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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lunatic Soul

Impressions

Review by Gary Hill

One of the problems with a lot of moody neo-prog is that there’s not enough variation from track to track. That’s been a problem to a degree in the past with Lunatic Soul, the solo project of Riverside lead vocalist Mariusz Duda. Well, this disc goes for the instrumental concept (meaning the only vocals other than on the two bonus tracks are non-lyrical) and a focus more toward new-age sounds. That makes the problem even more pronounced than usual. That said, this is a good album to just put in and have playing the background. It’s also great for taking one track at a time. When you pay close attention and spin the whole set in order, though, it really starts to feel like one very long and not very dynamic piece of music. Still, this certainly lands further on the “good” side of the equation than the opposite end.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Impression I

The first few minutes of this piece are very mellow with various atmospheric soundscapes emerging to take it in different directions. Around the four minute mark, though, it moves out to more dramatic ballad-like song structures. It still remains essentially instrumental (there are some non-lyrical vocals early) but does feel more like a “song” as it continues.

Impression II
Beautiful, intricate and involved, this continues the mellow stylings of the opener, but takes it in different directions.
Impression III
Starting even mellower, this one grows out into a pretty and dramatic musical excursion. It eventually works out to more rocking territory than anything to this point and really does some interesting exploration as it continues.
Impression IV
While this is still mellow, it comes in more rock oriented than the other stuff. It’s has a real rocking rhythm section. It’s also basically instrumental, but has non-lyrical vocals.
Impression V
Acoustic guitar is more prominent here, but overall this isn’t changed to dramatically from the previous material. Still, there are some interesting musical movements presented.
Impression VI
Again, the motif is changed up, and we get some non-lyrical vocals, but the formula is really starting to wear thin by this point. That’s really a shame because some of the coolest music, sort of threatening to turn hard rocking, appears on this number. It’s just hard to appreciate it among the mind-numbing similarity to this point.
Impression VII
Mysterious and strange, this is one of the more unique tracks on show here, but again, the sameness of everything really hurts it in the long run.
Impression VIII
Keyboards drive this new-age like number. It’s pretty, but again, lost in the blur of similar sounds.
Gravestone Hill (remix)
This song is a bonus track and the most different piece on show. It features the moody neo-prog song structure that’s the most familiar element from Lunatic Soul. It’s pretty and powerful.
Summerland (remix)
Here’s another tune that’s got that cool melodic neo-prog sound. It like it a lot.
 
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