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Lifesigns - Altitude CD (album) cover

ALTITUDE

Lifesigns

 

Neo-Prog

4.01 | 72 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dclews
5 stars I've known Lifesigns since around 2015 when I stumbled upon their debut album 'Lifesigns'. Well, I'd actually owned it for about a year but only had one listen through in a busy year for me. One evening I played it again, this time more attentive and Wow! I played it again and loved the rock/jazz fusion, the Yes overtones in 'Fridge Full of Stars', and the racing finale of 'End of the World'. Next step was seeing them 'live' and meeting some wonderful fans of theirs. Through them, I've made new friends and met John Young himself who is about the most genuine and personable rock god you could ever meet! So by now you may think this is not entirely an unbiased review. You could be right. 
With another brilliant album 'Cardington' in 2017 (reviewed elsewhere), Lifesigns started to lay down their credentials and strengthen their music with the addition of Dave Bainbridge, guitar extraordinaire (and another most personable guy). Ripples along the grapevine caused their fanbase to grow and soon their gigs were becoming family reunions and community events. Their Facebook fan page (Esprit De Corps) has become a great meeting place in these difficult times. When John Young (leader and keyboard player) announced 'Altitude' as their next album, a crowdfunding campaign was launched and within days had reached its target - -such is the support, loyalty and enthusiasm of their fans. And so the great day arrived this March (2021) for its launch. After all the hype and build-up, would we be disappointed? Would it become a musical step too far? How would the new drummer adapt? Would the remote recording of this album in these difficult times prove to be technically too stretched? Answers to all four questions: - No! In fact, we were all blown out by the album. Lifesigns have truly gone up a level. Never had I known a fanbase react so positively, genuinely and emotionally. There are tracks on this album that evoke emotion and bring people to tears - me included. There are guitar solos by David Bainbridge that Mr Gilmour would be proud of. John Young's keyboarding towards the end of 'Fortitude' against a phenomenal and powerful layer of bass always brings a tear. The songwriting, the amazing bass lines by Jon Poole, the genius and complex drumming of new drummer Zoltán Csörsz (ex-Flower Kings) make this, for me at least, a classic album which I haven't yet tired of playing. As someone once said to John Young - "you were born too late". Had Lifesigns produced this in the 70s, they'd be rivalling Yes, Genesis etc etc. But now people are starting to talk about them as this year's big discovery in Prog.
 I will admit that in my 50 years of loving Prog Rock, listening and seeing hundreds of bands, there have only been 4 bands that have made a huge impact on me - Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Pendragon and now a 5th band has joined that elite ?. Lifesigns. I won't go into a track by track analysis of 'Altitude' because, in my opinion, they're all amazing but it's you that need to discover them for yourselves. The songwriting, the musicality, the quality of the production - you discover something new with each listening. My personal favourites amongst all these great tracks are 'Fortitude,' and 'The Last One Home'. The 15 minute epic 'Altitude' kicks the album off and many fans are citing this as their favourite track and this doesn't surprise me. The songwriting on it, the guest musicians and singers, bring another superb layer to this Lifesigns' production. Which gives me the opportunity to introduce the 5th member of the band, Steve Rispin, master sound engineer and musician who tirelessly and doggedly put this classic album together and boy!, does it show! Even though I'm a fan myself, I like to be genuine and sincere in my recommendations. I also considered carefully the Star rating I should give but the emotion and pleasure that this album gives me made it a no-brainer. 'Altitude' is simply a Prog album you must have in your collection and all reputable radio stations should be playing tracks from it. So, if you want to discover a massive contender for Album of the Year, buy this CD or get the download from the Lifesigns website. Then go and see the band 'live' and join a wonderful family. You won't regret it.
Dclews | 5/5 |

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