Diagonal es un periodico de información alternativa
+ info www.diagonalperiodico.net
Diagonal es un periodico de información alternativa
+ info www.diagonalperiodico.net
[Live Album · 2014]
1. Circuitry (6:43)
2. Before the Storm (15:24)
3. Blueprint (4:58)
4. Dead City (5:36)
5. When She Dreams She Dreams In Color (12:11)
6. Canto IV (Limbo) (15:17)
7. The Reasoning Wall (8:00)
8. Rogue (23:38)
Total time 96 minutes
Review by Chicapah — There's a talented, daring trio hailing from Canada that's been around since forever commenced,
consistently making high-quality progressive rock & roll throughout their long career while
accumulating a legion of die-hard fans along the way. And then there's Triumph. If you're an
admirer of theirs and consider them to be a literal bastion of prog music then you might want to
stop reading right now because you aren't going to like what I have to say about this album. I know
very little about Triumph other than being vaguely familiar with one of their songs that garnered
some FM airplay back in the 70s, "Lay It On the Line," and coming across their various LPs while
rummaging around between Traffic and The Tubes in the record store bins of that era. No one I knew
was into them or ever said anything pro or con about them so they flew under my radar. When I
noticed that they were listed as qualifiers for this esteemed site it occurred to me that perhaps I
missed out on hearing some decent prog by never paying them any attention. They wouldn't be the
first band I've overlooked and even though the aforementioned radio tune never struck me as
particularly proggy it didn't mean it wasn't an unrepresentative anomaly. I mean, it wouldn't be
fair to judge Genesis' catalog of work by "Follow You, Follow Me" would it? I picked "Allied
Forces" because I figured that by the time they recorded their fifth record they'd most likely have
honed their craft to the point where they felt very comfortable in the studio environment and should
be making some of their best music accordingly. To say I was disappointed is putting it way too
mildly. There's absolutely no prog to be found on this disc. Not a speck. In fact, listening to
it turned out to be like playing some kind of parlor game titled "Guess The Band They're Trying To
Sound Like On This Cut!"
Any tune that sports the unimaginative, pedantic moniker of "Fool For Your Love" is hinting that
it's not going to be something along the lines of a complex King Crimson number. This opening song
is a case of bad Bad Company and my immediate reaction was that it was probably written on the road
in a Podunk, Iowa motel room in about ten minutes tops. It's pedestrian, middle-of-the-road fare
akin to what you've heard a thousand times before from as many groups. "Magic Power" is next and
it's a blatant Journey imitation. It's about as authentic as a gold Rolex watch purchased on a
street corner. I find nothing original whatsoever to report and I'm kinda surprised that they
weren't sued for plagiarism. The short segue item that is "Air Raid" follows and it's so
predictably patronizing as to be humorous. As the title implies, it comes complete with sirens
wailing atop some general mayhem sound effects and ends with a metallic thud. "Allied Forces"
mimics Deep Purple semi-accurately sans the intensity. By this juncture I can't help but think of
those fancy golf courses they're building these days where every hole is intentionally designed to
be a replica of one of the more famous ones on the PGA tour so that a middle-of-the-road player can
get a second-rate taste of the real thing. Don't get me wrong, the musicianship I'm hearing is
passable but it's nothing that you can't hear on any given Saturday night at your local biker bar.
"Hot Time (In This City Tonight)" is as boring and unimaginative as the name implies. I guess they
added the parentheses' because it looked cool or something. Here they ape any one of a half dozen
Southern-styled boogie outfits that flourished in that timeframe by cranking their amps up to eleven
and bellowing out some rhyming lines about how much crazy fun they're going to have while getting
wasted with their bubbas. Holy crap this is so lame!
"Fight the Good Fight" proves that even Led Zeppelin wasn't immune from being ripped off by these
desperate dudes. By the way, fellas, using a synthesizer doesn't make you progressive. On this cut
it appears that singer Rik Emmett is trying to out-screech his northern territory rival, Geddy Lee.
