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Resonaxis - Hymnarium CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.01 | 13 ratings

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4 stars The self titled debut by this Australian crossover act sounded like it took shape in a modest country parish, but this follow up seems to emanate from the big city cathedral. RESONAXIS resumes its blend of hard rock with folk, pop, religious and classical music, starring David Drury's hypnotic and majestic pipe organ which dominates most of the tracks. The hymn like melodies impart reverence counterbalanced by aggressive rhythm and lead guitars of Richard Hundy. Of course, everywhere is Brooke Shelley's high sweet voice that skillfully slices through even the heaviest passages while never resorting to unbecoming histrionics.

Highlights abound, such as the rather gory opener "Monsignor Ross", but especially the crunching guitar and organ blend of "Watchet Auf" and the more bouncy and relatively laid back "Chorus Angelorum". "Circles" is the most atypical, more poppy at least in the verses, and yet it is worth the diversion. "Mysterium" is a dandy, sung in Latin I think, that seethes for most of its 5 minutes, never quite exploding, yet the threat is always present to keep us on edge. "Dustward" is one of the more accessible pieces thanks to its rather straightforward but lovely organ melody, and a splendid lead guitar solo. Only the two "Hymn" tracks and the closing number don't do much for me, being overly plodding and lacking the dynamic aspect of most of the rest, but I suspect those more ensconced in sacred music might disagree.

While you can't do wrong with either RESONAXIS release, I give a slight nod to this one for its ratcheted up grandiosity. I could see some of these songs in a new hymnal and the band guesting at the cathedral's 11 PM service, Brooke encouraging us to stand as we are able and join them. Now if they can just figure out how to take that organ on the road!

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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