SiX BY SiX – s/t: Album Review

Plenty of promise shown on the ‘possibly prog’ album from SiX BY SiX

Release Date: 19th August 2022

Label: Inside Out Music

Format: CD digipak / digital / Gatefold LP

Nigel Glockner of Saxon, Robert Berry (best known perhaps for the Emerson/Berry/Palmer ‘3’?) and Ian Crichton of Saga are an unlikely gathering for a musical project. Adopted by Inside Out Music, the home of Progressive Rock, let’s not forget the Saxon’s Biff Byford has some prog leanings, so maybe his drummer buddy is a kindred spirit, finding allies and collaborators in Berry and Crichton. When the band and album also get the honour of the full page star review slot in PROG magazine, then perhaps it’s time to sit up and pay attention.

Let’s not let the cart get before the horse though. Anyone expecting a full-on progressive extravaganza might be a tad disappointed at the heavier leanings on which the trio bases their music. However, that’s soon dispersed when the heavyweight energy and excitement of Yearning To Fly makes a bid for attention. No frills with bouts of melodic intention in the chorus and a hint that we’re never going to be too far from the chance to let off a squealing flurry of a guitar solo.

It’s left to Reason To Feel Calm Again to satisfy those who like a little more to get their teeth into. The slowly paced opening builds into a strident march with the seductive allure of an Eastern vibrancy snaking through the arrangement. There’s a palpable shudder of excitement in the finale before a return to the opening passage brings us full circle. Third track in and hopefully we’ve not peaked too soon.

A grand keyboard fanfare provides the inspirational opening to the drive of The Last Words On Earth that’s one of several songs which are a little more earthy and rootsy in the same manner that Skyfall also offers a grand intro before reverting to a darker and brooding theme. Casino sees a nod to the Eighties version of King Crimson with some intricate guitar work that’s echoed in some of the keyboard lines and the time signatures seem to skip and flit and there’s a brief nod to something lilting and acoustic in Balance Of A Lifetime – almost folky in it’s intent yet offering a modern interpretation.

Ending on a high with the brisk and bouncing Save The Night that keeps the energy at a high level; with a riff that kicks and bucks, it’s again one of those moments where you can imagine the trio getting into a groove that works and not wanting to let go. Confirmed by a brief reprise after the fade, it fuels the notion that like the little girl with the little girl (right in the middle of her forehead), when they’re good they’re very very good.

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