Review – Drifting Sun – Twilight – by Progradar

There is so much new music out there that sometimes I just don’t know where to start. Requests for reviews come in multiples and it is really difficult to keep up with them all. Thankfully the team here at Progradar manage to just about keep up with the plethora of new releases.

The issue with this is that some great releases may get missed or forgotten and that would be a crime. Persistence is the key here and my friend Pat Sanders, the keyboardist and main man behind melodic-progressive rock outfit Drifting Sun is the embodiment of the word!

He is tireless in his promotion of the band and dedicated to his work. I would have reviewed their latest release ‘Twilight’ anyway but Pat has made sure it is front and centre and I am glad he did!

Drifting Sun date back to the early 90’s when Pat moved to the UK from his native France and released their first eponymous album in 1996. There have been many line-up changes through the band’s history and ‘Twilight’ sees departing guitarist Dan Storey replaced with the virtuoso Mathieu Spaeter, previously of the Franck Carducci band. The rest of the band consists of Peter Falconer (vocals), Manu Michael (bass) and Will Jones (drums).

I think Drifting Sun evolve and progress with each record they release. Their roots are in melodic progressive rock and the opening, and title, track Twilight enforces that view perfectly. The sumptuous melodies and vocal harmonies are brilliant and the added dynamic of Mathieu’s fluent guitar playing just adds another layer of class to the music. The solo just makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and yet it’s not just about the guitar, the whole band are gifted performers and the music is a joy to behold. Pat’s eloquent keys almost talk to you and the rhythm section is superb. Wings Of Hope is a very emotive song from the first notes of the keyboards and Peter’s voice has a touching timbre to it. It builds in layers of sonic complexity, all the while demanding your attention. The elegant guitar adds a classical touch to this symphonic feeling track. Once the blue touch paper is lit, the tempo rises and this stylish song opens up before you. The band’s music has the ability to move you and stir emotions inside and this track is a typical example with its complex sentiments and lush melodies. The segue into Mystery of Lies gives you a wonderfully restrained and stylish piece of guitar work from Mathieu, one that stirs the soul to leave a lasting impression. The hesitant feel continues with low-key voice over before Peter’s vocal breaks out in a demanding fashion, harmonies abound left, right and centre and Pat’s keyboards keep everything on track. It’s a clever contrast in styles that runs throughout the song. The interplay between guitar and vocals is tender and dignified and the whole song has a warmth and fragile innocence to it.

One of the first songs released from the album, Soldiers reinforces the inherent drama that all Drifting Sun songs contain. Well crafted in both lyrics and music, the emotions run raw through this mini-epic. Peter Falconer puts so much into his vocal delivery that you could imagine him treading the boards performing in a musical in the West End and it gives songs like this an edge that other bands don’t have. Mathieu Spaeter overlays this with his expressive guitar work, accompanied by the dancing keyboard fingers of Pat Sanders and it’s all held together by the uber-cool bass and drums of Manu Michael and Will Jones. This all comes together to give maturity to the songs that wasn’t always present before. Summer Skies is a full-blown ten minute-plus epic that enthralls from beginning to end. Mathieu’s slow burning opening keeps you on tenterhooks for what is going to follow. Soft, yet passionate vocals ramp up the tension even more, there’s anticipation evident in every word and every note that is played. The melody around the repeated chorus is very addictive and I find myself humming along, always the sign of a good tune! This is a thoughtful and articulate piece of music where every note has a place and every word is there for a reason, songwriting with the listener in mind. Pat’s graceful piano interlude in the middle of the song is a clever break and the track then builds up to a great outpouring of vocal and musical emotion, backed by the ever expressive guitar. The extended close out just leaves you feeling mellow and relaxed and satiated by a marvelous piece of music. A classical introduction to Remedy is enforced by the jazzy piano and guitar that gives a laid back mood to the song. The vocals are underscored by an ambient synth to give a cultured and sophisticated feel, reinforced by Peter’s most wistful vocal performance to date. A mellow vibe settles down over everything and you find yourself entranced by the calm nature that pervades each note as it plays out to a sophisticated close.

The dramatic opening to Outside has a real sense of melodrama to it and a theatrical overtone which is embellished by the smooth tones of Peter’s vocal. The musicians deliver another intense performance and Mathieu is let loose to showcase his evident prowess. This is a fantastic marriage of melodic, symphonic and progressive rock to give the music a life all of its own and it is really impressive, just listen to the fiery solo and you’ll see what I mean. The cultured keyboard skills of Pat are always there to give structure and roots to these virtuoso musicians as they deliver stunning note after note. The last track on this thoroughly entertaining musical journey is Remain, eight minutes of melodic inventiveness where the listener is taken on a harmonic roller coaster ride. A fast paced track with an urgent rhythm, the music is again the focus for the listener as you find yourself drawn in to the world of Drifting Sun. Another great extended guitar solo segues into some intricate keyboard playing to add another highlight before the song and album close out and I’m left with a knowing smile on my face.

Drifting Sun have perhaps added the final piece to the puzzle with Mathieu Spaeter and ‘Twilight’ is without a doubt the band’s most consummate and polished release to date. They deliver melodic progressive rock of the highest calibre and continue to mature and evolve into a very impressive musical outfit, I can’t recommend this highly enough.

Released 1st September 2017

Buy ‘Twilight’ from bandcamp

 

 

 

 

Drifting Sun Announce New Concept Album ‘Twilight’ Release Date and New Single ‘Eternal Cycle’

UK Progressive Rock act Drifting Sun have announced that they are in the final stages of completing their forthcoming new concept album ‘Twilight’ and it is now available as a pre-order ahead of a 1st September release at the band’s official website here:

Shop

To celebrate the release of the album Drifting Sun are offering a ‘name your price’ download of the track Soldiers from their bandcamp site here:

‘Name Your Price’ download of Soldiers

As a ‘thank you’ for pre-ordering ‘Twilight’, the band are giving away the new single Eternal Cycle with each pre-order. Once you have ordered from the website, you will receive a free download code direct to your email address.

Drifting Sun are a UK-based Progressive Rock studio project which dates back to the early 90’s when Keyboardist/Composer Pat Sanders left his native France for England with Bass Player Manu Sibona. Their music has been described as dramatic, theatrical, & atmospheric, in the true style of prog rock giants such as Dream Theater, Queensryche, Genesis and Jethro Tull, to name but a few of the bands that influenced their sound.