Ugh. "Ordinary Man" is counterfeit Styx, complete with big stacked vocal harmonies and a lot of
low-brow political posturing crammed into the lyrics. This is so contrived and amateurish that it's
embarrassing to listen to. Next is "Petite Etude." If there's a bright spot in this morass of
mediocrity it's this little acoustic guitar piece that's the equivalent of a colorful toadstool
growing out of a cow pie. It succeeds mainly due to bassist Mike Levino and drummer Gil Moore
taking the day off and not being in the studio to screw it up. That's my guess, anyway. "Say
Goodbye" is the last tune and I couldn't have put my sentiments more succinctly than the title does.
The number is so generic that it defies identification as to whom they're trying to copy this time
around. I'll put it this way. If you were to combine all the hair bands that were yet to come
along in the 80s into a musical melting pot and have a song appear this is what it'd taste like.
Bland to the point of being nausea-inducing. Considering that this record was released in 1981 it
might be reasonable to blame Triumph for all the banal power ballads that inundated the industry for
the rest of the decade. That might be stepping over the line of decency, though. That's a brutal
accusation on my part so I take it back. You can decide for yourself as to who started that ball
Giving them the benefit of the doubt, it could be that they started out as a progressive band in '75
but abandoned it long before they got around to recording "Allied Forces." In their defense they
sold over a million copies of this album and it reached #23 on the LP chart so they no doubt filled
a few arena seats because of it and, according to what I found on the web, they're still a working
entity with a loyal following traipsing the state fair circuits. I have no beef with these boys per
se but when they're put up on the Progarchives dartboard and labeled worthy of inclusion then
they're also qualified to be shot at. My only goal is to warn proggers who, like me, might be
tempted to check this disc out in hopes of discovering something intriguing that they should spend
their time looking elsewhere. To think that a group can manufacture a hit song simply by imitating
what others have achieved is folly but it sounds like Triumph was trying to do just that. This is
as intentionally derivative as anything I've ever come across and I hope I never have to sit through
it again. 0.5 stars.
Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother — It's been a good year for fans of the wonderful Canterbury sound! We've had a terrific new album
from some of the originators with Soft Machine Legacy's `Burdon of Proof', a winning collection of
jazzy improvs and experimental fragments. But for my money, it's been the younger whipper-
snappers that have taken the ideals of various Canterbury bands and added their own unique style
to the mix to come up with some tremendously exciting modern interpretations of the sound. La
Theorie Des Cordes double live album `Singes Electriques' took the manic quirkiness of Gong
while adding their own touch of flair, flamboyance, and humour. This one, Phlox's live instrumental
album `Vali', adds noisy and frantic energy to the ideas of Egg, National Health and The Soft
Machine, and it's no surprise to find another candidate for one of the albums of the year.
The majority of the album is comprised of Canterbury styled jazz, frequently driven by glistening
electric piano runs and rapid-fire varied drumming, but there's also plenty of gorgeous slinky bass,
fiery electric guitar wailing and dazzling lively saxophone. The whole disc such delivers such an
infectious upbeat sound that will really make you smile, but it also knows when to offer more
emotional thoughtful passages as well as some wild unpredictablity. Some pieces include added
70's inspired extended fusion workouts and deeply psychedelic excursions. The band show they
can slow things down beautifuly, incorpating some slightly uneasy moodiness in the lonely night-
time piano spiralling of the opening minutes of `Hulge Hing', and some driving bluesy soloing and
punchy drumming throughout `Paigalelend'. `Hunt' is all brisk and blustery noise with some deeply
grooving relentless bass behind exhausting loopy wavering electronic experimentation. However,
the smoky saxophone musings of `Kurehirm', truly the sound of lonely night-time city streets
gradually turning more bent and dangerously unhinged as it progresses, is full of the same daring,
experimental, dingy sonic explorations the Soft Machine quickly turned to, and is absolutely thrilling
and only hints at the exciting directions the band can head to from here.
