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The Violet Hour - The Fire Sermon CD (album) cover


The Violet Hour



3.79 | 27 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Better be good

With such an intriguing album title, such a gloomy sleeve picture and such a strong opening track, I just had to check out The Fire Sermon by The Violet Hour. Vocalist Doris Brendel is a truly gorgeous woman with an absolutely gorgeous voice and the eight minute plus opener Dream Of Me is a simply wonderful piece of mellow, progressive music. The exquisite flutes, the haunting violins, the atmospheric ambiences, the emotional and distinctive vocals and a strong melody make Dream Of Me a wholly satisfying experience. The rest of the album is, however, a disappointment after this strong opening. Apart from Dream Of Me, very little here can be considered progressive. Rather, we have here a collection of Beatles-esque Pop tunes, dreamy Pink Floyd-ish vibes and melancholic, piano-based ballads with folky touches. The occasional song approaches the more rough Rock of the likes of The Who, all with a contemporary 90's feel. Most of the tracks run for four to five minutes and they stick rather closely to conventional song- structures. The occasionally raspy voice of Brendel has been compared to that of Janis Joplin and that is not at all out of place.

The band toured with Marillion during its short existence and they are about as interesting from a Prog perspective as Steve Rothery's own side-project The Wishing Tree which also featured female vocals and folky Pop. The association with Marillion is probably what put The Violet Hour in the Neo-Prog category, but Prog related or, at best, Crossover Prog would probably make a better fit for this band. The high quality of the material is what pushes this album up to a three star rating for me.

Recommended for those who can enjoy good music that is not necessarily Prog

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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