Drifting Sun’s eponymous debut CD was released in December 1996 to positive reviews from across the globe. Following line-up changes, ‘On The Rebound’, the band’s second CD was released in the autumn of 1998. After taking a long break from the music business during which time he pursued other interests, Pat decided to revamp his project, and, armed with a brand new line up, released their third opus ‘Trip The Life Fantastic’ in January 2015.

Pat, Manu, Peter Falconer (vocals), Dan Storey (guitars) and Will Jones (drums) recorded the previous album ‘Safe Asylum’ that was released on the 21st May 2016. This was the last record to feature Dan on guitars and his replacement, Mathieu Spaeter (of The Franck Carducci band) was recruited in time to record the new album ‘Twilight’.

 

Review – Drifting Sun – On The Rebound (2016 Remaster) – by Progradar

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…”

A common enough saying, if there’s nothing wrong with a certain thing then why change it? Yet in the music industry there seems to be a propensity of remixed and remastered versions of older releases, why is this?

I suppose the technology today means that the songs can be tinkered with to produce what the artists originally wanted and there might not have been enough money in the coffers originally to release the desired versions of the tracks?

For whatever reason there is a plethora of ‘breathed on’ new versions of old releases around at the moment and last October Drifting Sun gave us a new version of their 1999 release ‘On The Rebound’ and the band’s main man, Pat Sanders, has asked your intrepid music journalist to review it.

Here’s the artwork for the original release:

I asked Pat why the band decided to remix and remaster the album and here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth (so to speak):

“The album was originally recorded and mixed/mastered at a time when we didn’t have much experience in this sort of thing, and lack of a proper budget basically forced us to take care of the mix and mastering ourselves, which wasn’t handled as best as it could have been, and that has always been in the back of my mind all these years.

Therefore, I recently decided to give the album a new lease of life and have it remixed and remastered by our sound engineer Jon Huxtable. He has done a great job bringing the songs back to life, really this was more than just a simple remix… we literally pulled the tracks from the raw files and started from scratch there.

While we were working on the mix, I thought that another thing that wasn’t showing the record in its best light either, was the cover, and so I did brand new artwork for it, as well as redesigning the entire booklet too. So there you have it, ‘On the Rebound’, Circa 2016, brand new mix, brand new master, brand new artwork!”

The band’s line-up on the original album was Pat (keyboards), Chris Martini (vocals), John Spearman (guitars), Manu Michael (bass) and Tobin Bryant (drums).

There is a rich sound to the newly remastered songs and it doesn’t sound like an album from the end of the last century, there’s a real modern sound to the music which is evident from the opening bars of The Charade, a really up-tempo neo-progressive track with a multitude of twists and turns throughout its thirteen minute duration. The keyboards and up front and centre and the drums have a real vibrancy to them and Chris Martini has a very expressive and expansive vocal style, almost theatrical in its delivery. A nicely harmonised chorus adds to the stylish feel and there’s a really intricate keyboard solo that puts a big smile on your face. John’s guitar finally loses its cloak of subtlety and becomes more forceful as we move further into this impressive track, I have to admit it has really surprised me, I wasn’t expecting a 17 year old release to sound this vibrant and dynamic. Swan Song opens with a powerful guitar run and Chris’ almost operatic vocal, a much more serious and sober track with an emotive vibrancy. It ebbs and flows superbly and the keyboards and guitar have a real tete a tete, playing off each other brilliantly before there’s a cracking guitar solo full of fire and brimstone that will have you pulling out your air guitar and joining in. A cracking track that shows just how neo-prog should be done.

A sophisticated vocal and delicate acoustic guitar open Drifting Sun with style and panache and draw you into its cultured embrace. The vocal opens up more and the music adds verve and tenacity and, along with Pat’s 80’s sounding keyboards, give you a rather elegant piece of music. Once again John’s skill on the guitar comes to the fore with a tasty solo, it doesn’t get much better than this. There are hints of Marillion but this talented band have their own identity right at the core, sit back and enjoy the music. Another cultured introduction opens Long Nights and there is definitely and 80’s feel to this song with the chiming keyboard notes and elegant bass lines. The vocals are heartfelt and earnest and the track seems to glide elegantly across your aural synapses with its hypnotic beat. There’s a feel of treading water, a calmness and serenity to everything as this mesmerising song continues. About half way in things take a darker turn and an aura of unease covers everything. The guitar fires up and goes on an intricate, quick fire journey, aided and abetted by the slightly discordant keyboards and driven along by the dynamic drums and bass, a proper progressive intervention into the composure and harmony of what went before. The song ventures into a more elaborate form with mysterious undertones, asking questions that you don’t have answers too, it’s very clever and really piqued my curiosity, I just love the freshness of the free-form and free will guitar section towards the end.

Heaven’s Eyes is a more straightforward song with a beautiful piano opening and Chris delivers another warm, sincere vocal performance. Almost a ballad but one with more depth than your usual fare, it is stirring and touches your soul with its earnest emotion. It stirred thoughts and sentiments inside that I thought were long gone and left me thoughtful and musing on the world we live in today. Minstrel is an intriguing track, it has many layers of subtlety and, as you peel them back, you are gifted with little nuggets of wonder. There’s a fantastic vocal from Chris that reminds me of some of the great frontmen that progressive rock has seen, almost a cross between Peter’s Gabriel and Hammill with a little bit of Fish thrown in for good measure. A proper ‘progressive’ track in every sense of the word and one with a penchant for a bit of showmanship at times. It’s a song for late night, lights down low, headphones on and a glass of deep red wine in your hand. As the song title would suggest, there is a touch of the troubadour about Chris’ performance on this song and he is the main focus, backed up very ably by these talented musicians to add a patina of theatrical artistry to every note.

The final track, Mon Masque, is a fitting ending to the album, full of pomp and circumstance, emotion and sentiment, it has real fervor to it. I’ve used the word ‘theatrical’ in this review and you do get that feel that you could be in a West End musical, it is more than just music, there is a heart and soul to every word and every note and the band are really putting on a performance for their audience. To hear these songs played live would be pretty special I’m sure. I keep losing myself in the myriad twists and turns that envelop this song, like a musical maze that you’re quite happy to be lost in.

I loved Drifting Sun’s last release ‘Safe Asylum’ and the praise I gave that album is well justified by this remastered version of ‘On The Rebound’. An entrancing, theatrical musical experience that draws you in and leaves you sated with its dexterity and brilliant tracks. Whether it was broken or not, this ‘fix’ has produced something rather special.