Fans of first-rate jazz/fusion and especially the Canterbury sound should look into this disc right
away. A completely infectious album, I was on such a natural high hearing the energy and so much joy in
the band's performance! It's also hugely satisfying to hear a band throw out the rulebook of a
particular genre and mess around with it to take it in fresh and revealing new directions. `Vali' is
easily in my top ten discs for 2013.
The inside of the digipack has an illustration of a bomb going off, and that couldn't be more
appropriate. This one takes a fuse to unimaginative, stale clinical fusion albums and detonates
right in their faces!
[Studio Album · 2013]
1. Open Field (Part 1) (5:12)
2. Open Field (Part 11) (4:04)
3. Endless Game (6:14)
4. Memories (5:34)
5. Illusions (7:15)
6. Trapped in the Black (5:01)
7. The Creator has a master tape (4:53)
8. The Start of something beautiful (7:28)
Total Time : 45:00
Review by admireArt — Well, I guess, ASHRA or specifically, Manuel Göttsching's following of the "minimalistic", unique musical language of his clear influence Steve Reich, heads into what is not mere plagiarism, which is the easy way out, no, he as a self demanding composer, who has felt the vibes of the "electronic-music" future in Reich's structures, takes those "elements" and as such, makes them work as compositional elements, not as Reich's structures. It is clear Manuel Göttsching has "breathed" this "air".
Now, the "naked truth", if you are either> a-"disgusted", b-"repelled", c-"offended" by A-"Trance/Dance/electronics including "Floor/Dance/Trance", B-"Non-TD "copy-kats" electronics", C-"intelligent music", D- "ambiental structures", E-"worry too much if music is prog or not", or all of the above. Well skip on to the next review, if you please. (You won't miss a thing.)
A clear influence of Reich's music as far as using independent "minimal lines" and percussions. But, by its own, a pioneering source of the" future" (from 1998 to 2013) of what now young people understand as "electronic" music. And yes even in that "Un-Prog" land, a lot of good "electronic music" has been happening. "Underworld" (the band not the pic), to name my favorite, among others.
So do not feel compelled to enjoy this extraordinary, 15 years ahead of its time, progressive electronic, masterful "live" performance. Not to make a "big fuzz" of how glad I am, I got this ASHRA's "Sauce Hollandaise", for now, ****4 PA stars.
"Essential" if you got to this point of the review.
Review by kev rowland — Regal Worm is a progressive rock project by Jarrod Gosling of Sheffield, England based
electronic pop psych outfit I Monster and maverick Jazz influenced proggers Henry Fool. Regal
Worm sees Jarrod striking out on his own and is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream ever since he
listened to his dad's cassettes of Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, Mike Oldfield and Rick Wakeman.
The debut 'Use and Ornament' was recorded in Jarrod's 'Pig View' studio utilising dangerous
vintage machinery (including his prized Mellotron M400). What I find really interesting about this
album is that many ways it is pronk mixed with psychedelia which is not what one would expect
given the list of artist he says inspired him.
The music is quite jangly, with sharp edges, and it is obvious that Cardiacs and Poisoned
Electrick Head have been listened to by Jarrod, as he has incorporated some of their quirkiness
into an album that seems more rooted in the Eighties than the Seventies.As I played this album
for the first time I wasn't really sure to make of it, as the music shifts back and forth, twisting and
changing as it goes. It is mostly instrumental, but 'Confession From a Deep and Warm
Hibernaculum' is a delicate number with some wonderful female vocals (sorry ' no idea who the
singer is). But, it is '6:17 PM The Aunt Turns into an Ant' that grabs the attention. It is the best
part of 30 minutes long, and it incorporates countless styles as it moves through the piece,
somehow always keeping the listeners' attention, whether it is some gentle harp, or jangly
melodies. It finished with a musical box, which immediately made me think of Genesis ' maybe I
am reading too much into it, but that to me was a wonderful homage at the end of a prog epic.
