What a really great and pleasant surprise this album and band proved to be!! I have always liked Guy Manning, his warm and special (in a good way) vocals, his always excellent songwriting and composing skills (as proven on my fav. Manning album " Songs From The Bilston House") here he have connected to musical friends : Sean Timms (Southern Empire/ Unitopia) :Keyboards, backing vocals, Dan Mash (Maschine) : Bass, Marek Arnold (Toxic Smile) : Sax /Clarinet, with Brody Thomas Green (Southern Empire) : Drums on track 1-6..plus electric guitars by Luke Machin (Maschine/The Tangent) also visits from Nick Magnus : Keyboards, Phideaux : Vocals. How´s that for a line up ?! The music herein are as indicated composed and written by Manning and it is brilliant in that typical Manning style, symphonic prog with hints of folk rock, just the way we like it (well I certainly do!!).
It is an album and band that to me are the biggest and nicest surprise of this year, thus far.
I have listened to it for a few weeks now and at every spin it just grows and grows on you, from the sometimes almost crooner vocals from Manning, to the superbly delivered music on all tracks (On Track..for sure!!) mind you, the soundscapes here are not specially complex, nor that hard to comprehend and or follow!! It is in fact wonderfully melodic catchy and at times melancholic, which I like very much! At some point I even took myself humming one of the tunes on this fine album. I would be very surprised (and disappointed) if this outing do not figure on the top 10 prog albums of 2017. Even though track # 4 "Believer - Redeemer"..to these ears, are somewhat in the funky-disco territory, a minor spot on an otherwise perfect musical painting. Finally let me mention that Manning not only composed (incl. lyrics) he, of course delivered lead vocals, acoustic guitars, keyboards, mandolin, E-Bow & percussion. Special notice to the epic track "Dark Sun" 13:37 min. of pure bliss.
So dear friends, no time to waste, go buy this little masterpiece, I promise you wont be disappointed !!
Oh, must mention the fine booklet with lyrics and some artwork not unlike the former fabulous, sadly demised Hipgnosis.