b_olariu Jan 29 2012 4.00 stars
Helmet of Gnats needed almost 8 years to come with a follow up, well it may seams long time between the first album and this one, but the band manage to came with another sensational release that for sure keeping the flag high in this field. Seftitled II from 2004 in a great digipack format issued at Ambient records and available at cdbaby, the album has all the ingredients of a succesful album, top notch musicianship, instrumental again all, with some fascinating moments. Why this band is so unknown is beyond me, they realy kick ass. The bass player and the drumer from previous album was replaced by another two musicins, but is no problem, all members play as a unit here. Great fusion , remind me in places of Holdsworth kind of arrangemnts, quite lenghty pieces, the technique of the musicians are excellent, each one giving the best they got and is clear that this is another worthy album of this scene that goes rather to unnoticed worldwide. The progressive elements are so well melted with jazz fusion ones that in the end the result is a fascinating trip in a subtle area where the band feel so confortable. All track are simply amazing, no weak moments , only highlights. The keybords , the guitar is where they belong, no note is left aside. 4 stars again for this II selftitled release.
Review from SACD.net:
eview by progboy October 8, 2012
The Helmet Of Gnats released this debut album in 2004 on SACD mixing fusion and progressive Rock somewhere in the Deep Purple meets Mahavishnu Orchestra meets King Crimson camp.
The Gnats were a 4 piece band with Mark Conese on the drums, Chris Fox on the Guitars, Matt Bocchino on keys and Wayne Zito on the bass.
If you like fusion music then this instrumental album will be a nice surprise. These guys mix great keyboard and guitar interplay with intricate bass and drums in support.
Sound wise this is an excellent SACD with a nice full wide sound offering crystal clear instrumental separation and some pretty groovy deep vibes. These guys were an excellent band !
Highly recommended to fans of instrumental rock fusion with some heavy progressive rock elements.
released October 1, 2015
Chris Fox - Guitars
Matt Bocchino - Keyboards
Wayne Zito - Bass
Mark Conese -Drums & percussion