Definitely from left field, this is an album that rewards those prepared to spend some time with it.
Very British, angular and pronk, it is great fun.
Review by progflame — The third solo-CD of Ulf Jacobs "Estella" ist different. The mixture of Pop and Prog is the same and
also the influence of Phil Collins is current. But something is new: the lead-vocals. Uls sings only
backing-vocals. Jess, Maraike, Makana, Jockel and Steffen are invited to sing lead.
So the Overall Impression is a lot more of variety and diversity. Also the Songs are different. "More
than beautiful" is a simple Popsong, "Mellomania" is a wonderful Prog-instrumental and "Estelle" is a
lovely ballad. And one more Thing is new: Ulf uses brass-sounds in "Nothing but you", just like his
model Phil Collins. But in total the Album is as melancholic as allways.
[Studio Album · 2013]
1. Zinc Ferment (1:32)
2. Cherish That Rubber Rodent (3:59)
3. The Mardi Gras Turned Ugly In Seconds (4:30)
4. Apple Witch (4:05)
5. Morning Sentinel (2:31)
6. Confession From A Deep And Warm Hibernaculum (13:17)
i. Running, Hopping, Leaping
iii. Sword Blades
iv. Time And Circumstance (One Second Either Way)
7. Mud (1:24)
8. 6:17PM The Aunt Turns Into An Ant (26:11)
i. Crunch time. Tea waste. Flagstone desert.
ii. Narration #1
iii. Six feet and under the table. Approaching terror.
iv. Beset by centipedes. The well-timed rescue.
v. Narration #2
vi. Acceptance into the colony, on condition that eighteen score and ten aphids are ritually sacrificed. Refusal and escape.
vii. Flagstone dessert (with cake crumbs). Ant alone.
viii. Narration #3
ix. My name is Silvius. Ant elopes. From ants to blackbirds and beyond.
x. Each its hour.
9. Klara Till Slutet (Main Title Theme) (3:17)
Total Time 60:46
Review by mitchgo — It's a crime how under-the-radar UK's Also Eden have been for years. Yeah, there are a ton of excellent modern prog bands, but AE
have deserved a place next to the most buzzed-about bands since their excellent 2006 debut ABOUT TIME. And while they've
undergone lineup changes over the years, the band seems (mostly) stable since 2011's THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
On paper, you can hear AE's influences..a little Genesis, a little Marillion, a little Radiohead. On disc though, one of AE's charms is
their unique sound, and while you can spot the precedents if you try, they never fall into purely derivative territory. (Only on
CHILDREN's "The Greater Game" do they sound overtly like Fish-era Marillion, and I've always thought it was more hommage than
anything else.) Their previous three albums are all superb, especially CHILDREN, but on (REDACTED) AE have reached a new
pinnacle of modern progressive art.
Yeah, it's a concept album. And yes, you may have heard it revisits a surprisingly familiar prog-rock concept, namely the aftermath
of a devastating traffic accident. But while both Dream Theater and Spock's Beard have used this conceit to convey a sense of fear
and dread (with mixed results), (REDACTED) instead gives us a meditation on life and survival that is positively Zen in its organic
approach. Like the best prog, it spools out slowly over the course of its 8 tracks, often building tension and heft through the layering
of clever and surprising instrumental tracks. Also like the best prog, the album reveals itself only through repeated listens, and
sounds fantastic on a good pair of headphones. The mix is incredible...you get wide soundstage like a good Floyd album, but
there's also a gorgeous depth....Rich Harding's classicist prog vocals sail cleanly about a spacious pillow of sound, buffeted by
layers of guitars and keys. Listen closely and you hear things you won't expect...like C&W-influenced slide guitars, or the bits that
sound like one guitar figure magically expanding into multiple tracks right before your ears. Simon Rogers outdoes himself with axe
work that always supports the songs and creates context and often soars melodically, but never crosses the line into wankery.
