Album: Magnus Ostrom, Thread of Life (Act)

The former E.S.T. drummer makes his solo debut with an instrumental prog-suite in which the death of bandmate Esbjorn Svensson looms large.

Familiar techno-shuffle rhythms are overlaid by intricate guitar and keyboard patterns that recall Mike Oldfield. At its best, in the catchy "Piano Break Song" or the beautiful "Ballad for E" (with guitarist Pat Metheny), it's very satisfying. But too many numbers suggest the bland anonymity of a Paul Hardcastle-style corporate soundtrack.