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Speaking To Stones - Elements CD (album) cover

ELEMENTS

Speaking To Stones

 

Progressive Metal

4.06 | 9 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Second Life Syndrome
4 stars Color me surprised. I was not really expecting to like this new album from Speaking to Stones, entitled "Elements". I had heard their earlier self-titled effort, and I came away rather unimpressed. In fact, I've heard they even used a drum machine on that album. Yet, "Elements" has really captured my imagination. From the wonderful artwork to the interesting concept, this album really shows much potential.

Speaking to Stones has changed since their first album. Not only do they have a drummer now (Mark Zonder of Fates Warning), they also introduced a keyboard player (Anthony Brown) and a new singer (Andy Engberg). These are major changes, and it really shows. This is not the same band anymore. They now have some wonderful keyboard arrangements, rich vocals, ear-catching drums, and pulsating bass lines. The melody on this album is noteworthy, as the album is almost never devoid of it. Melody seems to have been a focus in the composition of "Elements", and the wonderful piano passages solidify that assertion. Of all the elements of this album, however, the guitar work really stands out the most. Again and again, I was blown away by the soulful, technical guitar passages that seem to be another real focus of this band.

"Elements" is a very well written album with a great elemental theme. The tracks are all quite long (none are shorter than 9 minutes), and the melodies seem very appropriate for the mood being conveyed. The titles of the tracks show the theme well, but it is the even deeper lyrical content that catches my ear. As far as I can tell, the album is somehow relating the human experience to the divine using the theme of the elements. This is something I look forward to investigating further as the musical accompaniment is so good.

The album does have some flaws, though. I did find the lyrics on "Fire" to be a little hokey, and some of the music does seem like rather standard prog. Yet, there are also wonderful high points, especially the amazing "Quinta Essentia" epic. I find that, overall, this is a very promising album with an array of wonderful musical and conceptual ideas and a rather glorious atmosphere throughout. I really do expect a true masterpiece from this band in the future.

Second Life Syndrome | 4/5 |

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