Released by: Unicorn Digital
Release date: May 15, 2023
Genre: Prog Rock
1. Behind The Mirror 6:43
2. Redemption 6:35
3. The Beauty And The Least 9:15
4. Every Note 6:00
5. Pearls And Fire 12:42
6. My Inspiration 8:23
7. Homecoming 5:09
8. Is This How The Story Ends? 19:10
This prog-rock group leaves nothing a mystery as they create soaring textures and sonic highways. The album may only be eight tracks, although it’s 74 minutes of heavy-hitting thought-provoking, and stand-still moments.
Starting with Behind The Mirror this is an in-your-face rock setting the tone for the album. With as much of a stadium sound as the band can get, this song has beautiful breakdowns that will have you wanting to keep it on repeat. The guitar solos create a space of time and illusion, allowing you to see what’s behind the mirror.
Redemption – The minor key of the song and heaviness is felt from the start, at a pleasant pace the song reminds me of Queensryche’s “Silent Lucidity”. I found myself feeling the chorus, wanting to turn it up as the music swells. The instrumentation and complimentary notes play with one another very nicely and as the post-chorus hits, the drumming plays all the spaces that could be filled, but it’s not overdone. It leads perfectly into the verse.
The Beauty and the Least – Alright, we’ve hit the first “long” track here. At first, I wasn’t a major fan of the 80s chorus tone of the guitars, but the more I’ve played it, the more it grows on me especially as we get further into the song. The vocal melody is spot-on throughout. The big switch around 3:30 is executed perfectly, it feels like a reprise more than a bridge, and then we get into the section of lighter drums and cymbals and spacey guitar solo reminding me of Joe Satriani when he gets into a jamming mode for a couple of minutes but it’s done in such a way that the sound grows. When the drums start hitting around 5:30, you want to turn up the speakers. Just when you think the song could be done, they change gears again and bring it back down for a few measures, and bring it right back to the song we left some four minutes ago. There’s nothing bad about this song. One of my favorites.
Every Note – Taking a turn from a minor key to a major key, this song is by far the most 80s power ballad of everything on the album. Good lyrics, I like the vocal inflections and the vocal melody. For me, it’s toss up so far this one has not grown on me too much. I like the guitar solo at the end of the song.
Pearls and Fire – OK get ready for another epic composition, this one coming in at almost 13 minutes. I like the storytelling in this song. The song hits right from the start the hi-hat rolls make me want to get ready to run. This song keeps your attention the many changes throughout the song certainly don’t leave much room for letting your mind wander too much. Rather you find yourself playing along in whatever capacity you play. Around 5 minutes you begin to wonder where are they going to take this, it almost sounds like the song could end here, however…it’s a mystery is it not. You get your answer to the question around 6:30 when the soaring solo begins. You’re in ascent now, and you need to keep that seatbelt on until the plane is at cruising altitude. OK here we are three minutes later and we’re at cruising altitude. Almost as quickly as it feels like you’ve been ascending, you take the descent, and then bam, you land and feel the wheels hit the ground. Definitely a great song.
My Inspiration – A slower tempo, but that’s ok you need it after Pearls and Fire. I enjoy the guitar work and little ghost notes on the drums. The song sonically stays a little more even-keeled, including the solo around the middle of the song. There are a lot of notes, but there’s a constant driving of drums and bass and other sounds. Unlike other solos on this album that often leave room for the guitar, instrumentation to breathe. The unexpected key change around the 6-minute mark was a nice touch. Complimented by a beautiful outro to this song.
Homecoming – The shortest track on this album at a meager 5:10, the song is still a banger. I love the harmonies in this song, we get back into soaring solo land in this tune. The guitar tone in this song is so attractive to my ears. I like the pick-up beat around 2:45 when the drums start giving a bit more while also giving more texture to the song. I found myself nodding along to this song. Not that the others weren’t “nod-able”, but this one just had a certain quality to it. It may be the shortest track on the album, but that doesn’t mean anything, it’s a powerful track. I can see the complimentary lighting during this song when the band plays it live.
Finally ending this already epic album we have Is This How The Story Ends? a 19-minute composition. Wow, where do I start, this song has all the elements of a classic prog rock band song, and fans of the original Genesis or YES material will be a fan of this song. All I can say is, put your headphones on, sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy the ride!
This album is a 9/10 for me. Any fan of “true to its original form” prog music (think Genesis) no doubt get into this album and it may likely become a part of their collection. It will be mine that’s for sure.
Written by: Chris Rugowski