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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

ES Posthumus

Featuring Luna Sans – Cartographer

Review by Gary Hill

This CD should appeal to fans of artists like Enigma and Enya, but I’ve put it into the progressive rock classification. For my money there is a ton of classical music, some serious artistry and other elements that make the argument. Of course, there is very little “rock” here. The first CD consists of music with vocals by Luna Suns while the second CD is generally instrumental versions of the same songs – with two added to the mix. Without casting any dispersion on the vocal talents of Suns (in fact, she has a wonderful voice) I much prefer CD 2. That’s mainly because the music feels more powerful there.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Nolitus
A beautiful balladic motif that has a lot of classical elements to it, this is a great tune. The vocals are gentle and pretty. There are some exceptionally nice melody lines that run across here and there throughout this journey.
Isonova
This begins with even more of a classical bent than the first track had. They work this into a ballad-like structure for the first vocals, but then it powers up a bit more towards pure rock territory. This is melodic and powerful and certainly a stronger cut than the opener. The thing is, that one was quite strong, too. So, that really says a lot. This even picks up a bit of a crunch as it moves onward, but no one would mistake it for metal. This turns into an incredible powerhouse, but is also still gentle and intricate. Now, that’s a juggling act.
Vorrina
A full classical approach serves as the intro, but they quickly alternate into sounds more like the previous two tracks. This is balladic and pretty. It’s not as “rock” oriented as “Isonova.” They move this out into a playful jam later and use that to serve as the conclusion.
Selisona
This one also starts with purely classical music, but they bring this in with more energy and power. It definitely fits better into a progressive rock label and feels a bit like Renaissance meets Enigma or Enya. They do some wonderful things with this, while never moving wholesale away from the central musical themes.
Marunae
The modes that start things here are extremely dramatic and powerful. They drop this back for the opening vocals, but then move it back up towards the introduction as they carry one. This is another highlight of the disc and a wonderfully beautiful piece of music. It alternates between louder and more sedate movements, but all is intricate and beautiful.
Mosane
This starts with classical soundtrack like music that feels a bit ominous. When they move it out to the song proper it feels like symphonic metal to me – without the metal. About two minutes in they rework this into a frantic, Arabian sounding jam. It’s a great touch. This part stays instrumental and they drop it back down for the next set of vocals. They bring back the fast paced section afterwards and anyone wondering if this group fits as “prog rock” need look no further. This is a killer.
Decifin
Here they turn this pretty and gentle. More than anything this is an adult contemporary ballad with lots of classical elements.
Sollente
This has a Latin feel and is full of powerful melodies and great classical music stylings. It’s pretty and powerful. With flamenco guitar in the midst, this is lovely.
Caarano
“Caarano” is quite similar to “Decifin,” but perhaps with a bit more “oomph.”
Raptamei
In some ways this doesn’t differ a lot from the previous tune. The thing is, this one has more of an acoustic guitar based ballad approach. They power this out later into a killer jam that’s definitely much more “rock” than a lot of the music here.  Mellow world music textures take this later and end it.
Oraanu
The first segment of this feels to me like Laurie Anderson meets Enya. They move it to a more organic acoustic guitar based ballad approach. It powers out after a while into a more rocking version of itself. This becomes quite intricate in terms of its musical progressions but also has some of the most hard rocking music on the whole disc. This is a highlight of the album.

Novaos
This is beautiful and very classically oriented. It’s gentle and yet emotionally powerful.

Nasivern
Some of the most dramatic music of the whole CD starts this. It’s one part progressive rock and one part classically oriented soundtrack music. It drops down to the more sedate for the balladic verse and then builds from there as they carry it forward.  They throw in a little country excursion later in this piece.

Disc 2
Ashielf Pi
This is dark and dramatic as it enters. As they bring in more classical elements it begins to feel more like the soundtrack to some epic adventure movie. This instrumental turns into a powerhouse feeling like symphonic metal without the crunch. I’d actually put this as my favorite song on the two discs. It is the first of two pieces here that didn’t show up on the previous CD in any form.
Oraanu Pi
An operatic intro takes the place of the more modern intro we got when this song appeared on the first disc of the set. Remaining instrumental (other than non-lyrical vocals that serve more as instrumentation), this winds up becoming another powerhouse jam. I think I prefer this version to the one on CD 1.
Marunae Pi
This is probably a more dramatic version of the song from disc  This turns very rock oriented later in the number.
Mosane Pi
This powerhouse is an instrumental version of the track we heard on the first disc of the set.
Isonova Pi
As with most of these instrumental takes, I find this to be stronger than the vocal version of the piece.
Nasivern Pi
Here we have another song that was on the first disc, this time done sans vocals.
Selisona Pi
Yet again we have an instrumental take on the song we’ve heard before.
Raptamei Pi
And, here is another instrumental version of a track from the first CD.
Caarano Pi
Yep, you know the drill.
Novaos Pi
Mmmm hmmmm – it’s another instrumental rendition.
Sollente Pi
Instrumental – here we go again.
Decifin Pi
Do I even need to say it?
Vorrina Pi
And this is the deal once more – instrumental modes of the earlier piece.
Nolitus Pi
The first track from CD one is represented instrumentally here.
Odenall Pi
Here we get a number that was not represented on the first disc. This comes in as a pretty folk rock styled ballad and then is intensified with more layers of instrumentation. They take it through a few changes and alterations and in general this is a great tune. This has some definite classical sections as they move through more powerful and more sedate segments.
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