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Silver Lining - The Inner Dragon  CD (album) cover

THE INNER DRAGON

Silver Lining

 

Symphonic Prog

3.96 | 50 ratings

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Phil Jackson
4 stars SILVER LINING "The Inner Dragon"

Running water, countryside sounds, rippling piano arpeggios characterise 'Fall', an evocative overture to a stunning concept album by Lyon's Silver Lining. Anne Morel's accomplished violin playing is a distinctive feature of the music but all band members play their parts in some top class 'orchestral' prog with occasional crunching guitar chords to keep even metal heads interested! The rhythm section is also very accomplished and all comes together exquisitely on 'Opaline'. Narrator/ singer Thierry Sportouche (also editor of Acid Dragon) is conscious of his English pronunciation but he shouldn't worry because his contributions provide a distinctive charm that glues the concept together. Indeed I wouldn't have minded narration all the way through but, although Thierry's singing voice is not the strongest (I know the feeling!), he just gets away with it on the Marillion like 'Castaways' and the song 'Lovestalgia' that I thought had a folk rock quality about it. Anyway, the album is mostly instrumental and a voice is necessary to relate the story which culminates in a long 'Finale' where the 'inner dragon' is 'sleeping within you'. (The country sounds referred to earlier actually bookend the recording providing the feeling of having gone on a journey suggesting the album needs to be listened to as a whole). Other reviewers have said the 'Inner Dragon' concept is very Tolkeinesque but I don't really know exactly what Thierry (who is also the lyricist for French prog band Anoxie) had in mind when he wrote the words. In the mixture of narration and singing and even in some of the music I was very much reminded of Eloy. Ange is another obvious reference point and I know that Thierry much admires this group (whom Silver Lining has also supported). The hour of music passes very quickly, is fluid and seamless with Nicolas Mourachko's soaring electric guitar and Annie Morel's violin providing perfect foils for each other and main composer Pascal Indelicato's piano and synth also very influential in the Silver Lining sound. (The guitarist also has a hand in 4 of the tracks). All musicians play their parts though and there is also some excellent bass playing by Muchel Mourachko at points and drummer Alain Descombe also impresses in music that the band has obviously worked very hard to produce. I recommend any prog promoters out there to give Silver Lining a chance. I believe they put on quite a show with Thierry's theatrical Peter Gabriel stage costumes- or is that just a rumour? More importantly invest some money in this album and help the band develop their obvious talents.

(Phil Jackson)

Phil Jackson | 4/5 |

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