I could single out a song or two but the album functions as a whole and should be heard that way. The concept and some of the
other clever conceits (like the song titles) enhance the work but aren't necessary to enjoyment. (In fact i fell in love with the album
several spins before reading about the story behind it.) If you like your modern prog organic and lush, melodic and moving, with a
lot of sonic detail that requires more than just a casual spin but real attention on your part to uncover. (REDACTED) is a must-hear.
If you're already a fan of AE you will love this record. If you're not, you will be after experiencing (REDACTED).
[Studio Album · 2013]
1. Lepton (17:40)
3. Boson (24:33)
[Studio Album · 2013]
1. Netherworld Passage (1:24)
2. Vapor Trails (6:16)
3. Son Synthetique (12:05)
4. Machines At The Gates Of Dawn - Live (9:09)
5. Interstellar Hitchhikers (18:48)
6. Juniper Moon (5:53)
7. Angels In Empty Rooms (7:29)
8. Before We Migrate - Live (10:52)
Review by maryes — In several conversations with my friends about progrerssive music always be some recurrent
themes... one of this themes was about LED ZEPPELIN and the main discussion is " Led Zeppelin
had something with prog rock? " In my point of view the answer as yes. However, is not the specific
case from this first album ! Although, in some tracks they search some "innovations" in their music this album are more "framed"
in a type of psychedelic blues, certainly a reflex from the origins from the band members! Talking
about the album in itself, are very few progressive or related moments, one of this moments as in the
track 4 "Dazed And Confused" and his musical passages ( which in live performances assumes the
form of full of improvisations suite), the hammond-organ introduction in track 5 "Your Time Is Gonna
Come" and the last track "How Many More Times" and the guitar and drums instrumental "acting". My
rate is 3 stars !!!
Review by SouthSideoftheSky — Genesis Re-Revisited II
This is a single disc version of Steve Hackett's Genesis Revisited II (which is a double disc set) with one extra
track added. That extra track is the only reason I'm reviewing this otherwise unnecessary release separately.
Thankfully, both versions of the album (as well as the live Genesis Revisited: Live At Hammersmith) are available for streaming on Spotify.
As I noted in my review of the full version of the album, apart from Steve himself, no other Genesis members
appeared on that album. The additional track that didn't appear on the two disc version is however a rendition of
Carpet Crawlers featuring Ray Wilson, the vocalist on Genesis' Calling All Stations album. Of course, Steve
had left Genesis a very long time before Wilson joined, so the two never played together in Genesis. Yet, it is
interesting to hear them together. It is a good version of this song, originally from The Lamb Lies Down On
Broadway. The rest of this album is simply a selection of the tracks from Genesis Revisited II, and I wouldn't
even say that these are the best selections.
This version of Carpet Crawlers is worth hearing, but it would clearly have been better just to include this song
on the two disc version and never bothered with this single disc version.
Only serious collectors will want to have this in addition to the two disc version
[Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo · 2013]
1. Elixir (6:29)
Total Time 6:29
Review by SouthSideoftheSky — Better than the first Genesis Revisited album, but not as good as Genesis Revisited: Live At
In the mid 1990's Steve Hackett revisited his Genesis days the first time around (in the studio), resulting in
the interesting, but disjointed Genesis Revisited album in 1996. 2012 sees him revisiting Genesis a second
time with this follow-up: Genesis Revisited II. While the first Genesis Revisited album was a single disc
featuring remakes of nine classic Genesis songs plus two new instrumentals, Genesis Revisited II is a
double album carrying no less than a further 17 Genesis classics plus four remakes of tunes from Hackett's
early solo albums. There is no overlap between the two albums, which is a testament to the impressive
wealth of excellent material Steve had to draw on in the Genesis catalogue from his days in the band (from
1971's Nursery Cryme to 1976's Wind And Wuthering).
