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A Big Goodbye - Sounds & Silences CD (album) cover

SOUNDS & SILENCES

A Big Goodbye

 

Heavy Prog

3.63 | 69 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group
Admin / Heavy Prog Team / Math Rock Team
4 stars The door to excellence

A Big Goodbye is another new face to emerge in the wave of independent modern prog rock artists. Blending the emotion of Pink Floyd, the atmosphere of Porcupine Tree, and the heaviness of Opeth, the band creates a tasty, fresh new sound to emerge from their native Georgia. Even early in their career, the trio has proven to have a mature compositional style, a mastery of sound production, and the capability to truly make a fantastic album. The band's debut, Sounds and Silences, is a fantastic mix of modern and vintage, with swaths of acoustic strumming balanced by stabs of heavy riffing, all backed by a solid rhythm section and steady, accessible melodic structure. The music is full of clever and creative spices, from mellow electric piano accents, subtle vocal harmony, and occasional polymetric work, the album stays fresh and creative, inviting numerous rewarding listens.

The album's opener, "Thinking Out Loud," is a perfect way for the band to introduce their sound - its kicks off with some nice acoustic work, with mellow vocals coming in to support it. Without hesitation, the band explodes into a section of killer, dynamic riffs accented by acoustic noodling and synth backings. Already, the listener can hear A Big Goodbye means business. This motif of dynamic, diverse, mood changing music is truly the backbone of this album, keeping the listener on edge as the emotions of the music switch from solemn to intense to happy to intense again. The melodies are kept accessible and at times very catchy, giving the music and even more pleasing edge. The riffs, both acoustic and electric, are fresh and exciting, banking away from the swaths of boring and uninspired riffs of the modern metal community.

One thing I'm always wary of on any band's debut is the quality of the production. Too often a new band is beset by financial strains, lack of proper equipment, or just general inexperience to create a decently produced, well-made debut album. However, A Big Goodbye seems to have swept those belittling problems aside and have released a truly professionally produced debut, even though they had no help from a label or professional sound engineer (at least to the best of my knowledge). Each song is mixed wonderfully, giving the guitars their full portion while not leaving out the drums, bass, keyboards, and especially the vocals. This great production truly gives the music what it needs - ample room to breathe and express its true meaning.

Each song on the album has its own fantastic flavor and feel which gives the album its fantastic dynamic feel. From the heavy tracks such as "Thinking Out Loud" and "Solitude" to the more alternative, acoustic tracks such as "February Girl" and "The Door," the album has a spectacular feeling of diversity. The perfect amount of emotion of the music blends effortlessly with the perfect amount of technicality, making for an inviting atmosphere that can cater to virtually any music listener. Throughout the album little perks and jabs are thrown in, such as the occasional sax solo, brass section flair, and other interesting flavors to give the music character and dimension.

Overall, Sounds and Silences presents itself as gem amongst a slew of great modern progressive rock albums. A Big Goodbye has shown that they have both the capability and capacity to create high quality, impressive music to rival even the established groups. Although the band may be lacking in lyrical depth and a few other scant areas, they have no hesitation to be adventurous when needed and traditional when it fits, showing they have a certain degree of maturity even some established favorites seem to lack. Overall, A Big Goodbye's debut is a fantastic display of skill and dedication from this Georgia trio. Its diverse musical output and inviting and accessible structure makes it a definite go-to album for fans of most types of progressive rock, especially those of the heavier end of art rock. I was impressed from the get-go with this album, and with more listens it only got better. 4 stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |

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