Album Review - Joan Torres's All Is Fused - Revolution

Joan Torres issues a killer final album in a four-album story.
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Joan Torres has certainly kept busy with his fusion band All Is Fused. Over the last seven years, the group has released three albums -- BeforeThe BeginningOf The Musical and his latest, Revolution. The albums share similar artwork and musical themes and their titles, when combined, seem to make a statement about where All Is Fused is headed musically.

On Revolution, the band mixes Latin elements with funk, rock, jazz, and prog rock to form an exciting sound. With a title such as "Before the Musical Revolution," the players had better be able to back it up and the musicianship is top notch throughout. Torres handles bass, with Fernando Garcia on drums, Sergio Gonzalez and Gabriel Vicens on guitar, Emmanuel Rivera on keyboards, and Jonathan Suazo on alto sax. All are formidable players and together they take Torres' music to some incredible heights.

The album leads off with "Rebellion" and, befitting the title, the mood is intense from the get-go. Frantic drumming matches up with a killer bass line and an edgy piano over ambient effects. The track's moody guitar lines recall those of Steve Hackett, with the song abruptly shifting gears midway through to a spacey, almost metal sound with a trippy sax solo from Suazo. The band locks itself in a tight groove throughout on this killer opening track.

"High Stakes" follows with its Latin-influenced drum intro and call-and-response guitars. The instruments come in one by one, with the track taking a mellower tone than "Rebellion". Torres delivers a smooth bass solo before the song veers off into Latin-fusion, eventually quoting the intro to "Rebellion" in its outro.

The album's most challenging song is definitely "Moving Mountain." It starts with nearly two minutes of muted acoustic guitar strumming before introducing some equally harsh acoustic guitar chords. The song's intro bears little resemblance to the rest of the track, which features some jazz-influenced guitar solos over a pretty potent bass line. Torres' bass tone is massive and dominates the mix here (Think late-60s Paul McCartney) but the song's intro requires a lot of patience from the listener.

Paoli Mejías from Santana guests on percussion on the up-tempo Latin fusion of "Aftermath". Rivera's piano shines here and the song effortlessly combines Latin with jazz. Suazo pushes his sax with some truly inventive soloing on this song that has the band firing on all cylinders.

Revolution ends with the appropriately titled "Finale". The song showcases a moody synth over an atmospheric bass line before shifting into another up-tempo romp. It's a strong track and a fitting way to close out an exciting album.

On Revolution, Torres seemingly completes a series of four albums begun in 2012. The material is strong and the playing in top form throughout, combining multiple genres and making it work. Well worth a listen for fusion fans.

Official site: joantorresmusic.com