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Somnambulist - Paranormal Humidor  CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.59 | 36 ratings

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Dan Bobrowski
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I would really like to give 3.5 stars for this release. It's defintely good, but it's also not for everybody. I bought this without reading any reviews, just a suggestion from an Echolyn fan. I jumped into the disc without preamble, never looking at the liner or knowing what I was getting into. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the singers voice, very much like Chris Cornell of Soundgarden/Audioslave. I wasn't put off by that, rather, a plus. I've always thought CC had the best voice in modern rock. Cruising along I was swept up by the Wakeman-like keyboard work, solid bass (some sweet fretless, BTW) and swirling percussions. The tunes swung back and forth between wonderfully familiar classic prog terrain and bombastic Soundgarden frenzy. Don't get me wrong, THIS IS NOT PROG METAL. They do hint at it here and there, but this a long way away from metal.

I finally had a chance to look at the liner, the photo looked dead on like Chris Cornell. What the? The name below the photo read Peter Cornell. Wow, I didn't know he had a brother. Interesting. But really, that's not even the facinatiing part of the drama. It's the music. A clash of genres, yes, but more than that. This album was produced by Fred Schendel and Steve Babb, best known as the creativity behind Glass Hammer. I have a bit of Glass Hammer, but this would never be confused as a spin off. This is new, a fresh face on the world of progressive rock. I will be the first to admit, however, that many of the "classic prog" aficionados may cringe at the metal moments or Peter Cornell's occassional growling rage against the world vocals.

The lyrics are good, not great. Lines like, "It was better when we lived like monkeys" gets a snicker from me, I can't help it, it reminds of the band that had the, "why don't we do it like they do it on the Discovery Channel." I get can't help but find the humor in that.

A short solo acoustic guitar piece, Infant, is a small gem in the midst of all the other mayhem. I can't help but be smitten with these acoustic beauties.

I heard Mr. Cornell has since left the band. It will be interesting to see which direction this band heads, they have an eclectic style, hugely talented musicians and enough creativity to avoid rehashing the glory days of prog. This was good enough to make me curious as to how good their first release is.

I would suggest this disc to those who like their prog a little heavier than classic prog, find prog-metal too over the top, or those who constantly search for something different. It's worth the cost.

Dan Bobrowski | 3/5 |


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