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Sean Filkins - War And Peace & Other Short Stories CD (album) cover

WAR AND PEACE & OTHER SHORT STORIES

Sean Filkins

 

Crossover Prog

4.10 | 335 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Panda
5 stars I started out listening to Progressive music back in the seventies, when bands like Genesis, Pink Floyd and The Moody Blues were constantly in rotation on my turntable. Later in the Eighties it was Marillion, then Porcupine Tree and Spocks Beard. Now it's Sean Filkins. I bought Sean Filkins new solo album, War And Peace & Other Short Stories, after hearing the track The English Eccentric, on The Classic Rock Presents Prog sampler. What a great Progressive Rock album. The album is well written, with meaningful lyrics, fantastic music and a first class production. It covers many genres of Prog and Rock, with added twists thrown in of New Age music, synths with sequencers, World music with Sitars, Tablas and even Didgeridoo and Contempory Folk to Heavy Metal. There are influences here and there where one can pick out the odd nod to different bands, but Filkins has managed to merge all these influences and themes together to make an original sound all of his own.

By what I've read on his website and from listening to interviews he has done, you know that each track is a story, probably very personal to him by the way they are written, and the different instruments are cleverly used to help tell these stories. Even though personal, I could relate to the lyrics on the same level so the songs are very accesible. There are many great guests musicians involved with the making of the album who all play their part, with Filkins as writer, arranger and conductor, but I won't list all of them as one can read these on his website or on the cover of the disc.

Two long tracks dominate the CD, which has six tracks in all, the first being a clever little intro that is very English! The English Eccentric then explodes into your room. One of the shorter tracks on the album but one that posesses all the elements for a great prog track and it sets the scene perfectly for what is to come. What follows next are the two long tracks. Prisoner Of Conscience parts 1 and 2 that link together and the five part Epitaph for a Mariner where Filkins has segued five very different sounding pieces together using many influences from New age synths to pounding drums and sequences to the end anthemic finale where the guitars and keyboards duel it out to a stunning climax. The track ends with a lonely Piano lament. Just beautiful.

These two tracks alone make this album a five star certainty with me. This is the most progressive, Progressive Rock album I have heard in years. The album finishes with the sublime Learn How To Learn where Filkins has had the help of Geoff Webb to create a beautiful uplifting song where Filkins brings back elements of previous tracks to again link the album together.

I hope there will be more to come from Filkins, as this is a stunning album, from a new and relatively unknown artist, that is my album of the year thus far and one that other bands I know and love will be hard pushed to beat.

Prog Panda | 5/5 |

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