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FALLING EDGE

Falling Edge

 

Symphonic Prog

3.33 | 17 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ScorchedFirth
2 stars (5/10)

"Falling Edge" is the first release by the Canadian band of the same name. Their sound is based in the symphonic prog bands of the 70s, but with aspects of other bands like IQ and Pink Floyd as well. The album is full of lush keyboards with plenty of vintage sounds and long clean guitar parts. There should be some appeal to Neo-Prog and Space Rock fans. The guitarist (Chris Rupert) in particular, has clearly been listening to the likes of Howe, Hackett and Gilmour as well as Holmes, Latimer and Chandler.

Falling Edge seem to be happy taking their time to build up the musical pieces on the album, with three of the five songs around the 15 minute mark to leave room for extended development. "Social Engineering" is the first of these, and opens the album with that familiar melodic guitar over synth sound we all know so well. This is my favourite song of the album. It has good dynamic range, often flowing into quieter passages and building back up, a good range of sounds, such as the main guitar theme being replayed by harpsichord, and a good overall melodic feel to it. There is a weird howe-like guitar excursion near the end, before the song suddenly launches into a more exciting climax ending on a final reprise of the main theme. Confusingly, there's about a minute of extra music tacked on to the end that should probably have been its own song

This is followed by another of the epics, "Crippled By Fear", which is structurally quite similar to the first song, though this time instrumental. The whole piece flows quite nicely, starting with acoustic guitar with some ethereal keys, and maintaining a sort of uneasy sound that evokes a bit of tension. It eventually moves through some bouncy synth and guitar solos that can also turn in mood quite easily. Again we get a good strong main theme that resurfaces throughout the song, and the guitar solos are quite impressive. They can be quite fast at times, sometimes reminding me of the more melodic moments of John Petrucci's solo album "Suspended Animation".

The next two pieces are the shorter more straightforward songs of the album. "Not That Far Away" is a nice mostly acoustic basic piece, with a bit of a tribal feel to it. It is quite laid back and subdued; pleasant without venturing too far from its core sound. It gives me a bit of a similar feeling to ELP's "From The Beginning". "Next Time Around" is mostly the same, a pretty and delicate little symphonic piece. It's maybe a bit more poppy than "Not That Far Away" (especially with the chorus/vocal harmonies).

The album ends with "I, Awake", and I have to admit that I'm not so keen on this one. There is a good Neo-Progressive start, followed by some emphatic Hammond organ, which leads into some emotive solo piano that slowly fades. All good. But then out of nowhere almost an entirely new piece starts, and the rest of the song is just this repetitive simple music, with easily the weakest vocals of the album, that just sort of meanders its way to the end. It's a shame that's the final impression the album leaves, and not the soaring melodies from the first two songs.

"Falling Edge" is a decent and mostly enjoyable album, but with little to differentiate it from many similar releases. The vocals certainly don't have the range for some of the songs, and can sound strained when stretched too far. They aren't used a lot though, or heavily relied upon. Most of the album is instrumental, and an excellent vehicle for melodic synth/guitar soloing. Overall the album is good for lying back relaxing, but not much beyond that. I do like it, even if the quality does drop off with every track. I expect most people will find the majority of the music here enjoyable though, and there are some good symphonic prog moments to hear.

ScorchedFirth | 2/5 |

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