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All Over Everywhere - Inner Firmaments Decay CD (album) cover

INNER FIRMAMENTS DECAY

All Over Everywhere

 

Crossover Prog

3.79 | 63 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

lazland
Prog Reviewer
3 stars All Over Everywhere is a collaboration between Dan Britton, who will be familiar to veterans of this site, and a classically trained musician, and folk fan, Trinna Kesner, who won't be. It strikes me as being a true collaboration, so what you get is an interesting mixture of what most of us would pick up as more traditional progressive rock fused with symphonic and folk sensibilities, and I will immediately state that if this sounds like a description of outfits such as Blackmore's Night, Renaissance, and the like, then it certainly does not sound that way, because it is very difficult to place this record in a box such as "inspired by" or "fans of such and such a band will like this".

That is a round about way of saying that the album is difficult to pidgeon hole, and that, for me, is a good and healthy situation.

Ten musicians, including, of course, Britton and Kesner, are credited on the CD. Fans of my favourite instrument will particularly appreciate the mellotron swirling everywhere about this work, whilst those who like their progressive rock to take on a more classical symphonic flavour will enjoy the instrumentation of strings and woodwind.

Vocal duties are taken on by Megan Wheatley, another new name to me, and she has a wonderfully mature voice, which makes it all the more a shame that she spends the entire work struggling to be heard clearly. For no better example, I would cite the short On A Dark Street as being a prime example. Her voice is simply gorgeous, especially when she hits the higher notes. For a further discussion on this, see my end comments regarding production.

There is a melancholic feel to much of the music, with the exception of the final, and longest, track Gratitude. Until The Sun Begins To Fall and The Shroud are especially dark and downbeat.

My personal favourite on the album is Honesty, a four and a half minute piece of wonderful music, featuring a lovely vocal performance set against a background of quite exquisite orchestration, keyboards, and acoustic guitar.

The woodwinds backing Wheatley on After All The Years, courtesy of Kelli Short, add a loving texture to the decidedly reflective vocals, and, in fact, the entire instrumental passages here, including very good piano work, are chamber in their execution, and will be enjoyed by all who appreciate and respect the vast influence that such classical music has had upon progressive rock from the very outset.

Gratitude, as stated before, is the longest track here, and the only one to clock in at over ten minutes. It is the closest thing on the album to what we would describe as more traditional symphonic prog, with elements which do bring to mind parts of Trespass and also classic Yes. It is a very much more upbeat affair than most of what preceded it, and you really do enjoy allowing the keyboard led instrumental passage to wash over you. A fantastic piece of music, it closes the album on a definite high, and very much provides this listener with the hope that this will prove to be a long term, and improving, project.

I have discussed the many highlights present on this work. It is a good album, and one which gets better with repeated listens. However, there is one factor present which, to my mind, prevents it from being a truly excellent album and into the realms of a very good one, and that is the production. It is, to be very blunt, extremely disappointing, virtually drowning out a wonderful vocalist at times, and, even with a state of the art home cinema system as we own, making the listener have to work far too hard to appreciate and differentiate between the very solid, complicated, instrumentation prevalent. It really has to improve on future releases.

With this in mind, a three star rating from me, although possibly an extra half star if we had such a rating. A good album which promises much, and one which will be liked by prog fans who appreciate classical elements to their rock, folk fans, and also, dare I say it, those who also appreciate their prog delivered in more time accessible smaller chunks.

Lastly, I would record my appreciation to Dan Britton who kindly provided me with a copy of this CD.

lazland | 3/5 |

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