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Compassionizer - Narrow Is the Road CD (album) cover

NARROW IS THE ROAD

Compassionizer

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.11 | 33 ratings

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Kempokid
4 stars Another fantastic album from Compassionizer that really represents the sheer versatility on display from them. Rather than the more brooding atmosphere and cold, alien quality that would often shine through with the stronger use of electronics on past albums, Narrow Is The Road takes on a far warmer, more uplifting tone while maintaining a lot of the moodiness that make them so compelling. The range of instruments, while being about as diverse as before, still sound very different as a result. You'll find a lot more symphonic elements especially, with the assortment of woodwind and brass being utilised to craft an atmosphere just as compelling as past output has been. The compositions themselves feel like a bit of a step up as well, still focusing far more strongly on crafting a mood and soundscape that evokes a range of emotions that often feel rather hard to define entirely, but this time around, everything sounds that touch more dynamic and impactful. This is especially true with the way that everything flows together as smoothly as it does, to the point where you'll end up hearing certain passages and ideas being reused later on but under a different context which ends up further expanding upon and refining what was already there, positively contributing to each rendition that's performed.

The electric guitar is another favourite aspect of this to me with the way that it's almost always implemented in such unconventional ways without entirely derailing the experience. The way that The Invasion of a Crying Shame uses it is especially powerful, breaking through the rather subtle, layered composition with a wave of roaring distortion that then gets played around smoothly and almost instantly, providing a certain intensity that I am a huge fan of when used in smaller doses in the context of an album such as this. The way that Narrow Is The Road is able to have such left turns while maintaining a practically unbreakable sense of momentum is rather impressive and sophisticated, essentially hiding its more avant-garde tendencies in plain sight time and time again and making for a fantastic experience to full absorb and break down all the nuances of. I basically always feel rather excited about seeing this band make a new album since they're so consistently great and interesting in how differently they're approached. In this case, I'd say that Narrow is the Road marks the band's most conventionally prog album in how it's structured, but that doesn't make it any less great at what it does. While An Ambassador In Bonds remains my favourite album Ivan Rozmainsky is involved with at this point, fans of atmospheric prog should not ignore this one either, as it's more fantastic music that makes full use of a wide range of instrumentation to craft another album that sounds rather unique and exciting.

Kempokid | 4/5 |

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