Record Label: Maybe Records
Release Date: 3rd November 2014
Gethin Woolcock – Vocals/Guitar
Chris Dean – Guitar
Liam Scanell – Bass
Yotin Walsh – Drums
Chase To The Throne
Cult Leader’s Handbook
Here Lie The Ruins
Ship Of Fools
Graveyard Of Ambition
Prosperina hail from Swansea in Wales and “Harness-Minus” is the follow-up to their debut album, “Faith In Sleep” that was released to critical acclaim in 2012. So, what with this being the “difficult second album” and all, is it actually any good? In a word, yes! I’ve listened to this album before writing this review more than any other in 2014 and I still like it and could listen to it again tomorrow, which is a sure sign of greatness. The problem I have is explaining quite why I like it as much as I do but probably one of the best things about the band’s music is its refusal to sit in a conveniently labelled box. Is it prog? Yes. Is it rock? Yes. Is it stoner? Yes. All that matters of course is, is it good? Yes again.
Just listen to the start of the first track, “Chase To The Throne” and you’ll see what I mean. Starting with a driving riff and a fast paced guitar intro, when the verse kicks in the tempo becomes more laid back and relaxed, with Gethin’s vocals taking centre stage, as they should, being as good as they are. The second verse expands upon the guitar from the first by adding a few extra notes that just give it a bit more depth but is barely noticeable the first few times you hear it. This is something that is repeated throughout the album, in fact, with little details being found each time you listen. This is definitely an album that needs repeated listens to get the full value from it.
“Cult Leader’s Handbook” is a great choice for lead single as it has a dark riff with a vocal that would fit well on a Porcupine Tree album. Another catchy chorus that is surprisingly easy to sing along to is backed by effective guitar work that also fits well with the impressive rhythm section of Liam on bass and Yotin on drums. In fact they both shine throughout the album making their respective instruments really come to the fore at different times, whenever the songs need it.
The drumming of “Codes”, for instance, is really impressive and the complexities of the drum patterns make a great background for the simple guitar and vocal lines to make a really interesting song. “Sleepers” features a great bass intro before the guitar takes over and the bass work throughout the whole album is really good to listen to, which is not something I usually notice. “Graveyard of Ambition” features a massive but simple riff that is an excellent example of the saying “less is more”, just one or two chords but making such a huge sound it’s just a great song that stays with you for ages after hearing it.
I didn’t really know what to make of this album the first few times I heard it but enjoyed hearing it. A few more listens and the layers and depth of the tracks started to reveal themselves to me and added another number to the final score. This is definitely a grower and well worth your time to invest in. I look forward to seeing the band live and also hearing their debut now I’ve found them. Buy it and enjoy.
Written by Duncan Everson