Like with the first Genesis Revisited album, Hackett is joined by a plethora of more or less well-known guest
stars. Among the most famous ones is John Wetton who appears on both albums. Other familiar names
include Steve Rothery, Francis Dunnery, Neal Morse, and several others. Members of Hackett's own band,
past and present, that help out here, include Nick Magnus and Steve's brother John Hackett. Apart from
Steve himself, no other Genesis members appear here.
Just like the first Genesis Revisited album was followed by a tour and a live recording (the excellent Tokyo
Tapes), so too was Genesis Revisited II (as documented on the recently released Genesis Revisited: Live At
Hammersmith). In both cases, the live recording is better than the respective studio recording. The songs
present here that are not also featured on the Live At Hammersmith album are The Return Of The Giant
Hogweed, Can Utility And The Coastliners, Horizons, Ripples, and the Hackett solo numbers Please Don't
Touch, A Tower Struck Down, and Camino Royale. Included on both this album and on Live At
Hammersmith are full versions of The Musical Box, Supper's Ready (here preceded by Horizons as on the
original studio album), Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, The Chamber Of 32 Doors, The Lamia, Fly On A
Windshield/Broadway Melody of 1974, Entangled, Blood On The Rooftops, Eleventh Earl Of Mar, Unquiet
Slumbers For The Sleepers/In That Quiet Earth/Afterglow, and, from Steve's solo career, Shadow Of The
Hierophant. This very nicely represents Steve's days in Genesis (and the early days as a solo artist). With
Wind And Wuthering being (probably) my favourite Genesis album, I'm especially glad to see so many
terrific selections from that particular album.
With the Collins/Banks/Rutherford line-up of Genesis (backed up by Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson
in the live arena) focusing almost exclusively on 80's and 90's material, and Peter Gabriel never performing
any Genesis songs live, (and don't hold your breath for a reunion of the five-man-line-up), Steve Hackett is
the only one who faithfully carries the legacy of classic Genesis onward. And he has been doing that very
well indeed for many years and there is no sign of him slowing down.
This second instalment is a lot better than Hackett's first Genesis Revisited album, though personally I prefer the live version. For a fan of Genesis and Steve Hackett like me, Genesis Revisited II is a very enjoyable listen indeed. However, I suspect that the average Prog fan will be satisfied with the original Genesis albums on which these tunes first appeared. Unlike those classics, this one--good though it is--is not an essential addition.
[Studio Album · 2013]
01. Happiness and Sadness - (5:36)
02. Sacred Pain - (8:54)
03. Echo in the Distances - (5:22)
04. Send Me an Angel - (7:09)
05. Steps Into Nothingness (DJ Raf Remix) - (6:57)
06. Desperate Melody - (4:15)
07. Picture of Thousand Words: I. Andante Molto e Cantabile - (6:22)
08. Picture of Thousand Words: II. Allegro Agitato Con Brio - (3:33)
09. In Prayer: I. Largo Assai - (6:23)
10. In Prayer: II. Presto Agitato e Furioso - (6:28)
11. In Prayer: III. Adagio Espressivo Quasi Maestoso - (4:30) a) Caught in the Cage's b) Vertical
Total Time 65:29
Review by Conor Fynes — 'Self Portrait' - Aeon Zen (7/10)
At some point in every artist's career, they will generally stop t take a look at what they've
already done, consolidating their position and reflecting upon the path they've taken. After
releasing one of my favourite progressive metal albums of the year in Enigma, now
seems like a perfect time for Aeon Zen to take a moment aside for reflection. From
the band's origins essentially as a personal project of multi-instrumentalist Rich Hinks to
its full-fledged current form, Aeon Zen has come a long way. Featuring a new song
and three re-worked versions of compositions from their 2009 debut A Mind's
Portrait, the recently released Self Portrait is a fitting demonstrator how far the
band has progressed. Although the EP doesn't excel without its context as a simple
indicator of the band's evolution, Self Portrait is a fine bite-sized chunk of modern
progressive metal, and a welcome addendum for anyone who shared my love of their most
recent full length.
