And the winner for longest album title of the year goes to Lucas Lee for “Acceptances of Gravitational Collapsing Manifestations.” With a title like that, you know it’s prog. And with the legendary Marco Minnemann on drums, you know the quality is there. Lee plays everything else on this album: guitar, bass and keyboards. He is really good at all of them too!
Beyond his virtuosity, Lee also is capable of moving from genre to sub-genre to sub-sub-genre. The basic foundation of “Acceptances of Gravitational Collapsing Manifestations” is prog rock and jazz fusion. It’s very much a hybrid that reminds me of Keith Emerson, Derek Sherinian and my good friend Jason Rubenstein. In fact, the tracks that push closer to a jazz fusion/progressive metal feel (“Dr. Kunto’s Demise,” “Zjeto’s Ascension” and the second part of “Preach to Deaf Ears”) remind me a lot of Jason’s “Old Metal From New Boxes.”
There are moments of ambient and classical as well. His church organ on “Preach to Deaf Ears, Pt. 1” is a nice touch as well. But these types of tracks tend to be transitional pieces. Even so, they show the full array of Lee’s talent. So what don’t I like? Well, it’s something that I complain about a lot on here. Spoken word samples. The problem is not only are they on too much of the album but they are often hard to even make out. Very much like distorted mumbling. This really takes away my enjoyment on many tracks.
However, Lee’s choice of Minnemann for drums was a good one. He allows Minnemann to be himself and do what he does best: go apeshit as needed. They make a very good team and sound like they’ve been playing together for a long time. The arrangements are solid and even though there might be a few too many shorter moments, the album is sequenced well and the mix is excellent.
It goes without saying that if you are a fan of Minnemann, you need to add this album to your collection. But the real man behind the music here is Lucas Lee and he is more than Minnemann’s musical equal. Sure, “Acceptances of Gravitational Collapsing Manifestations” has a wordy title but other than the mumbled samples, those are the only words to be found on this inspired jazz infused, prog rock journey.
1. Intro: Dawn of the Black Sun
2. Prelude: The Oregon Trail Crow Invasion Incident
3. Two Eyes for an Eye: Dr. Kunto’s Demise
4. Zjeto’s Ascension
5. Millennial Awakening. Maybe.
6. Above the Law, Pt. 1
7. Preach to Deaf Ears, Pt. 1
8. Preach to Deaf Ears, Pt. 2
9. Gwydion’s Escape
10. 33 Thomas
11. Above the Law, Pt. 2
12. Coda: Kunto’s Qi
13. Outro: Sanctuary