Released 1st October 2016

Buy ‘On the Rebound – remastered and remixed’ from bandcamp

 

 

 

 

Progradar’s Best of The Year For 2016 – Editor’s Choice

So we have had a wonderful selection of Top 10 picks from some of my great collaborators and now it is my turn. I’m going to stray from the norm because mine is going to be a Top 20 to keep it in line with my TEP selection that I spoke with David Elliott about.

Yes, it is a bit of a cheat but it is my website so I don’t have to follow the rules. Anyway,without any further ado, here are my top albums of 2016,not in any particular order but they have all made a big impact on my life this year…

You will also notice that there are no Bad Elephant Music releases in my Top 20. The label I work with had another superb year but it would have been a bit unfair of me to include any releases from the artists on BEM.

Bad Dreams – Déjà vu

‘Déjà vu’ is an album that will stand the test of time and is a great achievement for Bad Dreams. I was impressed from the first note by the accomplished musicianship and the superb vocals, add in the exemplary songwriting and it was sure to be a winner in my book. What makes it stand out even more is the way the music becomes almost part of you and can make you stop what you are doing and just listen for the sake of it and that, my friends, is what truly great music can do to you.

Blue Mammoth – Stories Of A King

Proper seventies epic prog of massive proportions from these excellent Brazilians. The artwork alone is very striking but the music will literally knock your socks off, play it loud,VERY loud!

Cosmograf – The Unreasonable Silence

Thought provoking, questioning and inventive, ‘The Unreasonable Silence’ has all that I ask for in my music. A well constructed and intelligent concept brought to reality by a gifted musician with incomparable support from some incredible guests. It makes you really think about what you have heard and, above all, is a peerless, outstanding and incomparable listening experience that you will not forget any time soon.

Tony Patterson – Equations of Meaning

Well I was utterly mesmerised by ‘Northlands’, Tony’s collaboration with Brendan Eyre and this album deserves to be mentioned in the same breath. To get the utmost from the album you must listen to it from start to finish, preferably with headphones on, in  a darkened room and with your choice of relaxing alcohol. To me, ‘Equations of Meaning’ is not merely a great release, it is a state of mind that we should all aspire to when our Life in the Fast Lane gets too much for us. Superb and highly recommended.

Big Big Train – Folklore

It was always going to be hard to follow ‘The Underfall Yard’ and the ‘English Electric’ albums but the acknowledged masters of pastoral progressive rock and intelligent and incisive storytelling have returned with a fresh collection of stories and tales gleaned from our heritage and history. With their penchant for heartfelt lyrics and beautiful music it is an involving and mesmerising journey that everyone should take at least once in their life…

Damian Wilson – Built For Fighting

Funny how music fits in with your life isn’t it? I was listening to this album walking back home last night and it just struck me as to how much it was a soundtrack to how my life has turned out this year. Painful lows, beautiful highs and, ultimately, balance has been restored.Taking a break form his Prog-Metal roots, Damian delivers a solo release of sublime brilliance.

David Foster – Dreamless

The usually modest and self-effacing Dave Foster has stepped out of the shadows and onto centre stage to deliver his second solo opus and is to be applauded and admired for doing so. Such a variety of moods, styles and colours doesn’t always mix well but when it is done with consummate skill, like it is here, you are treated to a cornucopia of musical delights. While neither ground breaking or game changing, what it is is really rather good.

Gandalf’s Fist – The Clockwork Fable

Gandalf’s Fist truly believe that this is the finest musical work that they have ever created. There’s a mix of all of their influences and, were you to put all of the best bits of our discography into a huge melting pot, you’d end up with something quite close (but not as awesome) as what the guys have created! But don’t just take their word for it – head over to the pre-order store and have a listen to a whopping 10 minutes of audio previews!

Ghost Community – Cycle Of Life

‘Cycle of Life’ is a thought-provoking, beguiling and fulfilling musical journey that excites and satisfies at every turn. Ghost Community may have had to endure trials and tribulations while making this record but the experiences have enabled them to deliver something quite magical and rewarding that will stand the test of time, worthy of a place in anyone’s musical collection.

Glass Hammer – Valkyrie

With its insightful, thoughtful lyrics every bit as important as the mightily impressive music, ‘Valkrie’ is a concept album in the true sense of the word. With some delightful departures from what some would call their signature sound (The Beatles anyone?) Glass Hammer continue to evolve into one of the world’s foremost Progressive Rock bands. This iconic group of musicians lead you on a journey through the horrors of war with a totally immersive sixty-five minutes of music and you will come out the other side changed forever. I can’t recommend this album enough, one of the best albums of 2016? One of the best albums of recent years more like…

iamthemorning – Lighthouse

‘Lighthouse’ is an amazing musical journey from the first note to the last. It is bewitching and beguiling and removes you from your everyday life to a place of wonder. Darkly captivating, it is not all sweetness and light but is a musical legacy that iamthemorning can build on and the ‘Lighthouse’ can light the way. These two exceptional artists have now moved into the major leagues and it is well deserved, album of the year? why not!

Nerve Toy Trio – Accidental Bar-B-Que

A really impressive and ultimately satisfying release that really gets into your psyche and has you reaching for the repeat play button again and again. Nerve Toy Trio has given us one of the best instrumental releases of the year with ‘Accidental Bar-B-Que’ and one with which the music really does stand comparison to the excellent album art. Seems my gut feeling was right once again, a highly recommended release.

I Like Trains – A Divorce Before Marriage

A real late comer to the party, in fact I haven’t reviewed it fully yet! This sublime and haunting collection of instrumental marvelousness from these Yorkshire musicians is a soundtrack to the film of the same name. Ethereal and yet solidly powerful, I haven’t heard anything like it all year and it demanded to be in this selection of top releases.

Patchwork Cacophony – Five Of Cups

There is intelligence and a wry humour than runs throughout this remarkable album. Ben Bell has an immense talent and really knows how to put it to good use. Intelligently crafted songs that make you want to listen to them show him to be a great songwriter and what he delivers proves what a notable musician he is as well. In the world of progressive rock a new star is set to rise.

Blue Rose Code – …And Lo! The Bird Is On The Wing

Blue Rose Code is Edinburgh-born songwriter Ross Wilson. At the edge of contemporary alt-folk, Wilson’s music evokes a meeting of Van Morrison and a young John Martyn, both shipwrecked with a bunch of Motown records. A deep emotive well of stunning music that affects you at a core level, another late discovery of 2016 for me but a band I will be keeping my eye on now!

