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Edison's Children - The Final Breath Before November CD (album) cover

THE FINAL BREATH BEFORE NOVEMBER

Edison's Children

 

Neo-Prog

3.96 | 223 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The powers of prog never fail to astound, as the Eric Blackwood and Peter Trewavas partnership originally appeared to be a one shot project but rave reviews and good sales have flipped the switch on a sophomore album which just may kick it up a further notch, as some once famous Cajun chef voiced. They have obviously concocted an incredible chemistry, soul mates who have both the eyes on the same prize. The formula remains the same with both tackling the lion's share of instruments and writing, where some melodies from the first album actually resurface, rather slickly but the biggest upgrade is clearly focused on the presence of my current enfant terrible of the drums , Henry Rogers of Deeexpus, Touchstone and Final Conflict fame. He is the modern version of Paul Thompson or Queen's Roger Taylor, no frilly sissy here, just a dead serious thumper who knows how to treat his kit with bold confidence and genial flair.

The material is perhaps denser and more linear, as if a soundtrack to some slick silver screen extravaganza, in fact the atmospherics here take on a massive role, not content to be mere decoration or lacy undergarment. Eric's hushed voice is aided and paralleled by some smart female adjuncts. "Final Breath" starts the ball rolling, a clever title that has more to do with segueing in the past, and not the completed backward principle so precious to some 'artistes'!

The 2 part "Light Years" is a variation on the previous album's mainstay title theme but Rogers' drums force the pace right from the get go. His style is meat and potatoes but with tons of flavor and solid textures. What happens then is simply a continuation on what worked so well on the debut, a tension-laden fragility borne from the widest orchestral berth, smooth, silky and yet somewhat ominous also.

The duo then dispenses with any further foreplay and get right down to the heavy panting with a colossal 13 part suite, entitled "Silhouette" that plants the Edison standard firmly on top of the prog hill, for all to witness and admire, while at the same time, giggling at the supposed neo label previously pinned to their chest. This suite reeks either space or symphonic, especially in lieu of the thick orchestrations that garnish each section, as if drenched in some philharmonic coating , highly evident on part 2 "welcome to your dreams", a dramatic podium for Rogers to show his mastery of percussive expertise. The 12 minute epic "where were you?" is dark, somber and desolate, the sweeping melancholia dripping from the pained voice, the synths ruffling in the wind, the beat unrelenting. This is pure trippy perfection. "The longing" owns a trembling voice, a swirling violin and a passionate, neo-romantic style that has as much an early Roxy Music vibe as possible, under the circumstances. Blackwood has a vocal that agonizes, plaintively suffering, elevating the angst to nearly unbearable levels. Quirkiness is needed to cut through the dried tears crackling on the cheeks and thus "the morphlux" shows its peculiar facade, almost oriental in its tonal qualities but boosted by a rash and gritty guitar , Rogers kicking this musical camel squarely in the butt (the man can drum , big time) . 'I am haunted' is a guitar driven interlude that has spooky synths blaring in the mist, propelled expertly by the percussives. This snippet is partnered by the rabid and angry "what did you want?", a mere oasis of buzz saw guitars grinding and insane synths howling. "The seventh sign" mellows things out, with sweeping melodies, airy guitars and synthesizers, the solo reminiscent of Steve Hackett's gliding style. Hushed voice effects, brooding bass, clanging symphonics and serene disposition make this a highlight piece. 'the second coming' has a minimalist approach to a previous theme, very Oriental again (oud), yalah! 'silence can be deafening part2 ' is another Rogers high point, a gorgeous melody wallowing in deep agony, misty, murky and sad. Then Henry opens up the jets and takes this haunting piece into interstellar overdrive! The final blowout occurs on the massive 'music for the end credits', a brilliant amalgam of a focused and determined duo of masters at work.

A definite masterpiece on par with the debut, except this one has way more superlative drumming, a further-seeking homogeneous feel and a clear sense of witnessing something special. That is not debatable! A must hear for the patient, avid and discerning audiophile, as it cannot be dissected, diced or sliced. It is a whole work of progressive art.

5 Autumn expirations

tszirmay | 5/5 |

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