerpiece instrumentalist on Fender Rhodes, Hammond B-3, Mellotron, synthesizers, and some acoustic piano, a developing voice to keep close tabs on in the future.

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