Parallel Mind Colossus ADEA
by Scott "Dr. Music" Itter 6/2005
1. Chromanic 2. Opposite Of Know 3. Colossus ADEA - The Guardian 4. Into The Depths
5. Underwater Cities 6. Resurface Earth 7. Casa De Jig 8. Beginning's End
Joe Babiak (Drums)
Nibandh Nadkarni (Keyboards)
William Kopecky (Bass)
Unicorn Digital Records / Release Date: April 1, 2005 / Overall rating: 9
I hate records like this. You know, the ones that have so many marvelous things happening that you'll never be able to tell everyone about all of them. I mean, how do I tell of the small things, like some of the amazing cymbal patterns being played by drummer Joe Babiak; or the wicked bass lines being played by bass virtuoso William Kopecky; or the variety of keyboard segments from keyboardist Nibandh Nadkarni that had me scraping my jaw off the linoleum? What right do these guys in Parallel Mind have, making me review this complex and utterly astounding record of theirs? Yeah, that's right, they're "making me" do this review; because, you see, I haven't been able to sleep since I started listening to this stuff. And, until I tell the world as much about this record as I possibly can, I will not be able to rest peacefully.
Parallel Mind is a progressive, almost jazz fusion, trio consisting mainly of keyboards, bass, and drums. They will, at times, sound like 70's classic rock bands like Kansas, Yes, Angel, or Emerson, Lake & Palmer. At other times, their sound will be more Herbie Hancock meets Bob James with Narada Michael Walden on drums. (And let me tell you, I don't get reminded of Narada very often while listening to music today. Drummer Joe Babiak is one very special, gifted musician.) And, to top it all off, these sounds are all arranged with a modern Dream Theater-like precision and intensity. So, here's what I'm going to do with this monster. I'm going to give you the breakdown of each thing that needs to be heard here, and give you the exact place to find each of them. Damn these guys for making a stinking record review into a seminar on music theory and analysis. Jeez.
||0:01: That's right, from the very first second things get interesting. We hear the staccato pounding of high pitched keys that remind the listener of the shower scene in "Psycho".
2:15: Bassist William Kopecky assumes a lead guitar-like role, and carries the entire song with a simply pulchritudinous riff that has the rest of the band stepping back for a few moments. This is a quality that Kopecky has shown me numerous times with some of his other projects, and a rare quality only found in the best of bass players.
5:40: Guest musician Saar Schnitman unleashes a guitar solo that acts as a centerpiece to the fourteen minute-plus song. The setting for the solo makes for a moment that is reminiscent of a solo from, say, "Time" from Pink Floyd's classic, "Dark Side Of The Moon"; but at the same time, the guitar sound is more Yngwie Malmsteen than David Gilmour.
A really interesting and beautifully placed solo.
7:52: A drum segment that smokes.
8:05: A trumpet solo that smokes.
8:51: A Deep Purple-like keyboard solo that smokes.
2. Opposite Of Know
||0:40: Yeah, it took a whopping 40 seconds this time. Excuse me while I piece my jaw back together. This is a keyboard intro of lightning speed, and a vibrancy that sets the tone for a perfect arrangement.
4:04: A new keyboard sound is introduced that is reminiscent of, say, 70's keyboard-based band Angel and their keyboard master Gregg Giuffria.
5:50: Just another straight out keyboard solo jam, backed by one of the best rhythm sections you will ever hear.
During this entire track we hear drummer Joe Babiak going through an excruciating drill with rolling toms, and some shining percussion that is just flabbergasting. And, of course, Kopecky is doing his thing once again.
This song has an overall mood and keyboard sound reminiscent of, say, "Magnum Opus" from the great Kansas album "Leftoverture".
3. Colossus ADEA - The Guardian
||Another song reminiscent of the Kansas keyboard sound. This may be the best track to hear Babiak and Kopecky give a clinic on what a rhythm section should sound like. They hammer out a groove while doing all sorts of fills, and the like.
4. Into The Depths
||With whale-like sounds that seem to be submersed, and a haunting Indian Classical vocal from Suman Nadkarni, this is a song that plays out like the score to a horror film or some "Titanic" dark moments. This is definitely the "moodiest" piece on the record. It takes the record in an entirely different direction, without jeopardizing the flow of the record in the least bit. The track comes at a perfect time in this set.
5. Underwater Cities
||0:01: Listen to bassist William Kopecky follow the piano intro. His playing compliments the piano piece perfectly. And as the piano piece changes, Kopecky's playing changes also, but never strays from keeping the flawless rhythm of the song.
2:26: Keyboardist Nibandh Nadkarni changes the sound of his keys, and plays an ELP-like solo that acts like the traditional guitar would in any classic rock song.
6. Resurface Earth
||0:01: Listen to that drum intro. Yes, yes, yes.
0:48: Kopecky is playing a 6-string bass on this record, and he shows you what it is capable of here. He plays a small accompaniment solo that shines.
1:38: Once again, the keyboards change and play out like a wailing guitar before settling back into the base rhythm of the track once again.
7. Casa De Jig
||0:01: Oh my, what a great melody! Listen again to Kopecky just go into a frenzy of funky bass fills here, and throughout this entire track. This guy is unbelievable.
4:04: The band goes into a Latino-like jig, complete with a jamming trumpet, and then settles back into the form of the song.
5:36: Hand claps. That's a sure intro to a Irish fiddle led jig; and the group does not disappoint. With guest violin player Hamid Assian playing his fiddle like a true Irishman, it's enough to make The Dubliners or The Drovers stand up and take notice.
This is my favorite song on the record for a number of reasons. The light, airy melody is loose and free, and just a joy to listen to. Kopecky's bass on this track is stupendous, and I just can't believe I'm actually hearing someone this good. I think this song is artistic genius that incorporates all the great elements of Jazz, while sticking to a progressive rock style. Amazing.
8. Beginning's End
||0:01: What a menacing intro of swirling synthesizer! This thing just screams, "I'm going to be heavy!"
2:05: Babiak starts it with a drum beat, Kopecky rocks a brilliant bass line, and then Nadkarni lets loose with a dark, crushing keyboard sound that is just devastating. The darkest moment on the record happens right here, and it's beautiful.
5:12: Ahhh . . . yet another incredible bass solo.
9:44: After a dreamy dip in the song's progression, a welcome change in keyboard sound opens up into an elaborate solo of grand proportion, and then gently walks us through to the end of the track, and the album.
These are stunning performances that I am still amazed by. These are three of the most talented musicians in the world.
William Kopecky proves, once again, that he can play anything. With The Flyin' Ryan Brothers and Michael Angelo he plays hard rock, with Far Corner he plays an eclectic chamber sound, and here he plays a jazz fusion / progressive rock chart, much like his primary band KOPECKY, that is of immeasurable skill.
Drummer Joe Babiak is a precision player. He adds drum fills constantly. He plays his kit like a doctor doing heart surgery. A finely crafted, perfectly executed attack that leaves the patient thankful he had the procedure done. I mentioned Narada Michael Walden earlier. I never thought I would say this, but . . . this guy is pretty close. And then there is the man on the keys, Nibandh Nadkarni. I cannot even begin to explain what this man has done here. I can honestly say that this may be the best recorded keyboard performance I think I have ever heard. I will just leave it alone, right there.