By Mark Elliot (“Those Men”)
Track 1 “Obsession” sounds technically perfect. Perfectly written, recorded, mixed and performed, the trouble is it sounds like 47001 other bands you hear on the radio. Also Prog it ain’t. ‘Tis Grunge, methinks!
Track 2 “Moon and Sun” is much more interesting with some great chord sequences and interesting melodies but halfway through, again slips into formula for FM radio stations. A bit disappointing really.
Track 3 “Break You” is for me the first good track on the album. It has a really clever verse and a ripping chorus. I was looking out of the back window at (what I have been reliably informed) is the international space station orbiting about in the nights sky and this song really took me away. Great stuff.
Track 4 “Black Despair” has a beautiful acoustic guitar intro with some wonderful, personal, vocals which moves effortlessly into a superb guitar solo. Again brilliantly recorded but this time a much more interesting song.
Track 5 “Open Sore” is a wonderful instrumental piece with a great opening riff building into some fantastic guitar playing.
Track 6 “Hallowed” is a strange and disturbing intro into Track 7 “Mirror”. This is definitely the strongest track so far with some superb singing and brilliant song construction.
Track 8 “Dont Ask Me Why” is a bit of a return to more safe areas of rock but interesting enough to hold your attention.
Track 9 “Moorland” has some really excellent production and sounds making this the best instrumental section on the CD.
Track 10 “Forbidden to Remain” has a brilliant epic first section (shades of Nektar here) which goes effortlessly into a lovely old style sequence. The vocals are a bit Gabrielesque but the whole song definitely more than makes up for the first two tracks. This is much more like it.
There is a bonus track called “Artist Manque”. I was, to be honest, a bit baffled by this. It didn’t quite work for me. A sort of a strange 80’s sounding thing.
On the whole I liked the album. You can’t fault the production and song delivery. It just left me with the feeling that the band took the obvious route with the songs and some of the chords and melodies were a bit, well, obvious.
The tracks that worked, “Break You” through to “Forbidden to Remain” are definitely worth buying the album for. But whoever told them to put “Obsession” as the first track really doesn’t know how to present a Prog band. Let’s hope they aren’t pushing that one as a single because this band has much more to offer.
Now where’s that space station gone?