Of the new record, Wilson says, “It’s an album for music fans and musicians. A challenging record, I think, and it’s  abundantly clear that the process has been undertaken away from the cynicism of any record company.”

Ray Wilson – Makes Me Think Of Home

Ray Wilson has taken us on a deeply personal musical journey full of hope, despair, pain and, ultimately, salvation and I was hooked on every word, every note. This is music at its very best, written from the heart and full of the passion and soul of the artist. This is an album that I will return to again and again, no matter how much new music crosses my path and is surely a collection of songs that can, and will, stand the test of time.

Thence – We Are Left With A Song

What Thence have delivered with ‘We Are Left With A Song’ is no mere album, it is a breathtaking, creative powerhouse of sonic delight that grows to fill any space that it occupies to take on a life of its own. It is a life that you will want to share until your dying breath, above mere superlatives, it is an utter triumph.

Tilt – Hinterland

What TILT have delivered is a superb album by a cast of very accomplished musicians. Brilliant vocals, burning guitar solos, a thunderous rhythm section and songwriting of the highest quality combine to deliver one kick ass release that I keep returning to again and again. A fine combination of excellent rock music with all that’s best about progressive rock, these guys show how it really should be done!

Marc Atkinson – Home Grown

To me, this is what makes writing about music worth every single minute I take. I have been involved in this long musical journey in some small way from start to finish and when you hear the finished article, it is almost like welcoming a newborn into the world. Marc Atkinson will have agonised about every single word and note on this album and to my ears it has been worth every single second he has taken. This is music that takes over your mind and soul and which you can relate to on a very personal level. Fifteen songs that are extremely personal to this gracious man and we should be glad that he has released them for us to enjoy. A great album and one that I have no doubt is the complete pinnacle of Marc’s solo career to date, I am extremely proud to be able call him a friend.

Drifting Sun – Safe Asylum

Drifting Sun have delivered quite a work of art, one that touches on the past for influences but, also, has its own, confident vision of the future. Consume it in one listen to get the full effect of this great album, it is one that will live in the memory for a long time.

So, there you have it. 2016 was another brilliant year for music and I hope our End Of Year choices might make you go out and buy the music to support the artists involved. Please join me and my fellow authors at Progradar in 2017 for what I hope will be another stellar year for lovers of music.

 

Progradar Best of 2016 – Emma Roebuck’s Top 10

Emma’s 10 for the year November 2015 to November 2016. It’s difficult to select 10 out of a whole year of frankly remarkable music. This selection is based on what I have listened to outside my radio show and reviewing schedule. No doubt I will change it in 2 days or more but this is the list as I type the words. I have looked at the albums I have played most at home or in the car since I acquired them. I apologise to any I have omitted but 10 is 10 and there has to be a line. It is not because the quality is less but more that these albums have spoken to me more than others. I think it is representative of what the year has given us musically from the independent sector to the ones with recording deals.

Red Bazar – Tales From The Bookcase

What can be said about this out of the Blue album that already hasn’t? A good instrumental band gets access to a vocal talent in the extreme that is a bit of a musical polymath. You get the final ingredient they needed. You get a collection of storytelling songs that bode well for the future of good solid melodic Progressive rock that is a delight to ears.

Steve Thorne – Island of the Imbeciles

Brooding, insightful, dark and political, no, not my facebook posts but Mr Thorne’s latest output. I have returned to this album again and again this year.  He captured the zeitgeist so well in this album. The songs stand up to repeated listening and are musically outstanding as well as lyrically. He has the ability for the melancholic which suits me down to the ground.

Birdeatsbaby – Tanta Furia

One of my more oddball, leftfield choices for the Prog scene, their publicist asked me to give it a listen and I duly obliged. What hit me straight away is the desire to just follow their path no matter what genre they were placed in by others. This is high energy music where a Gothic mentality meets Prog avante guard and adds a little Lana Del Rey. Yet it is all about the song not the ability to play. It’s dark and seedy, the world of Birdeatsbaby but worth a visit.

Kyros – Vox Humana

Adam changes a band name and then gets a band to make an album by a band rather than a solo project with musicians helping. It’s a jump in maturity for the song writing and although not an actual concept it is a thematic album on the “Human Condition”. I look forward to seeing this album brought to life on stage live.

Drifting Sun- Safe Asylum

This is Neo prog in its finest tradition. I played a track from this to a fellow DJ at Progzilla Radio and he was blown away in a fit of nostalgia for the days of a renown pub in Walthamstow. It is neo Prog of the highest standard. Full on, no holds barred and unashamed in where it comes from and long may it remain so.

Under A Banner – TheWild Places

If you have ever seen New Model Army or the Pogues then you’ll have some idea of the passion and power in this music. Add a strong political lyrical undercurrent and a joyous love of the music with a progressive ideology then you get a vague idea of what the music is all about but you must listen to the album to get the impact. It felt like a slap in the face. The raw power yet the sophisticated arrangements and music. Despite coming from a strong folk tradition it screams ‘hear me and be stirred’.

We Are Kin – …and i know…

We Are Kin come out with a second album on Bad Elephant Music. The previous album was a studio project using musicians to add to the core tracks of the composers and was not really designed for live performance and, as such, felt like a studio project, a good one, but it was more of a compositional process.  ‘…and I know… feels like a band has gone into a studio and a written and album together. The flow and format gives strength and depth. They are part of an up and coming group of new “Prog” outfits coming up that give me hope for the future of music in general not just the progressive scene.

Tilt – Hinterland

I have said it before but, like Dylan’s backing group stepping out from behind the star to take centre stage (as an independent band writing their own music and doing a great job), TILT have stepped up from being behind that talented  behemoth Fish and found another amazing vocal talent and given freedom to some amazing power prog that any band would be proud of making. I need to see these guys live and Prog Dreams seems like a great festival to do it.

Napiers Bones – Hell and High Water

A truly artistically independent effort, Gordon and Nathan live over 250 miles apart, one close to the wilds of Yorkshire moors and the other in Dartmoor. These places form a cornerstone of their inspiration and writing. This album I reviewed for Progradar when it came out and was knocked back that not only was this album being given freely but also the rest of their catalogue was free too. Very well written and produced storytelling of a high standard. Classic Prog coming from the local mythology of both localities this is music that needs a wide audience.

