Naio Ssaion

Out Loud

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Naio Ssaion -- their press kit suggests "NAY-yo SAY-yon," approximately, but says nothing about what if anything it means -- is a Slovenian group whose music is an odd throwback to the strictly 1970s brand of progressive rock epitomized by Renaissance and Curved Air. Led by singer Barbara Jedovnicky and electric violinist Rok Kolar, the group blends mainstream hard rock with mild pop, jazz, folk, and classical influences in an arty yet entirely accessible blend. (The lyrics are in unaccented English.) The band is guaranteed at least a small cult following of hormonal teenagers based on Jedovnicky's stunning looks -- she's like Eastern Europe's answer to the actress Zooey Deschanel -- but the main devotees of Out Loud will most likely be fans of old-school British prog. This is an odd release for the fairly hardcore metal label Napalm Records, because these 13 songs have little metal influence at all: the closest equivalent the average American metalhead has heard to Out Loud is probably Kansas' "Carry on Wayward Son."

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