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Supernal Endgame: Touch The Sky: Volume II

A mixed bag of prog and classic rock.

There’s little doubt about this band’s pedigree, so while you can hear various influences — from Saga to Styx, Yes to Gentle Giant — the Dallas band bring their own spark to bear on much that’s recorded here.

What Supernal Endgame are very good at doing is mixing passages of almost portentous jazz-rock excursions with more lightweight forays. This helps to make the music less straightforward and also keeps the listener on their toes. You can hear the band at their best on lengthier compositions such as Different Stage and The Endgame. On these epic pieces, it appears that the band feel less inhibited and more comfortable about expressing themselves. The extended workouts sound like disciplined structures within which the musicians encourage one another to be spontaneous, and all work very cogently. Less convincing are some of the shorter tracks. For instance, Again And Again falls between being a soaring melodic rock anthem and offering more musical depth, while Immutable comes across as a Chicago power ballad played by Steely Dan. It’s so nearly brought off but ultimately doesn’t quite get the balance right. Overall, though, this is an intriguing album.