Boosted by pure prog light, KINETIC ELEMENT produce a very fine debut that boasts of optimism and honest attitude and spirit in creating a progressive rock album with a "positive" aura.
Engrossed in a sound heavily-influenced by the 70's symphonic progressive rock movement, "Powered by Light" (accompanied by an excellent cover in a similar mood) is an uplifting statement from KINETIC ELEMENT. In long compositions and nearly 70 minutes, memories of ELP, YES, KANSAS unfold through strong organ-sounds, twin keyboard-guitar solos and an excellent vocal performance by Mike Visaggio (who is also responsible of the excellent display of keyboards). The sound is bordering with Neo-Prog but seems to stick closer to the 70's roots, even if the closing track brings to mind the legacy of IQ.
What wins the listener is the general atmosphere, accompanied by well-structured compositions, showing a band that has worked hard to achieve the result. The route to the past sometimes goes through more modern aspects mingling with jazzy passages (in e.g. 'Now and Forever') at times to resemble to THE TANGENT. Equally, what might put you off - and this might sound as an oxymoron - is the constant appearance of "light" as opposed to "darkness", which might have varied slightly the mood throughout this very long album; however, the amount of ideas is large enough to support such length. I believe that the personal character of the band could also be further developed, currently attached a bit too tightly to the 70's heritage. With the exception of the acoustic 'Meditation', the album flows freely and unexpectedly pleasantly bearing in mind the 10-minute average track length and the amount of virtuosity injected into it.
Musicianship and composition are big pros for KINETIC ELEMENT; fans of symphonic and neo-progressive rock will embrace this on first listen. I single out "Riding in Time" and "See the Children" as personal favourites, and expect an even better release in the future. Quality stuff!
3.5 (strict) stars