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St. Elmo's Fire - Artifacts of Passion CD (album) cover

ARTIFACTS OF PASSION

St. Elmo's Fire

 

Heavy Prog

3.55 | 10 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

gabbel ratchett
4 stars I find it hard to believe that this album has been given such short shrift here at Progarchives. Only one short review as of this writing. With all the major fans of King Crimson and early Genesis in attendence at these pages this wonderfull work seems to have slipped under the radar. Granted, I only discovered this band in the last year, but this album has been out for 4 years now and the band has been around since the late '70's. "Artifacts Of Passion" builds on the foundation laid by" Splitting Ions In The Ether" by taking all the strong points of that album up several levels, the Mellotron is bigger, the dynamic range is much wider, the diversity of compositions has been expanded, the instrumentation has become much more eclectic. Probably the biggest difference between this album and Splitting Ions is in the sound quality. This is a well crafted studio project and it shows. Two of the tracks are studio versions of tracks that appeared on Splitting Ions (Balrog & Abduction) and are far superior to the live versions. These two numbers along with the CD opener "The Dead Sea Scrolls" have the band flexing their Krimson muscles very nicely (the Tron in "Dead Sea" is to die for!). "The Nemo Syndrome" is the only track with vocals on the disc and it has a mini epic type of feel to it. The female background vocal gives the tune a really good feeling of space against all the guitars and male vocal. "Esmerelda" and "Erin & The Green Man" find the band in an acoustic mode that is a very refreshing change from the electric-symphonic mode that they usually operate in. "Esmerelda" has a 12th century eastern feel with lots of violin, reed drones, strings & hand drums. Bring on the belly dancers! "Erin" takes on the guise of a celtic pub tune with the violin leading the way.Pass me another pint please. "Lake Effect" is a very big symphonic number with the unusual choice of bagpipes to lead the Tron, bass pedals, guitars and drums. It washes over you like a major snowfall, duh. "North-West Territory" would probably be the track that radio stations would play,if radio stations played this stuff, its kinda short, very bouncy with violin and guitar trading the melody and very likely to get stuck in your head once you hear it a few times. That leaves "Dog Eared Page", the last track. This is really hard to describe. Acoustic guitars, Mellotron, banjo, bass & drums. If you like Led Zeppelin when they get acoustic and creepy you'll like this one. In short, if you like "Larks Toungues In Aspic", "A Trick Of The Tail", "Houses Of The Holy", "Azigza", & "Below The Salt" you'll probably like this album a lot.
gabbel ratchett | 4/5 |

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