Album: 1975 Triptych
Genre: Progressive Rock
Released: January 22nd, 2015
Members: Jonathan Casey (Vocals, Keys); Colin Sullivan (Guitar); Mark Grist (Drums); Darragh Dennis (Bass Guitar)
The Irish progressive rock band M-Opus have an interesting vision. Their music is what I can only describe as a temporal journey in a musical time-machine, only it comes with a fantastic concept: “What if 70’s music wasn’t written like pop-garbage?” This short-but-sweet EP titled 1975 Triptych is an experiment unlike any I’ve ever heard before: It’s not metal, and that’s fine. The chords and rhythmic designs are genius, simultaneously modern and nostalgic (I wasn’t born in the 70’s but I’ve enjoyed more than a fair share of music from that era).
1975 Triptych is a truly-refreshing experience, bringing the instruments and stylistic approach that was so popular in its day and cleaning it up with much better production and more innovative rhythms. M-Opus got it right, even down to the drum kit. However, 1975 Triptych is just a taste. Behind the scenes, M-Opus have been working on a full-length release that will expand on the concepts of this EP that is set to release in March.
Here’s how I feel about each of the songs:
This is a spectacular and exciting blast-from-the-past with familiar instrumentation. It starts with a phased guitar fade-in with progressive chords. Although the writing is much more complex and immersive than the music it’s aiming to emulate, it’s great that they managed to capture that feeling while modernizing the arrangement.
I LOVE the chords that introduce this track. Talkbox/Vocoder is also a guilty pleasure of mine, so I love being surprised by its presence. The bass guitar was one of the most memorable parts of 70’s music in my opinion, and they’ve captured it well. Something they also captured well was their synthesized arpeggios. They have clearly done their research! When I first read the track length, which is just under 34 minutes, I thought it was that glitch that sometimes affects corrupted sound files, but it’s actually that long, not that I’m complaining!
I’m trying to avoid using the word “blend” but that’s truly what this song is. It’s not only a blend of modern and vintage, but one of all types of music from that era. In its length, it can only be a few minutes of actual content, right? WRONG! The entire song transforms throughout, and constantly maintains its energy. Even through ambient pads and quiet transitions, there is a plethora of material to keep you invested. I’m especially fond of the Mediterranean vibe that starts just after 20 minutes through.
Wasps starts a lot like Travelling Man, with the swelling introduction that evolves. There is so much going on once it kicks in, but not in a way that’s distracting or noisy. It’s slow in tempo but features relatively quick kick rhythms around the snare. The bass guitar across the whole EP is great, but I think the simplicity on this song allows it to take the stage. The bass tones are just a few fundamentals deep, but are boosted in a way that bring it forward nicely.
FFO: Troy Baker, The Doors, Keith Arem, Led Zeppelin, Daft Punk, Pink Floyd.
Pros: They’ve matched the sounds of the 70’s perfectly, but have written more complex music with it. The vocals bring something new to the style, and do this by simultaneously being melodic and raw.
Cons: I can’t think of anything that feels wrong about it.
And, since I can’t find a bad moment throughout…
I’d definitely give it: an incredibly easy 10/10