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Far Corner - Far Corner CD (album) cover


Far Corner



3.92 | 47 ratings

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Man With Hat
4 stars The perfect album for one of those cold, dark, snowy nights.

The first time this album really hit me was on a dark night in February. My room was temporarily darkened due to an unfortunate accident with the main lighting system, so I was reduced to a small, darkly shaded lamp. This gave the room a very cabin in the mountains feel. Enough light to see in front of your, but the corners were filled with darkness and shadows all but flooded the rest of the room. Add to this the fact that it was snowing. And snowing at a decent rate of speed. This is the atmosphere I brought with me to my first listening of Far Corner's Far Corner.

That is what this album is about...atmosphere. Yes, the musicians are highly talented. Yes, the music is unpredicatable and exciting. Yes, the improvisations are interesting, even with repeated listens, but the atmosphere is what stands out to me, and places this a notch above. Far Corner fit into the chamber-prog (sub)category, although they excel at mixing that sound with rock and the avant- garde. As I said eariler, the performers are very talented musicians and all get a chance to shine throughout the disk. Another standout feature is the uniqueness of sound. Most of this can be attributed to Schmidt's cello and the emphasis on the lower end of the sound spectrum (which is expected of a band with a cello and a bass guitar [which is wonderfully mixed when contributing to the sound and never buried underneath the rest of the band]). Not to say the bass overpowers the rest either; The blending of instruments and sound is also quite astounding, as is thier ability to use melody into their avant leadings.

I won't say much about the indivdual tracks, being this is an album that needs to be heard to be appreciated. Silly Whim starts the album in a fairly atypical style. Less chambery, more rock (which is not a bad thing of course). Going Somewhere starts introducing the bands true sound, but its not until Something Out There where the band releases its full sound and glory. Part One, a beautifully performed avant chamber piece. This song really gives the feeling of hiding in a cave out in the wilderness, hearing various sounds outside and the fear that creeps into your mind that it could be something harmful. Part Two explodes with excellent drumming by Mr. Walker. The drums set the mood and the rest of the band portrays the more physical aspects of the song. The chase is on here...running, darting away, trying to be as agile as possible to avoid capture. Part Three, brings back the uneasiness of part one. Are you finally safe? Things seem to be going your way...until...With One Swipe Of It's Mighty Paw, which is another standout on this record. (As a side note, the track titles are really fitting for this music and for me do add to the atmosphere slightly. The same can be said for the cover, which is one of the most beautiful covers in music, in my opinoin, and certainly fits the music.) Throughout the rest of the album, nothing stays in one place...they jump from agitated, to spooky, to calming, to jazzy passages, without ever truly losing the excitment factor.

All in all, this is one of the finer examples of chamber prog from the new century. I really can't say anything bad about it (perhaps it might be a little long, but for me it still ends too soon). Fans of avant-prog, chamber musics, or music that really sets the mood check this one out as soon as possible. This might also be good for people who aren't huge fans of the avant side of prog, being melodic passages are used to a somewhat high degree. 4 to 4.5 stars. Recommended.

Man With Hat | 4/5 |


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