Levin Minnemann Rudess -“From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess”

lawofficesofLMRThe self titled debut from supergroup Levin Minnemann Rudess was really great. For people who have missed Liquid Tension Experiment, that album was right in the same vein as LTE, with both Levin and Rudess making it natural. The main difference of course is the presence of the great Marco Minnemann who not only did some incredible drumming but also played some tasty guitar on the album.

The main difference between that album and this one, “From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess,” is that Rudess feels more a part of this album rather than being added on to the last one. The debut album felt more like Minnemann was guiding the ship. This album really focuses a lot more on Rudess. Consequently, there’s a lot more “ape shit” moments which can be impressive on the surface but this album loses some of the atmosphere of the first one.

The first album had tracks like “Macropolis” which had such a killer riff and huge atmosphere. “Balloon” has atmosphere but it is more dependent on Rudess for said atmosphere. The album does have oddball numbers like “What is the Meaning” and “Witness” but for the most part has the blitzkrieg of tracks like “Good Day Hearsay,” with its circus like playing from Rudess and “The Verdict” which relies on Rudess’ tech. I’d actually like to hear Levin a bit more as well.

This is not to say that it’s bad because that’s not what I am saying. Rather, the album has a few too many synthetic moments and less organic ones. “Shiloh’s Cat” is one of the best tracks on the album because it sounds so damn organic. The sax playing certainly helps but it just has a great overall vibe. One song that struck me as odd was the brief “Free Radicals” which sounds A LOT like Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” It’s a bit too close for comfort.

I really love the title of the album and that the inside credits continue the law theme with fake law office address and awards they have received. It’s really clever. Many of the song titles are legal based as well. All in all, “From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess” is a solid follow up to the first album but I still think the debut album is better overall. If you are a fan of any of these three gift musicians, this album is a must-own.

Rating: 8/10

1. Back to the Machine
2. Ready, Set, Sue
3. Riff Splat
4. What is the Meaning?
5. Marseille
6. Good Day Hearsay
7. Witness
8. Balloon
9. When The Gavel Falls
10. The Verdict
11. Free Radicals
12. Magistrate
13. Shiloh’s Cat
14. The Tort
15. Testimony
16. Habeas Porpoise
17. The Tort (Ver. 2xb-74)

Label: Lazy Bones Records
Website: www.levinminnemannrudess.com

About Rob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music...progressive music!
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