Flaud Logic is a new and ambitious project by Brooklyn, New York composer/keyboardist/vocalist Michael Kaplan and is one of those great albums that has a huge diversity of styles that all fit neatly into the composer’s vision. In this case, as Kaplan puts it so well, the album is “painted by careful instrumentation and vivid lyrics. Moments of bone-crushing metal, the clockwork intricacy of mathcore, and retro Beatles-era rock, meet soaring and uplifting passages and catchy hooks.” The music is also reminiscent to me of what Spock’s Beard did so well with their masterpiece Snow – that great, epic diverse album that was both very sophisticated and yet so beautifully simple. The music on this debut is an extremely well-crafted yet also a highly accessible album that can appeal just as easily to prog rock or metal fans as to those people who also happen to like adventurous and exciting melodic music with a touch of orchestral flair.
For starters, the album has a great cast of musicians including guitarist Michael Romeo (Symphony X), Frank Wyatt (of legendary 70’s prog rock group Happy The Man), phenomenal jazz keyboardist Benny Lackner, drummer Joe Bergamini (also from latter-day incarnations of Happy The Man and many other projects) and a whole host of singers and instrumentalists. To accommodate a cast like that Kaplan uses a compositional arsenal that includes epic prog rock, jazz fusion, Pink Floyd-style space rock (with a great female singer, Amy Ward to evoke the greatness of Dark Side of The Moon), and great use of vocal harmonies (sometimes jazz and at others even evoking The Beach Boys). It’s pretty obvious that Kaplan is not wedded to any one particular style and that’s all to his credit as he’s able to put it all together so well.
The album starts with three songs and then ends with the 28-minute suite, One Year. The opener, Secret Engine, is a total killer. At nine minutes, it begins as an epic prog rock piece with a slow stately, almost classical theme before morphing abruptly into a full-on up-tempo prog rock piece featuring Wyatt’s sax over Kaplan’s multi-varied use of keyboards. Then about halfway through, the song morphs into a great blues rocker before ending with a slow, passionate vocal-led performance by Ty Blue. It’s a phenomenal and exciting piece and is a great way for Kaplan to introduce himself to the world. The next song, Say Goodbye has a strong jazz influence in the beginning with some great vocal harmonies and electric piano before also ending like the previous song in classic dramatic prog rock fashion. Shanna is a nice pop tune right before the multi-part epic One-Year, a hopeful but ultimately sad epic about a new couple having to wait a year before seeing each other again after first meeting and then finding that the spark is gone. One Year goes through the many changes you’d expect from an epic that purports to describe all of the turmoil of a long-distance romance and ultimate heartbreak and has many moments of soft beauty, excitement, melancholy and finally finishes with a hopeful flourish. It’s a great, sophisticated epic that will easily appeal to anyone who likes music that seamlessly fuses tons of disparate elements into a cohesive whole and it really shows all of Kaplan’s influences so well from the soft and melancholy to all of his harder-edged rock and fusion influences.
Honestly this is just a great album that Kaplan’s put a lot of heart and soul into and if this first album of his is any indication of what’s to come he’ll definitely be a major player in the progressive music world and hopefully beyond just that scene. The album will be available for purchase on March 31 and you can order it then or pre-order it via the Amazon.com link below.
If you want to keep up with our reviews, interviews and other news in the world of progressive metal, please subscribe to our email list and don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook (via the sidebar link) or follow us on Twitter (@Progmetalzone).