The Emkog label is a newcomer on the progrock scene, but, given hideously excellent taste in superior music and bands, it shouldn't be long before the shining beast takes its place as a pre-eminant venue for sonic omnivores ravening for bliss in compact disc soma. Their entire roster is so imbued with European sophistications that it comes as a shock the whole shebang is based in Maryland. All Over Everywhere is one of the enterprise's five acts and drenched in neoclassical decadence and grandeur, a 10-person gender-paritied band boasting a thick wall of Byzantine sound and imagery.
Last year, I lauded a musician named Sipo who issued the mind-blowing Year of the White Rose, vaporizing the roof, launching to the Crab Nebula. All Over Everywhere is in the same category, but they're headed for darker realms. Think Van der Graaf Generator blended with Thinking Plague and Michael Mantler with oceans of keyboards (lotsa mellotron!) tossed in as a senescent sun fades into eerie horizons, the globe rumbling with lamentation. As with all Emkog product, the listener will not be allowed to ignore vaulting magisterially amid intimidating chopsmanship. As a critic, I've long looked askance at the profound absence of practice hours noticeably not logged in by too many new prog acts over the past two decades, but Emkog and its cadre rather handily starts to dash that notion on the rocks.
All Over Everywhere is florid and delineative simultaneously, as lush as a Rousseau painting but just as well outlined. One must heed their work many times to take in the rich palette properly—so many layers, so much detail! No mention is made of the engineering job, but whoever cohered this beauty must have had a hellish time balancing everything so well. Flutes, violins, zithers, oboes, vibes, guitars, pianos, synths, a virtual cornucopia of instruments and the most surreal aspect, perhaps, is that not one axe ever really steps out for a solo. Yet this is prog in the grand style despite that, as laboriously wrought, as literately encoded as the masterpieces of old…again, emphasis on the Euro strain and its immersion in much older cultures and aesthetic traditions.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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