Maschine – Naturalis

The perpetually busy Mr Machin gets the time to write his own stuff and put out an album that feels considerably mature and still full of the passion and energy only the young seem to be able to maintain. I am a fan of great musicianship but never at the cost of the music. Maschine strike this balance very well indeed.  This is another thematic album this one on the struggle between man and the natural world. The future of Prog is in safe hands.

I suppose I should state the struggle I had getting these 10 from the amazing releases that 2016 has had has been huge.  The list of bands not in here because of making my criteria so strict is immense – Cosmograf, Opeth , I am The  Manic Whale,  Kate Bush,  Verbal Delirium, Marillion, Steven Wilson, Van Der Graaf  Generator, Twice Bitten, jH , The Tirith etc etc etc . These albums in my selection have the highest personal play numbers of any others in my list. I commend you to try them but also do not be afraid to listen to an album from any act despite having never heard of them. With streaming from most sites now like Bandcamp you can try before you buy.  Go on you know you want to.

 

Progradar – 2016 – Best of the First Six Months

David

(Yours truly and Prog Guru™ himself)

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the first official Progradar Reviewers and Friends ‘Best Of…’ feature.

I asked those who wished to contribute to cogitate over what great music they had heard, released 1st January to 30th June, in the first half of 2016 and come up with a list of their definitive five favourites.

Not an easy task, let me tell you but, here are the selections of nine (including me) erstwhile wordsmiths and friends, including a few words as to why these particular releases made the cut.

Emma

Emma Roebuck (Progradar reviewer)

Cover 2

Cosmograf – The Unreasonable Silence

This is Robin Armstrong on some amazing form.  I loved ‘Capacitor’ and I thought ‘Man Left in Space’ was a hard one to beat. I was clearly wrong and happy about it too. Robin is at his best when looking at the human condition when viewed through a less than regular lens. The mythology of Sisyphus and alien abduction combine to make such a lens.  I will treasure seeing his one and only live performance so far at Celebr8.3 fondly. The album is dark and melancholy which is the way I like my music to be honest.

This film might change your life and Relativity being high points in an album that is a mountain range of achievement.

Aftermath

Preacher – Aftermath

Their second album, and independently released like the Cosmograf album (and another 2 in my, selection if I remember rightly.) Preacher craft both songs and albums exceedingly well. ‘Signals’, the previous album, shows signs (poor, but unintentional, pun) of a band with tons to offer. They draw their roots from 70s Floyd and the melodic side of the genre.  It could be said that this is the album that Floyd should have released instead of ‘The Endless River’, I could easily agree but this is not that Floyd this is a band that use melody, harmony and song in a way that could go beyond the genre.

Stand out Tracks

War/ War reprise and Vinyl show how we look to emotions and actions and make things or deeds of them as people.

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Drifting Sun – Safe Asylum

I was too young to be really aware of the genuine impact of the classic period of Prog rock. I caught the periphery in my early teens but felt no ownership of Yes, Genesis, VDGG, Floyd, Gentle Giant, etc only a serious attraction to the music as a 14 year old in 1975. In the early 80s, having ridden the horror that was punk, I remember seeing Marillion, IQ and Pallas in small pubs and clubs in 82 and it was a pure emotional and intellectual epiphany. It felt like I was hit in the heart and the brain with a piece of 2 by 4. I found home and ownership of music.  I liked ‘Trip the Light Fantastic’ immensely and when I heard this album I felt all those emotions again. I was in the Sheffield Limit club again hearing something of very high quality and I connected immediately to this music. It is Neo Prog of a very high standard.  They sound like themselves with echoes of the last 40 years resounding through the music.

Standout Tracks Intruder and DesolationRetribution.

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Jump – Over The Top

I have been a fan of Jump for the best part of 21 years. It is the Classic rock society that I owe big style, not just for these but many others, in times of musical desolation.  I found my first sample of these by old school recognition and recommendation by word of mouth. Fast forward to many Jump gigs later, the new album ‘Over the Top’ comes out and it was ‘yes, get in!’. Some of the current live set had been used to fine tune some of the songs over the last 18 months or so and it shows. John Dexter Jones is a storyteller par excellence and the band are an excellent vehicle for those stories. The words are heartfelt and the music comes from the same place. If they lived in medieval times they would be the bards of old. The use of the past to illustrate the way of the world we live in now is the stock in trade here.

Stand out tracks, I want to say all of them but if I was to choose The Beach and the Wreck of the St Marie are those choices.

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Kiama – Sign of IV

Just when you think you have Rob Reed figured out, Sanctuary, Magenta and so on, he does something out of the blue and blows the socks of you. Take good old rock sensibilities from the 60s and 70s, put them in the hands of some very talented individuals and they become a band which sounds like they have been a unit for years. I recently saw them support Frost* and wow, just wow.

This is a hybrid, musically drawn from the past in a very real sense, and is a homage to how they used to work but it does not feel like a tribute band in anyway.  It results in a multifaceted album of light and shade with some fantastic songs and heartfelt lyrics. It is some of Luke Machin’s best work outside of Maschine & Rubidium.  Rob Reed has a blast playing with sound and tone to create things like ‘Muzzled’, which is a tribute to the Floyd Album ‘Animals’, using the tones from the period to reflect the music and the time it came out. Dylans voice is amazing, we need more Kiama …

Stand Out Tracks  Muzzled and Slip away.

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Leo Trimming – (Progradar and TPA reviewer)

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Red Bazar – Tales From The Bookcase

This was my TPA’s review’s conclusion early in the year for this surprise package, and I’ve had no reason to change it since…

This is an excellent collaboration: Red Bazar have helped Peter Jones express more of his serious, darker side and also allowed him to display more vocal dexterity. In return Red Bazar have gained a talented and very fine rock vocalist who has added great lyrical skill and vocal feeling  to their own fine emotional musical palette…

This may be a bit of a dark horse, but Red Bazar may just have released one of the Prog albums of the year.

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Matthew Parmenter – All Our Yesterdays

A favourite on two levels – it’s a great album of subtle artistry and fine music, and on another level the artist & his music  touched me personally. My Progradar review concluded:

Matthew Parmenter has stepped aside from the magnificent, gothic group dynamic of Discipline to create a solo work of art suffused with dramatic shades and emotional lyricism, conveying tragedy and hope. This is an album that is likely to captivate and beguile with subtlety and delicate emotion. It certainly gave me unexpected comfort – Inside.’

