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Cirrus Bay - A Step Into Elsewhere CD (album) cover


Cirrus Bay



3.75 | 64 ratings

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5 stars An excellent melody-oriented symphonic album with emphasis on chord progressions rather than on solos and wankery. The album starts with the very well written 'Serenity In A Nutshell', building as it travels through various changes, each one seeming to be stronger than the last. I'm not sure who this reminds me of, perhaps no one, but the infectous melodies keep calling me back for more. I've listened to this a lot and seem to hear new things continually as there is a lot of depth to the writing, although nothing terribly impressive technically. Bill Gillham's guitar playing sounds more like Mike Rutherford than Steve Hackett (perhaps between the two?) but is always tasteful and adds to the overall harmony, not unlike early Genesis. Sharra Acle and Anisha Gillham provide nice harmony vocals that add a bit of a unique element in the prog world, with an almost Sundays feel to their voices, or maybe just a tiny bit like Amy Darby of Thieves' Kitchen. 'Out of the Cold' follows, flying from chord to chord in the intro section most impressively (On first listening I was laughing during this part). The main parts of the song remind me of Renaissance or Yes. Quite a bit more complex than Renaissance, with a gaping absense of the verse/chorus pop structure. Instead, one melody section leads to another, and this is typical of the album as a whole, especially on the next track, 'The Exposure of Truth'. In this song the vocals really shine, as does nearly everything else. This song for me took a step elsewhere all right, right into another realm of detailed precise melodies and chords, unique and very emotional. This is one of the most interesting pieces of music I've heard in years, and if the whole album were like this I'd give it five stars. As it is, I'm torn between four and five stars. 'Walking In Shadows' I dont like quite as well, but if fits well in the flow of things. This track is much different yet from the ones before it, heavy at times, with a conclusion a bit too much like the conclusion of some of the songs from the latest Muse album. (although the Cirrus Bay did come out first) Next is an instrumental, The Secret Country, which sounds like early Mike Oldfield meets Egg meets Bo Hansson. Mostly keyboards, with some electric and 12-string guitar towards the end. Finally, 'Zenobia', at nearly 17 minutes, provides a powerful, beautiful conclusion. This has been compared to 'One For The Vine' by Genesis, and I agree, although I'd throw some Renaissance in there as well. Overall, probably the sleeper of 2009. Underrated for sure. On some days this sounds to me like a four star album and other days five.
snelling | 5/5 |


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