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Renaissance - Ashes Are Burning CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.23 | 788 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This is a fantastic record that I feel I can really throw on regardless of what mood I'm currently in. While the songs all pack the epic symphonic arrangements and gorgeous vocal harmonies you know you'll be getting from a great symphonic prog album, what keeps bringing me back are the addictive hooks and vocal melodies throughout. Everything sounds so full and complete from an instrumental standpoint, and Annie Haslams lead vocals are just stunning. Can You Understand opens the record with a very driving and grand entrance, eventually simmering down into a beautiful and mesmerizing acoustic and vocal led passage. The next line of three songs happen to be my favorite because they strike the perfect balance between the unconventional progressive rock structures and accessibility. Let It Grow has a very nostalgic and sentimental sound to it, the piano after the main hook is so lovely and uplifting. On The Frontier might be my personal favorite with its dual lead vocals and very laid back but flowing cadence. I love some of the rhythmic changes throughout, they pack a ton of musical content into this relatively short song. Following that and keeping the bar just as high is Carpet of the Sun which takes a little more of a whimsical spin on things. I just cant help but bob my head to the chorus on this one, the accompanying orchestral arrangements add a lot to this particular track as well. At The Harbour is a very unique track, it's super intimate, organic and earthy sounding with a much more free flowing structure compared to the other tracks. Annie really manages to pull the listener in with her emotional delivery, but the instrumentation really sets the stage for her to work off of effectively. The title track closes the album and it is a dense journey, I get chills every time I hear that piano and acoustic guitar fade in within the first 30 seconds. This song is just straight up genius and I can't stress enough just how much replay value this track has. The band takes you through several passages of hypnotic symphonic bliss with a mastery of builds and payoffs eventually eclipsing at the end with a big ending playout and guitar solo.

This is such an un-hatable album, an incredible listen everytime, 5 stars without a shadow of a doubt.

dougmcauliffe | 5/5 |


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