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Fruupp - The Prince of Heaven's Eyes CD (album) cover

THE PRINCE OF HEAVEN'S EYES

Fruupp

 

Symphonic Prog

3.13 | 97 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

baz91
Prog Reviewer
5 stars A sublime concept album

Simply put, if you can listen to an album the whole way through multiple times and enjoy every moment, then that album is a masterpiece. Such words could be said of Fruupp's third album, 'The Prince of Heaven's Eyes'. Here is an album that's beautifully presented, well-balanced and stunningly original.

Yes, this is a concept album, but not just a vague one; an album that follows an actual story. The story itself can either be gleaned from the lyrics, or read in the 14 page booklet accompanying the album. The booklet, written by Paul Charles, is well-written and captivating, telling tales of a character named Mud Flanigan and his magical adventures in rural Ireland. It really is a very interesting read, and fleshes out the story much more than the music. The music, rather than telling the story again, is simply based on it, as if it were a soundtrack. According to the liner notes, there were disused songs that weren't included on the album, as they would have made it too long for vinyl. These songs would have probably fleshed out other parts of the story.

The music here is simply brilliant. The opening track It's All Up Now is a perfect, natural opening to this album. The instrumental introduction is exciting and progressive, whilst retaining beauty. When the singing begins, the bass line is absolutely wonderful. The lyrics, especially in the middle section, are classic. All in all, a great start to a great album.

The Prince Of Darkness is a short ditty, but nonetheless progressive. Peter Farrelly does an impressive job of sounding like two different people in order to express different points of view. His 'Prince of Darkness' voice sounds remarkably like Peter Gabriel's distinctive accent.

Jaunting Car is a short but sweet instrumental, with a synth effect that reminds me of the Pokémon games.

Annie Austere may be one of the best prog love songs I've ever heard (not that there are many). Arguably the best part of this song is the cute middle section, where Mud's lyrics are extremely romantic, and talk of marriage. This song finishes the first side of the album with a theme that is reprised at the beginning of the second side; a very neat trick indeed.

After hearing the afore-mentioned reprise, we hear the short yet romantic Knowing You. There's not much to say about this track, except that it provides a good introduction to the second side of the album.

Crystal Brook follows straight on from the preceding track, but at 8 minutes, this is a far more progressive affair. There's absolutely nothing about this track that I dislike: the instrumentals, the lyrics, the riffs, the solos, the dynamics, everything seems perfect here.

Seaward Sunset is a short track, which feels just a bit like filler, but is pretty enough to pass the time with. I'm not sure who sings here, but whoever it is can pull a very high voice. Very cute song.

The Perfect Wish is a song in two parts. After a lengthy Camel-esque instrumental comes some very progressive rhythms with singing over the top. The lyrics in the second half of the song remind me of Procol Harum. The track ends with a beautiful, powerful guitar solo that sends shivers down my spine. This is the kind of symphonic ending that I have no problem waiting 40 minutes to hear, because it is so good.

One funny thing about this album is the title itself. At first I interpreted it as The Prince belonging to Heaven's Eyes, rather than The Eyes belonging to the Prince of Heaven, but I soon realised my mistake. It is quite an ambiguous title, and a bit of a mouthful too. However, this mouthful has definitely filled me right up, as I could not be more satisfied by such an obscure album. Why Fruupp are such an obscure group I may never understand. I whole-heartedly recommend this album as a classic of Irish prog, and prog in general.

baz91 | 5/5 |

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