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Robert Svilpa - A Fine Line Between... CD (album) cover

A FINE LINE BETWEEN...

Robert Svilpa

 

Neo-Prog

3.05 | 3 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Robert Svilpa is a US based musician and composer who first made himself known to the world at large with the release of his first solo effort "The Sound of Thoughts" back in 2005. Four years later he returns with his sophomore effort, the concept album "A Fine Line Between...". This time around with several guest musicians involved, with Nick D'Virgilio arguably the most well known of these. He's also enlisted the aid of Russian graphics artist Ed Unitsky, who has done a wonderful job (as he always does) in creating cover and booklet art for this endeavour.

Svilpa states a number of influences on his webpages, ranging from acts like Opeth and Tool to artists like Mike Oldfield and Marillion. And this latest effort of his is pretty diversiefied in stylistic expressions as well, although the overall feel and mood ultimately places it in the more accessible part of the art rock universe.

On the first half of the album in particular the guitarwork often takes on qualities similar to Rush, backed by keyboards from the Neo-prog school and more vintage sounding organ themes. At times leaning towards progressive metal in expression, while other passages comes closer to art pop territories in sound.

As the album evolves the compositions tends to become more mellow in nature though, gentler escapades where clear cut melodies courtesy of clean or acoustic guitars backed by relatively lush keyboards, synths and the aforementioned organ is the name of the game. Some darker sequences appears from time to time, a few but distinct eerie moods are created, but by and large the second half of this venture is a pretty gentle affair.

Svilpa is a talented composer, able to cover several different styles of music. But the subtle details that will allow his productions to make a really grand impression are still lacking at this point in time. While most of the tracks, in particular in the second half of this affair, will appeal to those fond of the gentler, melodic aspect of the art rock universe, I don't see this album appealing to many beyond that circle. A vocal delivery that tends to be on the weak side and compositions slightly too predictable and not quite managing to create the strong moods needed to overcome that slight weakness is the main reason for me not quite warming to this affair. Many good tracks by all means, but not many good enough to really stand out as strong tracks of the ilk that makes me want to push the repeat button immideatly.

All in all a promising second effort, and a concept album to be sought out by those looking for melodic art rock who don't mind a few excursions into somewhat harder territories.

Windhawk | 3/5 |

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