From the opening chords of the first track and then the subsequent passages of superbly textured music you are led to believe that you are in a distinctly “Pink Floyd” flavored terrain but such feelings soon disperse as the music moves speedily away into other areas of superb progressive composition. This pattern of momentarily hooking your interest with seemingly “Pink Floydian” injections and then, in a flash, diverting your attention away through cleverly engineered time changes is a theme which continues throughout, but is certainly no bad thing and very much adds to the overall enjoyment of the music. There is no doubt that the keyboards (expertly played by Chris Mallia) are the glue to the entire proceedings with nice sprinklings of piano, organ and other choral treatments played with much finesse and gusto and then the interplay between keyboards and lead guitar is exceptionally well arranged and complimentary with magical shifts between the instruments as in turn they switch lead and support roles. The lead guitar role (played by Kurt Aquilina) is both dynamic, fluid and technicaly proficient combining great dexterority with speed and control shifting between the nice melodic passages and the more heavy riffing where the nature of the music develops an intense air through the various time changes and shifts in tempo. I particularly liked the little guitar embelishments too that very much colour the proceedings and add points of interest Solid accompaniment is well provided in the time keeping department of Julian Mallia drums, Johann Tabone bass. At first I wondered about the vocals by Alan Mayo, I wasn’t quite sure whether I liked them or not but over successive plays I actually grew to like them very much, I think it was listening to the live tracks included at the end of the album which displayed to me his distinct bundles of charisma a much needed asset for a front man. So yes a good vocalist indeed. Perhaps Malta might be a little oasis of progressive rock delight, I would certainly like to think so, but it is more than probable that audience availability to fully appreciate the music would be quite slim. Note: The brains and main man behind “Different Strings” is keyboardist Chris Malia who has been composing progressive style music for the past fifteen years or so in his home studio and in turn recording the completed output under his own label Prog Dome Records.
SUMMARY: A beautifuly melodic album full of richness and depth that defies belief for such an unknown band. In fact it is hard to imagine that Malta could produce such a technicaly proficient and competent band where I would imagine the interest in progressive rock music would not really be in such great demand.
ARTWORK: I’m not really sure what is on offer for an internet subscriber and purely on the basis of what I was sent the information is quite basic and so I can only mark accordingly. There are purchase links on facebook
1. It’s Only The Beginning (Instrumental)
2. All Over again.
3. Dead Man’s Walking.
4. Beyond Infinity (Instrumental)
5. Around The World.
6. Three O’Clock Overture (Live)
7. Another Day (Live)
8. Playing With Fire (Live)
9. Legacy of War (Live)