Gregory J Bachman| Flying To The Land Of Z | Album Review (Installment #18)

Gregory Bachman| Flying To The Land Of Z 

Label: Independent
Release Year: 2014
Country: USA
Genre: Instrumental Progressive/Fusion Guitar Rock

Band Members

Gregory Bachman – All Guitars, Bass, Effects, Keyboards except where noted.
Tooltrack– Drum Sounds

Guest Musicians

Marvin Craft – Bass Guitar on ‘Positive Flow’
James Lee Humes – Guitar Solo on ‘Light Of Luna’ From 3:30-4:20
William Malone – Sax Solo on ‘Positive Flow’
Greg Shumake – Piano on ‘Positive Flow’

Contact Links 

Gregory J Bachman Official Website

Gregory J Bachman Official Facebook

Gregory J Bachman Official Reverbnation

Gregory J Bachman Official Youtube Channel

When it comes to a instrumental musical composition some artists will have the assistance of a vocalist to try and convey the story they are trying to depict. They have to be more creative. They have step out of the conventional wisdom that is afforded when you have a vocalist in the band to paint the picture in the mind of the listener through song and lyric. Essentially the instruments have to have an effect or vibe that moves the listener towards a vivid imaginary listening experience. 

Some current examples of this are Neal Schon, John Petrucci, Michael Romeo and Tony McAlpine. However another one has joined these same ranks. It is Colorado’s own Gregory J Bachman. His 2014 offering Fly To The Land Of Z is fully of emotion, jams, shredding and out of the box creativity.  Gregory J Bachman is beginning to create his own little niche in the Instrumental Progressive Rock And Jazz Fusion community.  It is not ‘if’ Gregory will make it but a matter of when and when the right audience connects to his brilliant craftsmanship on the guitar.  Let’s explore the project that is Fly To The Land Of Z

Fly To The Land Of Z opens with a straight away shred session. This is combined with a nice open fuzz effect. About the 1:35 mark their is some spoken word effects as if NASA are communicating with astronauts. There is a space fusion progression like that throughout this track. About the 3:00 mark he explodes into some serious finger scale work. About the 3:40 mark more spoken word progressions come from nowhere. 

Positive Flow starts off with a heavy bass progressive fusion set. It sounds rather more on the jazzy side with a hint of funk. This is all combined with more craft work on guitar. About the :47 mark there is a nice keyboard passage followed by a Sax solo at the :50 mark. Around the 2:10 mark there is a tasteful spoken word countdown effect. The rest of this track has various fusion based time signatures. There is one hook right after another hook. The bass surely shows up towards the end.

Summer Rain opens with a nice flow from the keyboards followed by a thunderstorm effect that you can hear throughout the track. About the 1:15 mark Gregory takes it almost in a bluesy progression that stays fluid through the track. The bass in the track sounds more percussive and complimentary to the special storm effects embed inside track. This gives the listener of a storm like atmosphere. Summer Rain continues to progress by layers as the track moves forward.

Innocent Sorrow begins with a lush subtle keyboard atmospheric effect that is followed in the backdrop by a guitar solo. About the 1:00 mark a nice piano enters the mix along with guitar and bass. Innocent Sorrow conveys both emotion and movement in its make up and engineering. About the 2:50 mark there are some easy surround effects. The bass in the appears to be slapped, plucked ans strummed. This track reminds me of elements Joe Satriani employed on 1987’s Surfing With The Alien.

Land Of Z serves as a transition track to the next part of the album. With slight drum roll effects and lush keyboard sound, it is as if you entered Act 2 of a stage play or musical.

Magic Dream Dust opens with a very deep rich keyboard synth passage that is complimented with a side by side piano overdub. This track is as if the listener woke up in a dream. At the 1:40 mark a subtle less abrasive guitar harmony enters into the composition. The guitar sounds like both a modern blues and jazz metal fusion element. There is some really cool progressions after the 4:00 mark before settling down again at the 4:40 mark.

Light Of Luna opens up like a classic AOR track in the vein of a Journey, Toto, Passenger or Jimi Jamison era Survivor. About the 1:00 mark the track often reminds me of Journey’s Send Her My Love off 1983’s Frontiers album. About the 2:00 mark there are some heavy elements of Neal Schon of Journey meets Jim Peterik of Survivor. At the 3:30 to 4:20 marks guest guitarist James Lee Humes explodes with a solo. Then the track settles in and Gregory handles a long fluid solo through the rest of the track. The track has a nice piano outro.

Ancient Mystery starts off like the listener is traveling through space and time thus continuing the journey in the album structure itself. The thunderstorm effects are back briefly in this one. At the 1:20 mark track takes on many guitar and instrumental progressions and time signatures. Ancient Mystery has so many progressions the listener is transported in the mind in a altered state of continuity. The time signatures manipulate the listener in thinking the track is longer than its actual 8:51 structure. Gregory overdubs so eloquently on guitar it seems like there is two lead guitars and a offset rhythm guitar all in tandem with one another. Ancient Mystery starts to make the listener realize there is a grand concept on the album.

Tidal Force is another wonderfully produced transition track. This is a straight up jazzy funk fusion track that seems to transport the listener to another act of a musical or stage production. Tidal Force is well done as not to make the listener complacent.

Ocean Sunrise reminds me of elements of The Who on Quadrophenia where they opened and closed the album with wave effects of the ocean crashing on the shore. About the 1:50 mark the track takes a heavy rhythmic turn and starts to ascend in progression. At the 2:58 mark there is some great neo progressive elements that come into play especially on the keyboard. The neo progressive elements give the album another turn in the journey that is Fly To The Land Of Z.  At the 4:00 mark you can get lost in the emotion and progression of the lead guitar elements. Ocean Sunrise overall is probably one of the heavier tracks on the album. About the 6:30 mark there is some nice scale work on the fret board. 

Little Hero starts with a nice settled atmosphere as if the listener is about to arrive to their final destination in the theater of the mind. Little Hero sounds much like a welcome home anthem. The listener has time to digest the album and the journey thus far in the melodic story. There is a sense of fullfilment and reflection. The track takes a series of jams at the 3:00 mark.

Yellow Rocket Boots starts off with the sounds of children playing in a playground. This is soon followed with a heavy progression of all the sum of the instrumental parts coming together. About the 1:00 mark it takes many twists and turns like a roller coaster of progressive riffs. It is constantly changing in and out of various hooks and keys. It is as if the listener has arrived to a harmonic feast of progressive absolution.

Although this did not have a narrative in it lyrically, Fly To The Land Of Z still manages to take the listener on a melodic journey. This album is structured for the more instrumental minded progressive or fusion listener. This also succeeds in allowing the listener their own journey in the theater of the mind. This album is not for everyone. It is for the discretion of a specific niche audience.  I give this a 4/5

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