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Moonrise - Travel Within CD (album) cover





3.05 | 19 ratings

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3 stars Moonrise started as a musical project by Polish multi-instrumentalist Kamil Konieczniak and singer Łukasz Gall, the band released its debut CD entitled The Lights Of A Distant Bay in 2008. I wrote about it: "The sound of Moonrise is firmly rooted in the realm of neo-progrock bands like IQ and Pendragon. The eight compositions are very tastefully arranged with some strong breaks, lots of flowing shifting moods, a pleasant variety, a beautiful and modern keyboard sound and splendid guitar work (from sensitive, fiery and howling runs to propulsive riffs)." Then Moonrise released the successor entitled Soul's Inner Pendulum (2009, see review), my words about it: "I am sure the neo-progheads, fans of modern progrock and guitar freaks who love Latimer, Barrett and Gilmour will be delighted about Moonrise this wonderful Eighties Neo Prog inspired music." Three years later it was followed by Moonrise its third effort Stopover- Life (2012, see review), I am not familiar with the music so I was very curious to this new album entitled Travel Within, 7 years after Moonrise its previous CD.

Prime mover and multi-instrumentalist Kamil Konieczniak is the only remaining member from the original line-up. On this new album he has changed the musical direction, from typical Neo-prog more towards a blend of rock and electronic music. Like in Dive (halfway a break with the distinctive electronic music, combined with rock guitar and tight drums) and Little Stone and Between The Lies (compelling atmospheres with moving guitar and electronic sounds). In Dive (first part) and The Asnwer it is the more traditional Moonrise sound featuring Steve Rothery-like guitar work, but more laidback, with soaring strings and Mellotron violins.

The lead singer is Marcin Staszek, he has an important role on this album, colouring the music in a very intense way. But you have to be up to his distinctive voice, closer to an AOR singer like Steve Perry than prog legends Peter Gabriel, Jon Anderson or Fish. Especially in the strong track Like An Arrow: first dreamy with mellow saxophone (by guest musician Dariusz Rybka), twanging electric guitar, warm vocals, then gradually more lush and emotional, and finally bombastic eruptions with powerful and howling guitar runs, high pitched vocals, propulsive guitar riffs and drums. He also does a good job in the wonderful ballad Time with dreamy vocals and piano, along with melancholic strings.

The final song Calling Your Number features a guest role from the early mentioned singer Łukasz Gall, who worked on the first two Moonrise albums. It starts dreamy, then a slow rhythm and emotional vocals, along soaring strings. Halfway the music turns more lush with howling Rothery-like guitar and again emotional vocals, the sound is between AOR and Neo-prog.

Although the sound on this new album is far from the first Neo-prog inspired albums, Moonrise has made an interesting CD, the most original and adventurous until now. If you are up to this new Moonrise sound and this singer, Travel Within is a pleasant effort, tastefully arranged, and often more laidback, with nice work on electronics.

My rating: 3,5 star

P.s.: This review was previously published on the Dutch progrock website Background Magazine, the oldest Dutch prog source.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |


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