Saturday, January 4, 2020

Progressive Rock Review: Distant Brother-Die This Way

Release Date: December 21, 2019
Label: One Voice Productions
Distant Brother released their third proper release Die This Way on December 21, 2019, to commemorate the passing of their guitarist John Veneziano.

The band is Jon Lange (Bass), Joe Lang (Lead Vocals, Keys), Jim Dabal (Guitar), Dan Palladino (Guitar), Joe Cirotti (Guitar), Cameron Perry (Guitar), Kaeli Lange (Vocals), and Scott Strunk (Drums).

What you hear on Die This Way is progressive rock that lands on solid ground every time. In addition to great music, the lyrics are heartfelt in regards to the band’s feeling and emotions for their lost brother. I could feel the sadness and pain in the vocals. The thing that made me smile was the music and a true appreciation for the outstanding musicianship along with some amazing lyrics. You not only hear this music you will truly “feel it.” Progressive rock like this does not come along too often.

The first track is a nod to the beautiful and colorful album cover. It speaks of how fragile the life of a butterfly is and when it gets to its destination, time is fleeting. I think the thought here was an indication of how quick our lives pass as humans. It becomes especially apparent when you lose someone that is close unexpectedly without a chance to say goodbye. I had the opportunity to speak briefly with my brother before his death last October. As short and painful the conversation was, I was and remain grateful for those few seconds I had with him. It does put life into proper perspective and make you grateful for every day you have.

Great music is the universal healer, that is my mantra. I do have an affinity for progressive rock dating back to the golden age in the ’70s. Hearing this music was a reminder just how good this kind of music can be. Die This Way has all the boxes checked for the right combination of instrumentation including keyboards layered properly, a tight rhythm section, and the epic orchestrations that can be heard on tracks like “Septem Saeculorum.” It gives you that chill up the spine as the track builds to a crescendo.

I had to, of course, look up the meaning of “Septem Saeculorum.” It is the final conclusion of fleeting life, after the seven revolutions of the ages (septem saeculorum voluminibus). Very appropriate I would say, concerning the overall subject matter contained in the album.

I thought “Kumbaya (Hunt”) was an excellent track as well. The lyrics are meant to provoke a stream of thoughts. Some of the vocals are changed to sound more robotic or machine like to sound profound. It is done this way to make a statement. You need to hear it, to understand where I coming from. It all falls together beautifully, as does the entire album one track after another.

Die This Way is an excellent album that I enjoyed from beginning to end. Knowing what it was about and for who it was done for made a difference before listening. And if you just read this review and streamed some tracks, now you know, so go buy the album to support the artist and enjoy some fantastic progressive rock!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 2, 2020
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Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

01. Butterfly
02. When You're Near
03. Must Have Been
04. Way Home
05. A Desperate Man (Last Act)
06. We Can Be
07. Septem Saeculorum
08. Kumbaya (Hunt)
09. Die This Way
10. Seattle Gray

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