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Firebird

Bonds of Life

Review by Gary Hill

I really like the music on this disc a lot. The female vocals tend toward operatic, though. I’m not a big fan of those kind of vocals, so for that reason, this is only so effective for me. This does seem like the kind of thing that would definitely appeal to fans of avant-garde progressive rock.

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
Bonds of Life

The hard edged sounds that open this feel like modern King Crimson tweaked with some fusion. The vocals come across operatic, pulling this very much into Rock In Opposition type territory.

The Tree
This is even weirder. It’s very much of Gong like bit of art rock. Those operatic vocals finish out the picture.
In Your Heart
Landing somewhere between the two previous numbers, this is a bit more of a rocker than the last one was. It’s no less strange than either of those other two.
Winter Solstice 2
Careening this way and that, this number has a lot of fusion and hard rock built into it. The horns add to the jazz element. This is still pretty strange, but it’s oddly compelling, too. It’s a real powerhouse. As this instrumental continues, there are moments that make me think of Zappa. Other parts are more classical in nature. It’s a diverse and dynamic piece, and for my tastes, one of the most effective here.
Succubus
Rock, opera and more collide on this RIO-like number. It’s very odd and very driving. It’s intense and noisy.
When You Went
A relatively short piece, this one lands on the hard rocking end of the sound we’ve gotten throughout this set.
Lost Love
Another instrumental this is pretty crazed, yet it also has a bit of a real groove to it. I love some of the bass work on this thing. Yes, it’s still strange. It’s also one of the best things here. I really like this a lot.
Phoenix
They saved the best for the last. There is a lot of jazz on this twisting, turning jam. It’s another instrumental and it’s just so cool. It flows so well and really has a lot of different themes and flavors. In a lot of ways it reminds me of something Birdsongs of the Mesozoic might do.

 

 
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