Hailing from Budapest, Special Providence are an wondrous beast that somehow blends instrumental metal, jazzy flavorings with a dash of progressive music, and straight up video game music into a coherent sound. The band has aptly defined themselves as “progressivejazzrockmetalturbochill,” which is fitting.
As much as I’ve come to love their steadily growing discography of three albums, their 2012 release Soul Alert (streamed in it’s entirety below) is absolutely one of the best instrumental records I have ever heard. Each band member knows when to step back and provides context for the leads, which is a testament to their ability as musicians (like Miles Davis said, “It’s not the notes you play; it’s the ones you don’t.”). Looking at the band in context of an actual group, the melodies are really interesting and don’t limit themselves just to the lead instruments of guitar and keyboards; bass is a massive player in the Special Providence world. They play with rhythm, twist around time signatures, get a little crazy with key changes, and just do whatever the hell it is they feel like doing all of the time. Praises of musicianship and writing ability don’t just apply to this album either. In fact, I encourage you to delve into their older two albums, as they’ve both got their own personalities and shining moments… but start with Soul Alert. It’ll whet your appetite for them something fierce!
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