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Nine Stones Close – Leaves

A darkly trippy and psychedelic album. Part dream, part nightmare – this is an album for which repeated listens gradually unpeal the layers, like all the best progressive releases. My Progradar review observed:

Nine Stones Close create rich musical landscapes suffused with a sense of the dramatic and psychedelic… They do not stick to their old formula and want to progress. My advice is stick with these guys because you are never quite sure in which direction their songs or this albums may turn, but it sure is an imaginative and fascinating ride!’

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Big Big Train – Folklore

A much anticipated release does not disappoint as the album describes modern folklore, ancient legend, elegies for lost love and epic stories of heroism and loss … plus bees (!) in a rich tapestry of folk tinged progressive rock. Lyrically intelligent and insightful, conveyed with integrity and emotion, and played with consummate skill and passion. Impossible to ignore – we all sort of knew it would be great. Of course it’s great!

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Cosmograf – The Unreasonable Silence

Simply stunning. Robin Armstrong has imagined a rich narrative of alien incursion (or paranoid breakdown?!) with sonic brilliance. The imaginative story is unnerving, whilst the music is captivating on a human level but cinematic in scope – ranging from crunching Purple riffs, through atmospheric acoustic passages to sweeping Floydian soundscapes. Undoubtedly, major contender for Album of the Year already from one of the best Progressive Rock artists of this generation.

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Gary Morley – (Progradar reviewer)

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Hawkwind – The Machine Stops

Everything that Hawkwind evoke distilled into one disc. Great musicianship, tunes and tons of atmosphere make this the top of the pops for me. It’s been a long time since a Hawkwind album had such a buzz about it. Biggest regret – that I missed the live shows. Biggest hope – a proper live blu-ray & CD set is coming.

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Preacher – Aftermath

Prog at it’s best for me needs a driver. Preacher use guitars. Proper guitars like your dad waffles on about when he talks about Pink Floyd, Steve Hillage, Jimmy Page and that time he watched Rory Gallagher play for 3 hours at the Hexagon Theatre and your mum was drinking pints and ended up paralytic, singing along to “Wayward Child” sat on his boss’s shoulders…

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I Am The Manic Whale – Everything Beautiful In Time

Local boy’s debut embraces everything that is good about music. It has great tunes, off the wall lyrics and subjects that place it head and shoulders above most of what passes for modern music from the under 30’s. I’m looking forward to their next offering, be it a live gig in Reading or more music.

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Gandalf’s Fist – The Clockwork Fable

‘The Clockwork Fable’ is a Steam punk opera, like a space opera or a soap opera but without the bad romance and dodgy backdrops.

I loved the variety of musical genres used to tell a totally bonkers tale of clockwork suns and steam powered boys looking for missing cogs in a giant machine all played out in a cavernous underground city. There are rock tracks, some great drumming, some “epic” prog , some plaintive melodies and a host of guest vocalists and musicians, all of which add to the mix without overegging the lily.

The first time you listen you get sucked into the world presented here. It’s a Post apocalyptic, dark dystopian world but there are flashes of humour and the absurdity does not detract from the sheer brilliance of the effort here.

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Steven Wilson – 4 1/2

“left over’s” from ‘Hand .Cannot .Erase’ these track might have been, but as a snapshot of Mr Chuckletrousers ( © Angus Prune I Think) and his Zeus like stature in the modern Prog pantheon  this is sublime in its perfection. Hints of Zappa referencing impossible “stun guitar”, epic soundscape that demonstrate his skill as an arranger and bleak yet beautiful lyrics are all wrapped in a package that sticks 2 fingers up at the download and go generation. This is a quality production in every detail, lovingly constructed and presented for your pleasure.

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Shawn Dudley – (Progradar reviewer)

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Messenger – Threnodies

It took several spins for this album to truly work its magic on me, but once hooked it just won’t let me go.  A beautifully organic record, informed and powered by vintage sounds but not a slave to them.  The tastefully arranged guitar work on this album is a particular highlight.  Favorite tracks:  Balearic Blue, Celestial Spheres. 

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Haken – Affinity

Haken leaves the 1970s sounds of ‘The Mountain’ behind, makes a brief stop in the 1980s for the song 1985 and then ventures forward into the future on Affinity.  An endlessly inventive collection of intricately designed and passionately performed pieces it’s one of the most thrillingly forward-looking albums of 2016.  It’s time to drop the “Prog Metal” genre tag, these guys have transcended it.  Favorite tracks:  The Architect, Red Giant

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Purson – Desire’s Magic Theatre

Purson’s follow-up to ‘The Circle And The Blue Door’ is essentially a solo album from Rosalie Cunningham who wrote, arranged, produced and performed the majority of D.M.T. herself.   A conceptual psychedelic journey influenced by her Father’s record collection and her own experimentation with mind-expanding substances.  Another case of an artist using the canvas of vintage instrumentation and production techniques to create very personal and unique modern music.   Favorite tracks:  The Sky Parade, The Bitter Suite.

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Big Big Train Folklore

Another beautiful collection of immaculately arranged and produced “pastoral prog” from this master collective of musicians.  I recommend going for the extended track-list available on the LP and High-Res download editions, I believe an even stronger collection than the shorter CD version.  Favorite tracks:  Salisbury Giant, London Plane

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Knifeworld – Bottled Out OF Eden

A wonderfully quirky concoction of pop sensibility, progressive experimentation and the harmonic sophistication of jazz all mixed together into a thoroughly accessible brew.  And it’s fun!  Favorite tracks:  I Am Lost, I Must Set Fire To Your Portrait.

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Roger Trenwith – (TPA reviewer and Astounded by Sound blog)

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Bent Knee – Say So

An unparalleled triumph of invention, melody, and strangeitude, it will take some beating for album of the year.

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David Bowie – Blackstar

Hardly seems right relegating this poignant artistic statement and full stop on a career of a true visionary to No.2, but from a purely musical point of view, them’s the breaks.

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Knifeworld – Bottled Out OF Eden

A chronicle of loss leavened by hope, Knifeworld get better with each release. Criminally underrated.

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Body English – Stories of Earth

Is there a sub-genre called “prog-pop”? If not, this is it. A truly joyous record shining a light in this dark Year of Stupid.

