This is a very lengthy, quite complex and wide-ranging in style album comprising of eleven keyboard orientated instrumental tracks and where all of the instruments’ are played by a German guy who chooses to go under the guise of “Mike Oldhill” but where in fact, a quick visit to the website reveals, he is actually one “Michael Altenberger”. Although the overall flavour of the music is firmly set in the progressive rock camp it does also encompass, within its framework, many other different styles of play and which are either introduced in block passages of play or within shorter sequences which merely dart in and dart out as embellishments to add colour and flavour to the proceedings. Generally, you could consider this to be a grandiose keyboard driven instrumental works and indeed not only are the full range of keyboards that have been used here extremely expertly played but the composition skills required to mold all the various sections together are quite amazing. There are some beautifuly structured and extremely well played passages of classical piano together with some nice stylish jazz chords which suggest that Michael Attenberger has studied music at the highest level. Although synthesisers have been used extensively throughout, their use has certainly not been overdone. In fact I would say such usage has been carried out economicaly and with care to not overpower the music. The same would apply to the guitars which provide delicate infills and exquisite bursts of interest in support of the keyboards, there are though the odd moments when the guitar is allowed to fully let rip. Not so apparent are the percussive and bass side of the arrangements which remain seemingly hidden, the bass particularly, but in all honessty this hardly matters as in fact the overall construction of the music, particularly the piano, addresses this situation fairly well. I certainly would not want to condemn a situation of value for money but maybe if any criticism could be levied it would be that the whole affair might be too long for some people, but I might add not for me. The CD can be purchased directly from the website http://www.oldhill.de
SUMMARY : An interesting and well considered suite of mainly keyboard orientated progressive rock music covering many facets of classical history, life, time and space. The whole affair is extremely lengthy and encompasses within its realms a great diversity of different styles, I even, for example, detected amongst its midst’s a brief but distinctly “Gershwin” flavoured passage.
ARTWORK: A nicely packaged CD with detailed booklet outlining the various subject matter surrounding each individual track. The printing though is quite difficult to read. I reckon more detail about the various instruments utilised for each individual track would have been nice to have and added further interest.
Dark Matter (7:53), Synapse (7:45), Panta Rhei (4:36), Three Poisons (7:18), Evil Eye (6:01), Black Memories (5:55), Misgivings (6:10), Shadows (6:15), Qi (5:17), Drawing Hope (6:24), Endurance (11:01)