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Iamthemorning - The Bell CD (album) cover

THE BELL

Iamthemorning

 

Crossover Prog

3.91 | 182 ratings

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FatherChristmas
4 stars Iamthemorning, like so many modern prog bands today, has strived to become different from what you might call 'normal' prog (if any prog is normal). They, in particular, combine prog with classical music - perhaps not the first band to do so (one that I am fond of is Barock Project), but even then, any other prog band I've heard with classical influences still doesn't sound remotely like it. You have to hear it to know what I mean.

Anyway, the band's latest album opens with 'Freak Show', a song that builds up from a simple guitar melody to a very upbeat, thick textured song - probably my favourite on the album. It's not the only achievement though, 'Ghost of a Story', 'The Bell' and 'Lillies' are another two honourable mentions - the astonishing piano on 'Lilies' so fast it's worthy of Chopin (ok, maybe not that good).

This album is (loosely) about Victorian England - I say loosely as each track is a story on it's own, generally about human cruelty. Musically, it is inspired by Schubert, which you can tell from the lovely piano played throughout. The music and lyrics are beautifully written, and the album is in two parts - something featured sometimes in both prog and classical operas.

What's really good to see is the variety of instruments - instead of just your quintessential classical instruments (violins, trumpets, etc.) you can hear marimbas, bells, and a very nice guitar solo on 'Freak Show'. Nevertheless, it is not less classical than Iamthemorning's previous albums, in fact, it is perhaps more so, there is very little rock in the texture and melodies of The Bell.

To conclude, my requirements for a five star album -

1. The songs must all be excellent.

2. It must work brilliantly as an album.

Number one is fine - as I said earlier, the music and lyrics are beautifully written. As for number two, the songs work perfectly well together, but it is a bit heavy in places. I don't mean that it's like metal, but that it can get what you might call 'a bit much' - listen to too much of it and it'll give you a headache (for me, at least). It's a bit difficult to explain, some might agree, some might disagree, but it knocks off a star for me - I'd want to listen to a five star album all day.

So it's another four star review!

FatherChristmas | 4/5 |

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