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King Crimson – Live In Toronto – Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Toronto, Canada, 20th November 2015

Whatever I put here means leaving out at least half a dozen albums equally as good, so this came out on top after a complicated mathematical randomisation process involving dice, incantations, dead frogs, toads, and copious amounts of single malt. The mighty Crim remake, remodel like no-one else. The version of Epitaph will make you shiver, unless you have no soul. Superb!

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Kevin Thompson (LHS) – (Progradar reviewer)

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Big Big Train – Folklore

Does this really need a reason?, best of the Band’s excellent output so far and an album that will always be on my desert island disc list. As near to perfect as it gets…

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Long Distance Calling – Trips

There are so many bands in this area of music it’s hard to stand out, but, on this release, Long Distance Calling have…..

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Gandalf’s Fist – The Clockwork Fable

A tremendous 3 disc concept package of such quality. Never been better value for money and shames the bigger bands!!

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Iamthemorning – Lighthouse

A delicately beautiful album from this Russian duo added further poignancy with the heartfelt vocals from Mariusz Duda on the title track.

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Downriver Dead Men Go – Tides

Another band who came recommended and I’d not heard before buying. Slow, dark and emotional, this Dutch band surpassed my expectations.

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David Elliott – (Prog Guru™, TEP, Bad Elephant)

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Lazuli – Nos Âmes Saoules

There is nothing else quite like them, and they keep on going from strength to strength….

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Bent Knee – Say So

My first exposure to this amazing American band…genuine innovators, and hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck exciting!!

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The Dowling Poole – One, Hyde Park

Unashamedly unoriginal, but huge fun, and immaculately crafted. Big smiley music.

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Knifeworld – Bottled Out Of Eden

Banging tunes, a great groove, and more bassoon!!

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Frost* – Falling Satellites

A great return to the arena from the masters of modern progressive. Progressive rock with pop sensibilities – what’s not to like?

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John Simms – (Progradar reviewer, Rev Sky Pilot blog)

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Big Big train – Folklore

Consistently turning out excellent pastoral English progressive music, BBT have hit the motherlode again with this suite of songs celebrating the British folkloric tradition. From the sublime beauty of ‘Transit’ to the quirky tale of ‘Winkie’ the Pigeon, this is music of the highest calibre.

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Anderson/Stolt – Invention of Knowledge

This, for me, is simply the best music anyone connected with Yes has produced since ‘Awaken’. It draws on the bestaspects of Yes and Flower Kings and produces something sublime and beautiful. It was a very close call between my Top 2.

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Southern Empire – Southern Empire

One of the up sides to Unitopia folding a few years ago is that we now have both UPF and Southern Empire to carry on the legacy. This is a fine collection of melodic progressive rock music, exhibiting high levels of virtuosity and songmanship.

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Knifeworld – Bottled Out of Eden

Another band with a unique style and approach to music making. This is a wonderful follow-up to ‘The Unravelling’ and Kavus and his band of minstrels continue to delight.

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Mothertongue – Unsongs

The best music is that which stands out from the crowd, and Mothertongue certainly do that. Ecclectic, bizarre, unexpected and bonkers, this is a wonderful collection of (un)songs.

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And finally my thoughts, this selection of five albums was incredibly difficult to pick but I’m pretty certain that, at this moment in time, it is my definitive top five!!!

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Mothertongue – Unsongs

With its incisive, intelligent lyrics and first-class musicianship, Unsongs is unlike anything you will have heard in recent years. The music will lead you on a roller-coaster journey of acid jazz inventiveness that’s a big heap of noisy and light and also includes a lot of brass because everyone likes brass, right? A musical breath of fresh air that you will return to again and again, it’s just brilliant!

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Big Big Train – Folklore

The acknowledged masters of pastoral progressive rock and intelligent and incisive storytelling return with a fresh collection of tales gleaned from our heritage and history. With their penchant for heartfelt lyrics and beautiful music it is an involving and mesmerising journey that everyone should take at least once in their life.

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Cosmograf – The Unreasonable Silence

Thought provoking, questioning and inventive, ‘The Unreasonable Silence’ has all that I ask for in my music. A well constructed and intelligent concept brought to reality by a gifted musician with incomparable support from some incredible guests. It makes you really think about what you have heard and, above all, is a peerless, outstanding and incomparable listening experience that you will not forget any time soon.

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Iamthemorning – Lighthouse

‘Lighthouse’ is an amazing musical journey from the first note to the last. It is bewitching and beguiling and removes you from your everyday life to a place of wonder. Darkly captivating, it is not all sweetness and light but is a musical legacy that iamthemorning can build on and the ‘Lighthouse’ can light the way. These two exceptional artists have now moved into the major leagues and it is well deserved, album of the year? why not!

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Tilt – Hinterland

A superb album by a cast of very accomplished musicians. Brilliant vocals, burning guitar solos, a thunderous rhythm section and songwriting of the highest quality combine to deliver one kick ass release that I keep returning to again and again. By the way, three of these guys are better known as Fish’s backing band but, oh my god, have they risen well above that soubriquet now….

So, there you have it, a small selection of our own, very subjective, opinions on what has been the best music of a highly impressive first six months of 2016. You may agree, you may not but, one thing that everything agrees on is that the music just keeps getting better, and long may it continue!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review – Drifting Sun – Safe Asylum – by Progradar

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“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”
Gustav Mahler

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”
W. Somerset Maugham

I like using quotes in my reviews, they can give some instant idea of what I am trying to get across in a pithy and memorable way.

Maybe you would say the phrase ‘Taditional Progressive Rock’ is an oxymoron (a figure of speech that juxtaposes elements that appear to be contradictory), how can something seem to progress if it’s traditional and, by definition, resistant to change?

Well, look at it from another angle and maybe the artists in question are not blindly following or copying what they admire but are being influenced by it to take their music to a different level. As W. Somerset Maugham said above, they are using it as a guide to produce something quite unique in its own way.

And to further Mr Mahler’s statement, they are preserving what is loved and respected by taking it further and, yes, progressing what has gone before.

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Drifting Sun are a UK-based Progressive Rock studio project which dates back to the early 90’s when Keyboardist/Composer Pat Sanders left his native France for England with Bass Player Manu Sibona. Their music has been described as dramatic, theatrical, & atmospheric, in the true style of prog rock giants such as Dream Theater, Queensryche, Genesis and Jethro Tull, to name but a few of the bands that influenced their sound.

