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Patchwork Cacophony - Five of Cups CD (album) cover


Patchwork Cacophony


Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 12 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Patchwork Cacophony's 2016 album is FIVE OF CUPS and is once again a polished production of symphonic prog mastered by Ben Bell. Bell plays most instruments but is joined by vocalist Emily Bell, and guitarists Tim Hall and Marcus Taylor.

This latest release is a concept album about fairy tales mimicking life until the fairy tale dies and reality sets in; people chase rainbows which is a dream never realised and finally we live happily ever after, as long as we don't spend our future looking backwards because you don't get a chance to press rewind, rather you must wake up and live for today. A good message and one I can relate to.

The music is permeated with lashings of Hammond organ which is a sheer delight. Mellotron and synth provide a soothing scape and there are layers of guitars.

The opening 16 minute multi movement suite is an epic in 4 parts. It is a beautiful adventure into instrumental breaks fractured by vocal parts and progressive time signatures.

There are some excellent songs on this album. Choices is a highlight with slamming Hammond and wonderful vocals.

The 9 minute mini epic Every Day is also a great track with haunting piano motif and captivating lyrics. The bass line is also well executed. The extended break has a progressive feel that locks into an odd sig sounding like Camel or Eloy. Glorious reverberating Hammond pounds in, and I love that swirling synth. Then it moves back to the main melody. Definitely the best track at this point.

Chasing Rainbows has a rhythm akin to Yes' Roundabout. Later it moves to a piano concerto interlude. Ben Bell is great on keyboards.

From a Spark is a pretty keyboard instrumental with a piano waltz sig. I like the flourishes up and down the keys like Keith Wakemans style.

Brand New Day closes proceedings with a 12 minute mega track. Opening with a shimmering Hammond and then breaking into a strong rhythm. The lyrics are thought provoking about the years passing by, missing the chance and losing the dream once the moment is gone. Yet if we wake up and stop worrying about yesterday we can embrace a brand new day, with new dreams and new hopes. I love that message, it's uplifting and soul stirring. The music is also uplifting here, a catchy melody locks in before an instrumental break dominated by piano motifs and synth lines. The tempo quickens as hope is injected. At 6 minutes the music stops and reverberates into an ethereal hum and lonely piano. The melancholy atmosphere builds into a steady rhythm and the vocals conclude your story's halfway through, but you have more chapters left to write. Life goes on. The music continues with Hammond chops and guitar embellishes building into a final statement.

Overall FIVE OF CUPS is a great album with a positive message. There is enough here to recommend it to those who like melodic prog and especially if you're a Hammond addict like me. Grab this one and see for yourself.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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