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A double concept album, 18 tracks, 88 minutes and nowadays where the “all and now” reigns, where even listening to the music is something frantic, there is a musician like Bryan Beller that keeps the fire of music on, that music that requires attention and time.
Sit comfortably in an armchair, or let yourself be accompanied on a long journey, or walk in nature and in silence to enjoy every single note.
It sounds old-fashioned, but when  we rediscover it, we move away from a reality that is less and less “light” and I assure you that S.F.T.F. it will take you far, giving you energy, passion and lots of food for thought.
What happens when big storms hit our lives, what remains of us, what we keep and what we get rid of?
A cast of superstars:
Bryan Beller, Christopher Allis, Nili Brosh, Paul Cartwright, Darran Charles, Julian Coryell, Mike Dawes, Janet Feder, Guthrie Govan, Ray Hearne, Gene Hoglan, Mike Keneally, Jamie Kime, Fred Kron, Teddy Kumpel, Jake Howsam Lowe, Evan Mazunik, Nate Morton, Rick Musallam, Mike Olekshy, Griff Peters, John Petrucci, Matt Rohde, Joe Satriani, Rishabh Seen, Joe Travers, Leah Zeger
Album produced and composed by Bryan, apart from “Angels & Exits” written by Janet Feder.
The Scouring Of Three & Seventeen, masterfully opens this double album with rarefied atmospheres and a fairly dramatic piano that leads to a remarkable guitar arrangement and a second song called Volunteer State that is easy to listen to, not at all trivial and full of suggestions and seventies taste.
Notable introduction of bass on Everything and Nothing that translates into a song in which Bryan gives his best, on an exciting rhythm.
A Quickening takes us elsewhere, in an unprecedented psycho-electric world, little more than two really surprising and disturbing minutes that dive into a very hard Steiner in Ellipses where in the foreground we have a really excellent drum.
With Always Worth we return to more prog / fusion places and in Lookout Mountain you really have the impression of being on the top of a mountain, between cold wind and Tibetan bells. Close your eyes and you’ll be right there while a clever arrangement of acoustic guitars will suddenly make the sun rise.
In the mountains, at high altitudes the climate is always unpredictable, and here after a peaceful dawn, The Storm suddenly arrives,  to ruin everything, to ask us who we are and how to react immediately to save what can be saved, everything underlined by very sinister dissonances and very reassuring chromatic scales. Shortly after the middle of the song, everything settles down like in a real storm, and what remains is a desolate landscape in which only the damage count remains under a heavy rain that is increasing, leading to the inevitable The Flood and the water once a friend becomes an instrument of death, flooding and crushing anything without making distinctions, and in this passage a sense of powerlessness is given by a minimal and harmonically very dramatic disposition.
Bunkistan is a beautiful rhythmic / melodic painting that softens the previous tones, giving us breath and peace.
How to advertise by the martial rhythm takes us back to the horizons just as it does in the Army of the black rectangles.
The Outer Boundary in its minute and a half made of low tones, bells and harmonically very interesting keyboard arrangements leads us to Angels & Exits, the only track not signed by Beller. Almost 10 minutes, for a prog suite in which we have a vocal performance. Honestly I would have expected something more, not in terms of performance but rather of arrangement and development of the song that all in all for that length could have taken elsewhere, but evidently the choice had been sought and wanted.
The Inner Boundary leaves you breathless with its intensity and simplicity and brings you to the World Class among middle eastern rhythms and sounds, and it is a real journey, very articulate and full of brightly colored atmospheres.
Fresh Water is just a beautiful ballad full of pathos and melody that goes to Let go of Everything, which I would call a long dreamy outro, sometimes melancholy electronic last song of this beautiful story, almost the classic piece that Steven Spielberg would like to have at the end of his movie.
Excellent production, sound at top level quality , I did not deliberately dwell on the various performances as it would have been really superfluous, since we are in front of the musicians, Bryan Beller in command, excellences in the respective fields.