Pete Steele, the sadly deceased singer of Type O Negative/Carnivore once said when his band was going to play a Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donnington, England that his band Type O Negative only had 45 minutes to slay the masses – they then proceeded to play only four songs. I remember laughing at the time as it was not what you would expect at a festival, but those songs were long and a highlight of the day. Now, you may be wondering why I am bring up a memory which has absolutely nothing to do with the band I am currently reviewing; well, it is all down to quantity and the length of time that a song. You see, this is the latest EP from New York Progressive Rock act Ampevene and it is one track and it is just over twelve and a half minutes long. When I was sent this, the first thought I had was that quote from Pete Steele and I am wondering if this music will have the same effect on me?
Ampevene are actually from Albany, New York and they are guided by Gabe Stallman on guitar and the Ampevene Ensemble are Ava Smith on keys, Jeff Nania on saxophone (sorry for missing you out earlier, my bad), Bob Morris on drums and Mack Hogan on bass. Upon looking at their Bandcamp page, only their first release was more than one tracks and their last one ‘Ampevene II’ was over twenty-five minutes long. So this is not going to be for your average Joe who is after three-minute pop-factory hits that all sound the same; these cats are aiming to expand your mind and take some of your time as payment (as they are releasing this EP as a ‘name your own price’ deal on Bandcamp). From the beginning I am hearing Mars Volta, ELP, Rush, Lionize and early Genesis, plus it almost goes punk at one point. It is a strong track, going from all out sonic attack to crazy bridge, from random lyrics to a fantastic solo; it does not stay in one style and it is all blended into one glorious song that just keeps giving, it is a strong track and once it has finished, you are wondering where the time went and how did it seem to pass so fast. I really like this song, it is a fantastic prog song and it goes in so many different directions. Only flaw, I wish there was more to listen to; but other than that, I really cannot sing its praises any higher. So Pete Steele needed 45 minutes to slay the masses, these guys took twelve……
4.5 out of five – This is really good, well worth checking out