Flying Colors - Third Degree
Wow, this being Flying Colors' third opus, which is aptly titled "Third Degree" makes hell of a sense, and is a musically stunning affair of nine soul enchanting songs.
Casey McPherson's and Neal Morse's singing complement each other so much on this album, you feel like as if you've been lifted off of your toes and into harmonious bliss, whoa. There is something very, very distinctive about these two voices, in that they really give Flying Colors' music so much character and depth, in the way the songs come across in varied emotions.
"Guardian" reminds of music that could have easily been on Pink Floyd's "The Division Bell" album. It has plenty of Pink Floyd-esque guitar harmonies and licks, which just grabs your attention the minute your hear it. You feel as if you've no choice but to dig really deep and get into the aural nuances of "Guardian". This is definitely one of the longest tracks on the CD almost clocking in at 12 minutes. This song is one of my favorites here as it has this magical power to carry your spirit into a world of solace and self realization.
Closing track "Crawl" is another one of those lengthy songs at 11 minutes, but has some really interesting dynamics with the synthesizer harmonies intermixed with the melodic guitar riffs and Casey's and Neal's interesting vocal patterns. When you add all this up with a solid rhythm section of bass guitars (Dave LaRue), drums (Mike Portnoy), and lead guitarist Steve Morse's skillfully executed solos and complex riffing, you're in complete musical nirvana.
Listening to Flying Colors' music, the listener is sure to conjure up in their mind, the myriad of colors each and every note generates on "Third Degree". The musicianship here is without a doubt some of the finest in the world of progressive rock, more in line with Yes, Marillion, Asia, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Rush, ELP and even Jethro Tull. All nine songs here have an identity of their own and makes this album a very complete package. As far as I am concerned, Flying Colors are not only in a league of their own but are in the same progressive rock genre defying bands mentioned above.
Proudly, I am a fan of Flying Colors and after a few spins don't be surprised if you find yourself ranting and raving about this superbly talented group of musicians. Excellent in all aspects, so don't pass this one up or you'll regret it.
Music Theories Recordings. Sarjoo Devani