Long Distance Calling is a German band who plays progressive instrumental music with a bit of a metal overtone. They didn’t set out to play only instrumentals; it might be that they lacked a strong vocalist or someone who could sing well in English, a near necessity if you want to get anywhere in the U.S. or England.

Whatever the reason, it is refreshing to hear this style of music performed without words; as always with instrumental music your mind is free to wander any path it chooses. The lack of vocals doesn’t mean there isn’t some guidance though; on “Into the Black Wide Open” there are brief spoken word parts as a woman’s voice asks, “Please, tell me why you’ve come to our planet?” and a man retorts incredulously, “Your planet?” Take it as a battle of the sexes outer space style if you want, but the electronics and rhythmic, buzzing guitars don’t get so dramatic that you envision full-out intergalactic war.

A couple of numbers are pretty down to earth, including “Timebends” where popping bass notes enhance showy but still understated guitar work; the song is subdued enough to likely get airplay on the more adventurous of “smooth” jazz stations. But as hinted at in the band’s name, most of this music comes from a place far away. Where it goes is up to you.

Grade: B

Long Distance Calling is currently available.