Drifting Sun are a UK-based Progressive Rock studio project. Their music has been described as dramatic, theatrical, and atmospheric, in the true style of Progressive Rock giants such as Dream Theater, Queensryche, Genesis and Jethro Tull, to name but a few of the bands that influenced their sound.
Or so says the PR material, well, with the addition of renowned greek solo artist and lead vocalist of Verbal Delirium, Jargon, I personally think you can add rock royalty Queen to that list!
I’ve long been a fan of this unique musical project, their amazing musicianship has touched areas of symphonic prog, progressive metal, hard rock and many others but this new album is truly the pinnacle of their work so far. It is pompous, ebullient and in your face at times but with a nod and a wink, and not a little humour, at times. Powerful vocals, soaring guitar lines and a monstrous rhythm section all contribute to a magical melting pot of musical brilliance.
There are no weak tracks on the album, opener King of the Country flies along at a breakneck pace with Pat Sander’s excellent keyboards leading the way. It’s when Jargon’s fine, distinctive vocals begin that I begin to feel we are being treated to something special here. In association with Pat’s keys, he gives me an impression of that great Queen track, Don’t Stop Me Now, but done with Drifting Sun’s own inimitable style and it gets me smiling immediately!.
Insidious is a more introspective track with a melancholy vibe engendered by the brooding vocals and dynamic keyboards, a dramatic and powerful piece of music. That melancholy feeling carries over into the melodramatic, theatrical inventiveness of Dementium, a pair of songs that take symphonic prog and elevate it to another level. New Dawn is a heartfelt, emotive track with a sincere vocal and Pat’s elegant piano giving an almost forlorn feel to the song, the emotion and passion are bared for all to hear, especially on the superb guitar solo.
Now things get really interesting with the two part title track. At over twenty five minutes in total, Forsaken Innocence Parts I & II is epic in every way and is some of the best music I have heard this year. A group of musicians at the height of their game and playing in perfect harmony, when that happens then music simply becomes a joy to listen to, every note resonating with you on a personal level. I suggest just sitting back and letting these impressive pieces of music just wash over you and marvel at the brilliance on show.
Time to Go is the final track on the album (not including the bonus track*) and brings things to a close with a clarity and calmness that just leaves you in a better place.
(*Bonus track Hand on Heart is a brief, but compelling, footnote to the album, authoritative vocals and energetic music delivering a short, sharp and effectual hit of Drifting Sun’s addictive music.)
‘Forsaken Innocence’ sees Drifting Sun step out of the shadows and cement their place at the top table of progressive acts in the UK. It’s an engaging, captivating and sensational listen every time you press play and is deservedly up there fighting for the honours of album of the year.
Released 27th October, 2021.
Order from bandcamp here: