Chris Poland's Ohm - Circus of Sound

Chris Poland's Ohm
5 (excellent)
5 (excellent)
Stand out moments: 
Leap of Faith, Circus of Sound, Point Omega
The contents of this very nice instrumental album can be described as a well-balanced blend of fusion jazz and progressive metal, dominated by Chris Poland's outstanding leadwork, and driven by ballsy bass and drums. 
Chris Poland is undoubtedly a guitar monster, and also an interesting musician. Not simply a gifted shredder among others, he really has a very personal playing style, featuring an incredibly precise, melodic, expressive phrasing and a terrific use of legato licks. His tone is quite original too, very thick, overdriven, smooth, but precise, bright and singing at the same time. Throughout the album, Chris builds on the powerful basslines of Robertino Pagliari, who shines on hooks (Leap of Faith) as well as on fretless growls and rumbles (Dd214). Three different drummers play on the album: Kofi Baker (Ginger's son), Frank Briggs and Joel Taylor: these guys kick ass, each in his own style. Great drumming, as far as I can tell.
There are 14 tunes on the album, each being 3-4 minutes long. They provide sufficiently different sonic landscapes to avoid boredom, despite the somewhat repetitive format, stripped-down lineup and sober arranging. There are no really weak pieces. Among the best ones, I think first of the title track and Leap of Faith, Point Omega, System of a Clown. 
To me, the production sounds very good: precise, quite clear, punchy.   
Is it Dino music? In a strict sense, no. However, it surely has balls, great leadwork and beautiful tones to enjoy. Aurally, it's a rare pleasure. Jeff Beck fans, and more generally Dinos with eclectic tastes, should give a try to Circus of Sound. I give an overall rating of 4/5, since I reserve 5/5 for the highest Dino stuff. But think of it as a large 4. I'm sure I will keep on listening to this album on a regular basis in the future. 
Overall Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)
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