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Comedy Of Errors - Spirit CD (album) cover

SPIRIT

Comedy Of Errors

 

Neo-Prog

3.88 | 276 ratings

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Ludwigvan57
5 stars This is a masterpiece. There is a journey here which encompasses the human spirit; from dark to light or from despair to hope. The music takes us on that journey and leads us to a place of transfiguration or if you prefer, resurrection. No mean feat. The first part of Spirit is rightly broken down into smaller sections because those sections are markers on the journey. 'My grief lies all within' sets the scene with an atmospheric opening quickly drowned by strong guitar introducing the vocalist but always cleverly backed by other vocals maintaining the atmospheric and fugal feel. The lyrics speak of grief and sorrow. There is real anger here. The lyrics are excellent with a very fine guitar solo bringing this to a conclusion. The mood continues tumbling into 'Infinite wisdom' with strong guitar and keyboard maintaining a fast pace emphasising the anger and unfairness. Lyrics are excellent; 'helpless, hapless, hopeless' is very good. 'Spirit shines' really does it for me, I love this, it's rich in ideas, it's got everything. From the atmospheric opening reminiscent of Pink Floyd (wish you were here maybe?) to the clear keyboard statement just after a minute, with the two counter themes leading to the Mahler second symphony ( Resurrection) key theme of hope laying the ground for the big central theme of Spirit Shines with Mahler's second in the background, wow! Then the "Spirit Shines" motif takes over. This is clear, strong a glimpse of the transformation to come. This is magnificent music, lyrics and vocals are excellent and the keyboard passages are beautiful. 'Can this be happening' lulls us into a false sense of happiness for a few seconds before the strong guitars and solo drum beats bring us back to despair and anger from vocals guitars and keyboard. Lyrics are excellent especially 'Timeless, Eternal, Infinity'. I understand the complete contrast between parts 3 and 4 (and 5) and how this works so well. 'In darkness let me dwell' excellent words again with the 'Timeless, Eternal, Final, Absolute' really telling. I love the beautiful atmospheric overlay of voices at the beginning of 'I call and cry to thee', very like Bach , almost religious. Builds and maintains a passive power with excellent keyboard work, referring again to the Mahler theme and variations. Then full on guitars with the sound of 'confusion' in the background and a kind of descent into oblivion. Works very well and leads nicely to; 'set your spirit free' with an absolutely beautiful atmospheric opening. At first hearing my initial thought was 'cosmic' and maybe that's not too far away. Everyone knows there is something happening here, and with a lovely pause adding drama before the xylophone type touches confirm the other worldly nature of this gentile interlude. An excellent non- vocal statement which for me, just simply points to transition. It's smooth, loving and a huge contrast from the power of some of the earlier sections. Now we're at 'ascension/ arise Spirit' and everything becomes clear. Atmospheric, struggling to reach up to something and then we have the answer through the keyboard. We're climbing, moving upward until wait for it'.. the answer we were hoping for, our old friend the Mahler theme and Spirit Shines echoing the third section. A fantastic return to the main theme with the full Mahler Resurrection treatment succeeded by the Spirit theme. Moving directly into 'into the light' is a natural progression. Good guitar continuation for the previous section. I've listened a few times to the cross over from guitar to keyboard because I think it's symptomatic of the way the whole piece fits together. Then the keyboard starts to counter the guitar and then goes off to take the lead magnificently with a little 'trill' and then we're off again in a different direction with a good pause for dramatic effect before the vocals come in. This is joyous and it keeps coming , after about 3 minutes we have the keyboard again bringing in another clever variation of the 'Spirit' theme leading to 'the past becomes a part of us''. The next verse; 'to touch you' is exceptionally well put together, excellent lyrics with the voices echoing leading beautifully into- 'Above the hills' which is just fantastic. This was my favourite after first hearing, now I just can't single out any particular section! Anyway this is special. Simple, beautiful words packed with meaning and feeling, making a huge impact. Magnificent blend of guitar and keyboard. The 'clapping' about half way through is a nice touch here just before the change of pace back to strong guitar leads. Then I was blown away by the final minute or so starting with the very classic movie sounding lead to finale rounded off with the xylophone touches before the crescendo which is held for a long time , you could almost say lingering (like Mahler would have done). Then it's done, we've completed the journey, there has been a transfiguration, a resurrection. I just love the Epilogue. That beautiful Thomas Tallis like beginning It could almost be Harry Cristophers and The Sixteen and the guitar entry doesn't spoil it, it enhances the cosmic atmosphere. The guitar parts have a medieval feel in the way they interlink playing a lovely theme. One might have expected the piece to end in this way but wait another different idea'. a direct quote form Falconieri's Giaconna! Didn't see that one coming and guess what? It works perfectly, a master stroke. Excellent guitar intro. and then wow! absolute magic from the keyboard carrying the theme and even castanets (if that's what it is). Now we're dancing, racing to a sublime joyous ending. Who would have thought that we would end with such a positive note? So what does 'this is how it has to be' mean. It may mean different things to different people, what it means for me is; acceptance - there can be tragedy, suffering and heartbreak but what should our response be? I'm firmly of the view that we must go on regardless in fact more than that, we go on in the best way we can, never forgetting but somehow owing it to others to be happy or strive for happiness. I think this is what the Epilogue may say. In summary, I love 'Spirit'. I think it is a deeply personal work which has universal appeal and the music is wonderful. Looking at this note I've used the words 'atmospheric', 'beautiful' and 'excellent' quite a lot and I don't think that adequately describes the quality of the music and lyrics of 'Spirit'. The fusion between 'classical' and modern is seamless.

This is unquestionably a masterpiece, it's an important piece of music whichever way it's viewed and do you know what? It's fun to listen to and it made me very happy.

Ludwigvan57 | 5/5 |

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