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Perfect Beings - Perfect Beings II CD (album) cover

PERFECT BEINGS II

Perfect Beings

 

Crossover Prog

3.92 | 207 ratings

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MorpheusMusic1
4 stars STYLE Contemporary progressive rock. II is a highly polished collection of easily accessible songs that might fall into a very different genre if it weren't for the fascinating instrumental work that encases many of the vocal sections. A number of the songs have a lilting, psychedelic pop feel to them, an impression intensified by Ryan Hurtgen's languid vocal style. Musical accompaniment is often subtle, understated and laid back when supporting Hurtgen's voice, but then shifts dramatically as the singing falls away. The playing then is deft and imaginative with clear references to the best traditions of progressive rock - Johannes Luley's guitar work shining especially brightly in this regard. His fingerwork is very varied in approach, distinctive and suitably angular - I could happily listen to much more of his playing. That said, the rest of the band are excellent: keyboards both dynamic and atmospheric, with some especially tasteful piano; a gutsy rhythm section that is capable of some jaw-dropping drive and intricacy when needed such as during the startlingly spiky second half of Cause and Effect. There is a lot to explore here - many partially hidden details and bright compositional gems adorn the memorable hook lines and easy melodies of the main themes. ARTWORK Perfect Beings' second album arrives in a slick black digipack with lustrous orange and blue artwork. A fiery volcanic orb fills the front panel, radiating into blackness; this is echoed on opening the first panel by a heavily-veined, glowing, orange heart. The rear panel provides track titles floating, bright against a solarised portrait photograph. Further pictures of the band in action are found within, juxtaposed, montaged, layered against a beaming pyramid sunset; a burning volcano eruption, licking flame forms. A generous 6-section fold-out can be found in the right-most panel (extricating it reveals hidden artwork in the pocket itself). The insert contains lyrics, credits, thanks and a touching dedication to the late Chris Squire. OVERALL Perfect Beings follow up their 2014 debut with II - a ten track album of tight, progressive-rock oriented songs. Ranging from the one and a half minute Samsara to the impressively dynamic The Love Inside, which falls just short of nine minutes, II oscillates back and forth between gentle, melodic vocal passages and cleverly, inventive virtuoso instrumentation. There are moments when the band heaves in gloriously dramatic retro-prog ingenuity (these are my personal favourite sections of the album) such as the momentarily 'Tales' reminiscent Mar Del Fuego opener. There are intimate and elegant piano passages; cinematic pieces with intense crescendos; near-ambient mood zones and some well-crafted shifts and switches mid-track that hold the attention nicely. I'd be fascinated to see what this band might do with a longer epic - I've a feeling that they could be stunning - but then I'm partial to musical enormity when it comes to progressive rock. Explore the ablum via the band's Bandcamp page or you can find much more of Perfect Beings on the official website.
MorpheusMusic1 | 4/5 |

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