Drifting Sun’s eponymous debut CD was released in December 1996 to positive reviews from across the globe. Following line-up changes, ‘On The Rebound’, the band’s second CD was released in the autumn of 1998. After taking a long break from the music business during which time he pursued other interests, Pat decided to revamp his project, and, armed with a brand new line up, released their third opus ‘Trip The Life Fantastic’ in January 2015.

Now Drifting Sun return with their most ambitious project yet. The current line-up of Pat, Manu, Peter Falconer (vocals), Dan Storey (guitars) and Will Jones (drums) recorded the new album ‘Safe Asylum’ and it was released on the 21st May 2016.

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Opener King Of Hearts starts with some dramatic keyboards giving a feeling of apprehension as the track builds before the vocals begin, Peter Falconer has a rather special voice, melodic and very pleasing on the ears. A rising keyboard wail introduces a staccato riff and drum beat that gives the song more impetus. The guitar almost becomes lyrical as it backs the more insistent vocal on the verse. Everything then begins to flow nicely in a song that has more than a hint of the medieval to it. Excellent guitar runs and precise backing form the rhythm section deliver a really progressive feel. This track ebbs and flows nicely between the low key and laid back sections, that are sung in a sort of minstrel style, and the harder edged, more metallic interludes of stylistic prog. Music telling a tale in a jaunty fashion, it holds your attention throughout and the delightful guitar runs and intricate soloing that punctuate the song towards the end are really rather good. An excellent opener to the album.

The Hidden Truth begins with an offbeat keyboard and drum combo that gives it a slightly jazzed up feel. Peter’s vocal then joins in, quite sublime in its delivery. He really does have a voice full of warmth and compassion and it is the true focal point of this track. The music acts as a wonderful canvas on which the vocals can be painted. The delicate guitar and precise harmonies give a feel of a laid back Moon Safari to the song and the graceful solo adds some serious panache. This song draws you into its wistful, gossamery embrace before a burning guitar solo breaks out to add some fierce passion to the fine-grained aura of the rest of the track.

Let’s turn up the tension a notch and move into firmer neo-prog territory with next track Intruder. This was the first song that Pat let me hear from the album and the one which hooked me in immediately. A repeated synth note opens proceedings before a calming bass line and drum beat underpin a swirling guitar and the vocals begin, adding a sense of momentum. Hold for a chugging riff and we are off on a heavier musical trip. The powerful crescendo of the chorus is quite addictive and, as Peter’s voice starts to hit the high notes, the transformation is complete. Heavy and precise riffs join stylish keyboard runs and everything is held together by the glue of the superb rhythm section. It comes in at over ten minutes long but never feels like it is outstaying its welcome. Properly progressive and yet quite dynamic and compelling, the repeated ‘I’m The Intruder’ line sticks in your mind long after the song has finished. Intricate keyboard wizardry is joined by some sophisticated guitar playing to lift this above the ordinary and into the arena of the distinctive and, as it comes to a close, replete with chugging riff and repeated chant,  I find myself silently nodding in rapt appreciation.

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That medieval bard-like feel returns with the ethereal and winsome delights of Alice. A calm and collected acoustic guitar and tender piano begin the song before Peter’s bewitching vocal joins in. The addition of the pleasing flute and string arrangement adds even more gravitas to this charming song under which there runs a slightly melancholic tone. There is an aura of nostalgic sombreness running throughout, a longing for something lost and never to be found perhaps? I can feel a lump forming in my throat and I must have something in my eye! The superlative strings and flute add an almost otherworldly feel to this beauteous piece of music and, when it comes to a close, you feel ever so slightly lost for words.

Wonderland opens with a keyboard introduction, backed by acoustic guitar before the storytelling continues in a superior vein. All echoing harmonies and precise instrumentation, it is captivating and quite wonderful. It is progressive rock but with a theatrical edge, in fact, when the pace picks up and the guitar riff breaks out, I am reminded of early Queen, Peter does have a touch of the Freddy Mercurys in his vocal delivery at times and the guitar has a magical voice all of its own. With the titles Alice and Wonderland you don’t need to guess the subject matter of these two tracks (and album) which weave their own little conceptual ideas around your brain. The dynamic section in the middle of the song just knocks you back with its energy and dynamism and the guitar work that follows is pure genius, Dan is seriously channeling his inner Bryan May here with a solo of technical wizardry and yet one that is full of emotion. These are some seriously clever and extremely competent musicians that are on a real high with this album and it shows on this ever impressive track.

That theatric and showy feel returns with the melodramatic Gods. This is not just a collection of songs, it is also a collection of stories and tales and one that you could just about imagine watching in the West End of London as some sort of Rock-Opera. Again that showy feel, reminiscent of Queen, is present in large quanitities, Peter’s vocal brilliance and the virtuoso playing of Dan give it tongue-in-cheek pomposity. The keyboards swirl and envelop everything with this musical sheen and the drums and bass sit there supremely confident in the background, the rock on which everything else is founded.

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The next two tracks are so entwined you could see them as one. The yin and yang of Desolation and Retribution. Two sides of the same coin, the dark and the light. Desolation has a feel of the darkness of Opeth mixed with the subtleties of Mystery. Almost mantra like vocals, subdued and solemn, give an occult feel and the music plays out as if it is a Greek Tragedy, the nebulous solo a case in point. It is quite ominous in tone and atmosphere, leaving you crestfallen and subdued. The segue into Retribution is some edgy and jazzy drums followed by a riffing guitar and Peter hitting the highest of high notes, the blue touch paper is lit and we are off! Fast paced and upbeat, this track is a stellar opposite to Desolation with its great harmonies and irrepressible riffs that are delivered in a symphonic prog hue. Overblown and unapologetic it fires off into the distance strutting its stuff. The solo is forceful and in your face and the whole song just rides over anything that gets in its way like an irresistible force.

There are two instrumental bonus tracks on the version I received and, in the interests of completeness, I must mention them.

Emphasis (For Sienna Joy) is a lovely little piece just over one minute long that just dances lightly over your aural synapses to leave a very satisfied feeling in your heart and soul and Vagabond is a more potent and charismatic piece that focuses on the guitar to give a feel of a Joe Satriani song. The excellent interchanges between guitar and keyboards give it some added zest. These two tracks, while not exactly necessary, just give the album something extra and I really enjoyed them.

Drifting Sun have delivered quite a work of art, one that touches on the past for influences but, also, has its own, confident vision of the future. Consume it in one listen to get the full effect of this great album, it is one that will live in the memory for a long time.

Released 21st May 2016

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