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Silver Lining - The Inner Dragon  CD (album) cover

THE INNER DRAGON

Silver Lining

 

Symphonic Prog

3.96 | 50 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

jldlc
5 stars I have been waiting for this album for a long time but here it is, I have got Silver Lining's CD! The mini CD released 2 years ago and 2 concerts including a memorable one in Lyon, in June 2002, had shown the creative potential and the originality of this Lyon combo. I had discovered an original universe and a lyrical music and I waited for this moment as soon as I had learned that they planned to record a complete CD.

The cover is nice and is far from the common drawings this musical genre popularized. The booklet is great too, it features all the lyrics of the "songs" (I don't like this word when speaking of progressive rock) written in English. The combo includes a singer-narrator who writes all the texts, of a keyboards player who practically composed all the music of the album, a bass player, a drummer, a guitar player and a violinist, a traditional progressive line up then except an extra (and what an extra!) the violin, which is not so common in this style, except famous references such as King Crimson, Caravan, Hawkwind, Kansas).

I put the record in my player and I am not disappointed. Very quickly the atmosphere emerges and you find the environment developed during the concerts: a guitar sometimes calm and cordial, sometimes aggressive, played in arpeggios or rhythm, a circling and majestic violin, a piano and synths in solo or accompaniment of the soloists, the whole rhythmed by a duet bass / drums accompanying perfectly all the nuances of this music.

The first two short tracks in which the piano, the narration (this is the story of Florrow (it is a concept album)), a guitar with a throbbing rhythm and a celestial violin come simultaneously, are the prelude to the first gem, a masterpiece, no less! I mean "Opaline".

What can I say about this song? Compared to the mini CD version, it has been polished and it now has got amplitude. It is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful epics I ever heard since I listen to music. The words are sad and deep and so is the music which accompanies them but it slowly raises towards other horizons. The guitar solos, with their Camel touch, are full of delicacy, the gorgeous violin that accompanies them, which enlace them, flies to the stratosphere. The other instruments are not silent either and the whole lot gives softness to the music, madness too (the changes of rhythms) orchestrated by irreproachable musicians for whom virtuosity is not an end in itself.

The following tracks (linked together) are at the same level, a great one. The sometimes rhythmic guitar with its throbbing sound (is this metal?), often plays melodic and brilliant solos, the violin flies away and illuminates the universe, the piano and synths are omnipresent too to blend the whole. You can select (but it's hard since all is good here) some outstanding songs: "The Inner Dragon" (almost as exceptional as "Opaline") where the piano is the master of the play, "Desert Gates" with its world music inspiration (the percussions, the Oriental vocals and the guitar parts as luminous as the sun in the desert), "Lovestagia" which makes think of a part of Camel's Moonmadness by the piano and the vocals sounding like a nursery rhyme and "Finale" which by its folk, jazzy and even funky touches, ends Florrow's quest.

At the end of the disc, the feeling of having heard something exceptional, reminds the same feelings I had had when listening to Ange's Au delà du délire and Yes' Relayer and more recently IQ's Subterannea and Arena's The Visitor.

In conclusion, this is a gorgeous, a brilliant disc. Among such records we would like to hear more often, showing great influences (is it necessary to quote some?): Hawkwind (for the violin solos and the texts recited (when Mr. Moorcock collaborated to the band)), Camel (for the guitar). But all that is quite difficult to analyze since the band found their own sound, according Christian Décamps' (Ange) own words. Astonishing for a first disc, even if it's not the members' first attempt.

Let's hope that the child will not remain single, that he will have a little brother. Let's hope those new silver lined angels will return one day on earth to display their divine music. We want more!

jldlc | 5/5 |

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