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Coda - Sounds Of Passion CD (album) cover

SOUNDS OF PASSION

Coda

 

Symphonic Prog

3.40 | 43 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars Far above the average should receive 3.5 stars

Last week I was checking the bands from the Symphonic list and found CODA, for what I read, they didn't seem to belong in Symphonic, so I managed to buy an expensive copy of the 25th Anniversary Edition of "Sounds of Passion" to have a better opinion.....Now I can say that in my opinion they don't belong in Symphonic Prog, at least totally.

The album is a blend of Symphonic (some good moments), Ambient music and a bit of New Age, that clearly proves us that we are before a Crossover band rather than a Symphonic one, but this is a decision we have to take as a team and the issue is under study. In this moment I will forget classifications and simply review the album.

1.- The album starts with the "Sounds of Passion Suite that is divided in 6 parts:

a) Prologue: What a waste of space, a 2:17 minutes of boring narration (some will say poetry, I wont) after some wind effects, I recommend to press the skip button.

b) First Movement: starts with an interesting intro (A it long in my opinion) that blends YES influences with a couple of breathtaking Mellotron sections, and then a dramatic change, the band releases all their artillery with a fluid instrumental section that by parts reminds me of "Six Wives of Henry the VIII" by RICK WAKEMAN, despite a few uneven moments, I believe it's a very good start if we omit the insipid "Prologue"

c) Second Movement: At this point. CODA enters more into New Age /Ambient territory, the music is repetitive and even boring. Doesn't matter how much Erik de Vroomen tries to create emotional moments with keyboard and piano, they never manage to capture the audience.

d) Third Movement: The bird chirping and soft spacey flute make me doubt a radical change from the less than average previous track, it's clear that de Vroomen and Pip van Steen are terrific pianist and flutist, but the composition is weak and no matter how hard they try the music never "takes off". Around the 3:10 minutes a strong drum explosion gives me some hopes, but it's a mirage, they fall again into the Ambient territory with a distant FOCUS resemblance that boosts the ending a bit with a Jack Witjes interesting guitar solo

e) Fourth Movement - Finale: Begins with a Gregorian Chant section which's majesty is diminished by some annoying keyboard sounds in the vein of Vangelis, after an explosion, a pompous and passionate Baroque organ makes it's appearance (for those Progheads like me that love excesses is a gift), and then develops into a soft but interesting instrumental section with a heavy distorted guitar in the background, now they remind me a bit of Gilmour.

The ret of the track is full of surprises, radical changes and phenomenal performances by all the band members, simply delightful, they left the best music for the last Movement of the "Sounds of Passion" suite, this sole section pays the whole album.

2.- Crazy Fool and Dreamer: After the instrumental "Suite" (Well, except for the chants), it's the tie to add the vocals by Jack Witjes, who in the style of JOHN WETTON does a very decent job, even when a bit soulless for the good music of the song. Again Erik de Vroomen adds excellent piano and organ, but I would be unfair if I didn't say the whole band is in a great level,....This is pure Symphonic with a frantic but at the same time breathtaking finale. The best song of the album by far.

3.- Defended: The last song of the album begins with a short operatic instant and without preambles then enter directly to the central section with decent vocals and better choirs, this time they leave the Symphonic real to cross into some sort of lighter PINK FLOYD Space Rock, again they hit the nail in the head......The final section made me jump of my seat, but won't reveal the secret to avoid ruining the experience

Still don't believe this album is pure Symphonic and I insist they should be moved to Crossover, but hey, this guys really know their business.

When the album started I was going to rate it with 2 stars, but now I believe that anything bellow 3.5 with be unfair, but our system doesn't allow this, so not without sadness, will have to go with 3 stars, even when I'm sure this very good (but slightly uneven) album deserves something more.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 3/5 |

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