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Perfect Beings - Perfect Beings II CD (album) cover

PERFECT BEINGS II

Perfect Beings

 

Crossover Prog

3.92 | 205 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Zappy
5 stars In 2014 Perfect Beings triggered quite a wave in the progressive rock world with the release of their eponymous debut album. Rich in classic symphonic texture yet at the same time establishing a unique voice the album also received high praise for its various approaches to composition and instrumental virtuosity.

It took Johannes Luley (Guitar) and co. but a year to reaffirm that statement in "Perfect Beings II". This sophomore effort is even more impressive than their already stunning debut was, seeing how every aspect that was great before has been further improved. The entire flow of the album is tighter and more homogenous, the arrangements combined with the impeccable production sound focused and exciting. This doesen't mean this album sounds restricted or boring in any way. There are plenty of moments when the seemingly simple song departs into spheres unknown, a common thread throughout still remaining. Johannes Luley experiments with different guitar sounds and styles on this album, sometimes reminiscent of Steve Howe, others more in the realms of Robert Fripp but mainly he just sounds more and more like Johannes Luley.

'Mar Del Fuego', the quite brief intro piece to the album presents most of the aspects mentioned above in compact manner. It is not a typical verse-chorus-bridge construction, nor is it a long epic composition. It is neither ouverture nor does it come off as an experimental sketch of an idea. What we do find is a furious instrumental intro with Howe-like guitar lines working their way to a climax of latin folklore. The piece calms down with the arrival of Ryan Hurtgen's clear and unique voice.

One finds several folkloric elements on this album. 'The Yard' for example is introduced by a pentatonic melody line played on the acoustic guitar, giving the song a Chinese feel, not unlike the chorus of 'The Thrill Seeker'. Perfect Beings seem to have found the perfect balance between typically progressive rhythmical, harmonic and melodic complexity and more pop oriented hooks. The single 'Go', which was released prior to the album, demonstrates how they turn a sing a long pop-tune into something fresh and obscure without destroying the composition. After 2 minutes of catchy verse-chorus structure Johannes Luley interrupts the tune with snarky upward moving guitar punches accompanied by slightly contrasting synthesizer and vocal layers, building up to a climax that ends up in a final reprise of the songs main theme.

The only small epic of the album, 'The Love inside', is reminiscent of 'Bees and Wasps' or 'Walkabout', two longer tracks featured on their debut album. But even here the composition shines even brighter due to the more restrained songwriting and arrangement. Starting with a simple piano pattern the song takes it's time in developing and introducing the melody by slowly adding synthesizer sprinkles and finally the vocals. Chris Tristram's bass and Jesse Nason's Keyboard contributions shine throughout the album and are especially apparent on this track.

This album feels like a sleight of hand. The 50 minutes go by like a breeze of fresh air, and when it's passed you are left wanting more. What seems simple at first, due to thoughtful composition and execution, turns out to be essentially profound and complex. Perfect beings have developed and perfected what they started on their debut album and I can't wait for what's to come next. I highly recommend this album to anyone who just wants to listen to a masterfully crafted album.

Zappy | 5/5 |

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