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Final Conflict - Hindsight CD (album) cover


Final Conflict



3.35 | 27 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Hindsight is a wonderful thing

When I first heard Hindsight after having heard Final Conflict's 2006 studio album Simple and their live DVD Another Moment In Time, I wasn't immediately as convinced of its merits as I was of those two more recent releases. But like with many good albums, this one too grew on me over further listens. While Simple contained re-recordings of older songs, several of which were previously familiar to me from the aforementioned live DVD, only two songs on Hindsight had previously graced my ears - Can't Buy Experience and A Moment In Time. The former had featured on the DVD and the latter (which ironically wasn't, given the title of the DVD) I knew from the band's MySpace page.

With eight tracks and a running time of just over an hour, all but one of the songs are over six minutes in length and two songs run for nearly ten minutes. The first track sounds very much like a Peter Gabriel solo number in the vocal melody and tone. There is a nice mix of electronic and acoustic sounds. This is modern Prog with a classic Rock feel. A Moment In Time has a strong melody and is instantly appealing. Again there are acoustic guitars, but here the pleasant harmony vocals and clean lead guitar sounds of Brian Donkin and Andy Lawton that I have come to expect from the band shine through a lot more. The heaviness that occasionally was present on Simple is however almost nowhere to be found on Hindsight.

The title track is the first to have a more typical Neo-Prog sound with its strong presence of melodic keyboards. Here we also have more powerful guitars and vocals, but the music of Final Conflict is seldom aggressive. This is one of the strongest tracks of the album. Dead Of Night is a darker and more low key song with an almost jazzy feel in the drums and bass line. Again some nice floating keyboard work from Steve Lipiec who also provides some discrete and tasteful saxophone lines. Can't Buy Experience is again a more melodic affair and this one is not one of my favourites. As I said, this was the only track from this album that was featured on the band's recent live DVD. Probably not the track I would have chosen to represent Hindsight but still a good song.

Shadowdance is a great number with lovely flutes, electric piano, acoustic and electric guitars, strings and a mellow vocal. There is a folky feel to this track partly due to the strong presence of flutes but also due to the nature of the melody. The flutes are played by a Corrin Lipiec, probably a relative to Steve Lipiec the keyboard player. Choices is a more melodic song similar to Can't Buy Experience. The main attraction here is the keyboard and guitar solos. The album closes with Heart & Soul which again is a rather mellow piece with a warm vocal over acoustic guitars and nice keyboard and lead guitar work. The verse is very strong, but the chorus is admittedly slightly predictable.

Given that Simple contained older material in new versions, Hindsight from 2003 is still the most recent original studio album by Final Conflict to date. It may not be as good as Simple and it does not have the standout tracks of 1997's Stand Up, but it is indeed another strong Final Conflict album. I wasn't as sure about the rating this time, but I chose to reward this album too with four stars in the end.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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