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iamthemorning - ~ CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.19 | 507 ratings

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5 stars Iamthemorning's debut "~" just shows how the progressive rock genre is still alive and well to this day. The greatest album of 2012 in my opinion.

The album begins with the first "Intermission", containing beautiful vocal harmonies from Marjana Semkina (as with the whole of the album). Seven different intermissions that pop up about the place, normally of minimalist sections acting as breaks in the album, employ interesting musical techniques (e.g. the strumming of piano strings as heard on ELP's "Take A Pebble") and well-fitting gentle interludes (e.g. slow, thick-sounding cellos).

The first "real" song is "Inside" which carries a delicate, haunting piano tune with intriguing melodies, lyrics, and chord progressions. Lots of musical techniques are all used in this song alone such as the arabic-influenced section, with the odd effect arising above the simplicity of the piece, and complex textures and layering throughout that seem to slot in to each other. An excellent beginning which becomes "Burn", bearing similar qualities to "Inside" with wonderous strings sliding about and beautiful parts all through. An upbeat song get very relaxing, and gives me chills on every hearing. Also brilliant lyrics, background strings and vocal harmonies and piano playing. Istratov's percussion skills also come into view here. The song eventually retreats before the following starts:

"Circles" introduces more techniques such as the off-time piano into with luscious arpeggios rolling about. Marjana's vocals return with more excellent melodies and lyrics, backed by the flowing cello that beautifully contradicts the plucked viola (or violin?). Sounds like a dream! "Weather Changing" is a little different to the other tracks. In my opinion one of the weaker tracks overall but still great and the album could do with something like this amidst all of the calmness. Lovely unexpected chord changes and very melodic (maybe even too much).

After the 3rd intermission, "Scotland", one of my favourite on the album, is heard. Exquisite chords in the verse gradually build up with gentle guitars go into some otherworldy string sections, and on the second time, a heavier more chaotic approach which resolves back to the first. Another great atmosphere is created, and echoing guitar mutes and tremolos that fade off along with the piano. "Touching II" follows, with more pizzicato strings, echoing melodies from earlier in the album. The soothing violin on the track is almost indescribable, which joins in later on with a thumping cello and viola to create another brilliant landscape. An amazing track.

"Monsters" includes more vivid musical techniques, and effectively manages to make the track heavy using the orchestral strings in a way I've never heard before. It segues into "Serenade", with excellent acoustic guitars and pianos working well together in yet another magnificent display, with even more harmonies and surprising chord progressions. "Would This Be" echoes distant memories of "Weather Changing" and "Touching II" with cello glissandos added in. Nothing too different here, but still a fantastic track.

"I.B. Too" is a slower song but doesn't drag behind at all like others, with interesting percussion that enters the sweetly sung lyrics. Midway through, the song reaches a climax and totally reinvents the verses. After the final intermission, "Afis" ends the album. With more sumptuous lyrics and chord progressions, it brings the album home excellently as sounds of waves and seagulls refer to the incredible artwork and back to the beginning.

A(+)/A+ - A magnificent diamond in the roughness of Russia. An underrated masterpiece, can't wait for their next one!

(Without intermissions:) Inside - ***** Burn - ***** Circles - ***** Weather Changing - **** Scotland - ***** Touching II - **** Monsters - ***** Serenade - ***** Would This Be - ***** I.B Too - **** Afis - *****

Xonty | 5/5 |


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