Book of Harmony is a New York-based Prog Rock band with a jazzier take on the style that stands out nicely alongside the scads of other Proggers in the world who take a more metal and rock approach. A quick listen to the band’s recent self-titled debut studio effort, Book of Harmony, reveals a unit with a lot of harmonic and rhythmic power that would rather paint pictures than run scale passages. All involved are more-than-capable musicians and do open up at the right times but keeping the overall vibe more song-oriented makes these tracks feel more accessible and less indulgent.
Book Of Harmony Approaches Pop Beauty
Make no mistake: this isn’t pop, it’s Prog for sure. The tracks are lengthy and complex and feature a great deal of challenging harmony. Vocalist Leah Martin is the glue that keeps holding all the elements together and gives Book of Harmony a unique signature sound with the way she layers her harmonies. Dig the all-vocal “Echoes of Freedom,” “Breathe Into Me,” and the cloud-like “Calling Angels” for a taste of what she does. Kensuke Shoji’s amazing violin playing also adds identity to the band and sits well against the expected guitar, bass, keyboard, and drum sounds.
Book of Harmony will find traction with fans of the more conceptual and adventurous areas of rock music, areas that allow for songs that are more than three minutes and three chords yet are not as metallic as, say, Dream Theater. As a debut record, Book of Harmony makes a big statement and seems to foreshadow a lot more compelling music still to come. It is rock for the thinking person, combining intelligent execution with the melodicism and drive we all instinctively respond to and getting results that should put this bunch on the national map rather quickly.
-Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com