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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lunatic Soul

Walking on a Flashlight Beam

Review by Gary Hill

I’m going to say this right up front, this might be the best album yet from Lunatic Soul. I really like the variety here. It ranges from moody atmosphere to rocking prog. It does it all with a sound that is trademark Lunatic Soul. It never feels stale or redundant, either. I can’t imagine a better introduction this artist. It should also be a welcome addition to the catalogue for the fans.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Shutting Out the Sun

Atmospheric and just a little creepy and ominous, this grows very gradually. It eventually gets quite melodic and pretty. Vocals come in after the six minute mark. It is a slow moving, but fun ride, really. It gets a faster paced, heavier, more rocking section around the seven and a half minute mark.

Cold
Starting with textures and effects, this moves fairly shortly into an energetic melodic rock sound. It’s rather electronic and moody, though. The easy answer would be to say that it sounds like Pink Floyd, but really it’s more like RPWL to me. I love the rhythm section on this, but the vocals really sell it. Of course, you can’t discount the keyboards, either. The harder edged movement later is closer to space rock.
Gutter
I absolutely love this piece. It’s got a real energy to it. Although it’s more of a mellow electronic treatment, it’s definitely a space rock number. It’s dramatic and powerful. The jamming later really gets quite soaring in its melodic musical adventures.
Stars Sellotaped
This short piece is mellow and atmospheric.           
The Fear Within
The beginning of this has a sound much like tuned percussion. It works to more melodic, but still very atmospheric territory with a prominent percussive element. Eventually that percussion drops away and a guitar melody emerges to join and drive the mix. The ends around the six minute mark after building, leaving behind sound effects. A new electronic sound grows out from there. That section finishes off the instrumental.
Treehouse
More of a mainstream modern prog piece, this makes me think of a cross between Marillion and RPWL quite a bit. The song evolves as it carries on, but never gets too far from its origins. It’s an effective and rather catchy number that works really well. It’s one of my favorites here.
Pygmalion's Ladder
This is an epic length piece. It starts with some world music melodies that are merged with more of the modern prog heard on the rest of the set. That works through some shifts and changes as it continues. Around the three minute mark it drops way down to a stripped down arrangement for the first vocals. It grows out to a more rocking jam around the five minute mark. This instrumental section gets quite involved and powerful. By the time the vocals rejoin it’s become a high energy, rocking instrumental arrangement. After the ten minute mark it turns to an intricate and quite beautiful mellow progressive rock section. The faster paced jam that preceded it returns after a time to take the piece to its climax.
Sky Drawn in Crayon
Mellow and rather moody, this is an evocative modern progressive rock piece. It’s quite pretty and electronic.  
Walking on a Flashlight Beam
This isn’t a big surprise, but rather another solid helping of the kind of modern prog we’ve come to expect by this point. It’s one of the most mainstream and straightahead pieces here. It’s also very good.
 
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