Although I hesitate to use the term 'djent' when describing a band (or at least a band I like),
Aeon Zen share some of their sound with the likes of contemporary progressive
metal acts; their compatriots in TesseracT come first to mind. Although the instantly
identifiable palm-muted tone associated with that dubious word was downplayed on the
new album, Self Portrait has a distinctly djenty tone to it. Even though it's the shortest
piece on the EP, the original composition 'Psych!' is my favourite song here. Built around an
odd time signature, it's the sort of brimming overture that would have set a perfect
atmosphere for a full-length. It's a very atmospheric take on progressive metal, similar to
Devin Townsend or the latest record from TesseracT .
As for the covers here, the most notable difference is the improved musicianship and
production. Although Aeon Zen started off on a great note for what was then largely
a one-man act, these compositions really benefit from a full band performance. Of the three,
'Portrait' is my favourite piece, balancing ambient clean vocals with death growls and
rhythmic riffs that recall Cynic . 'Rain' is a much softer track; guitars give way to
piano here for the most part. While the track benefits greatly from a much improved
production, I'm left wanting something more aggressive from the band; the smooth
saxophone solo recalls Dream Theater 's 'Another Day' and is an unexpected
contribution, but doesn't work as well with the rest of the band's sound as it was probably
intended to. 'Demise' has been significantly shortened from its original twelve minute
While Aeon Zen has been a good band from the start, their recent material is a firm
step up from their origins. While I'm sure it was Aeon Zen 's intention with Self
Portrait to emphasize that fact, I would prefer to hear newly written material rather than
revised versions of older songs. Enigma remains a favourite of mine, and has made
me anxious to hear more from the band. Comparing these older compositions to the recent
stuff however, it's evident to me that Aeon Zen have improved in more than their
mere execution. Self Portrait doesn't hold my interest as much as an EP of fresh
material would have, but it's a worthy addition to the history of one of progressive metal's
most promising contemporary acts.
Review by kev rowland — This is the second full-length album from Munoch band Deafening Opera, following on from
2009'2 'Synesteria'. Although it is available through Bandcamp it is also available as a properly
released CD, which is what I have. The first thing that really strikes the listener is just how
polished this is, which both takes the edge off the heaviness but also provides additional
emphasis where required. They describe themselves as a cross between Porcupine Tree and
Riverside, but there are also plenty of elements of City Boy, 3rDegree and more in an album that
is both restrained and in your face, full of Seventies influences yet very much for today, clean
and simple yet complex and layered: all at the same time. The first time I played this it brought a
smile to my face and each time I have listened to it that has just got bigger.
It is an album that brings in so many influences that different people will classify them in different
ways: PA has them marked as 'Heavy Prog', MMA has them as 'Hard Rock' and my personal
view is that they are Crossover with elements of Prog Metal. But really, who cares what we call
it? In simplistic terms there are just two types of music, good and bad, and this definitely fall into
the former. When there is a need for the music to crunch it does just that, but where it needs to
be more restrained then yet again it hits the mark. This is a wonderful album, and if you want
something that is polished and dynamic while packed full of great songs then this is for you. For
more details visit their site at www.deafening-opera.de
[Studio Album · 2014]
1. Run (7:05)
2. Once (6:06)
3. Adrift (4:39)
4. Them (7:52)
5. Sagittarius A* (5:50)
6. Suspended (8:28)
7. Wave (5:42)
8. Wander (5:33)
9. Driven (4:54)
10. Release (6:47)
11. Memory (10:00)
12. Disappeared (4:22)
Review by Warthur — Fates Warning's A Pleasant Shade of Gray earns points for ambition, presenting as it does a
single multi-part song, but it fails to make that song compelling enough to hold my attention. In
particular, I find the repetitive and tedious Part VIII so irritating that it ends up as a roadblock to
my enjoyment of the piece as a whole. It's good that the band were trying to do something
different - in particular, for a lot of the time the album is more sedate and sombre and less
traditionally "metal" than most preceding Fates Warning work - but it isn't quite my cup of tea.