Power of Metal.dk Review

Purposeful Porpoise
Purposeful Porpoise
Style: Progressive Rock
Release date: 1 June, 2014
Playing time: 82:56

The oddly named Purposeful Porpoise is a prog rock project led by guitarist Alex Cora. Cora has enlisted an all-star lineup for this massive self-titled double album. The band backing him features: ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta who has played with Frank Zappa among others, renown jazz bassist Ric Fierabracci and violinist/vocalist Ginny Luke. All of these players, including Mr. Cora, are great musicians so the songs have plenty of solos and just great musical moments.

Like many prog albums, it is a concept album. The story is quite involved and is set in a distant galaxy which has similarities to our world. The story itself is very sci-fi and would probably make a great movie. It’s like Avatar meets Star Wars. Concept albums are fine but unless the music is amazing, the concept will fall flat. The good news is that the songs themselves are quite good.

The first disc consists of 3 epics. Each epic has tons of soloing and interplay between these great musicians. The second track “The Air Pirate” in particular, since it’s an instrumental, really allows Cora and Luke to drive the song. Often the songs have a Kansas vibe because of the dominant presence of Luke on violin. While it does work for the most part, I’d like to hear Cora’s guitar lines taking the lead on the tracks more than Luke’s violin. It’s also nice to hear Sherinian being Sherinian with his “heavy” sounding keys which always have an other-planetary vibe, check out the solo on the third song “Cycles.” The song is an epic but it’s also probably the catchiest song too.

It’s definitely a favorite of mine. The second disc features shorter tracks but they are still quite progressive. The main issue for me is that the songs maybe aren’t quite as jawdropping as the three tracks on disc one. But that’s a tough act to follow! “Unexplored” is an acoustic based track that’s very “user-friendly” and features a main riff that I feel like I’ve heard before. “Serena Song” is the one “mini-epic” on the second disc that allows Fierabracci some space to show off some amazing fretless bass. It’s a breezy song yet still quite jazz based but changes into a driving rocker.

All in all, Purposeful Porpoise is a fun album by some very gifted musicians and led by a brave soul in Alex Cora. Fans of old Genesis, Frank Zappa, Kansas and other classic progressive rock bands will find plenty to enjoy on this album. The songs are well written, the concept is heady but intelligent, and the result is definitely impressive!

01. Crossing into the Unknown
The Air Pirate
Serena Song
Nowhere Bound
Which Way Is Up
Label: Independent
Distribution: Independent
Artwork rating: 85/100
Reviewed by: Rob Pociluk
Date: 26 March, 2015
Website: www.purposefulporpoise.com