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Myriad - Floating On Ascending Plains CD (album) cover

FLOATING ON ASCENDING PLAINS

Myriad

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.94 | 15 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Australia is not exactly known as a hotbed of progressive rock activity, so it's even more satisfying that a band of the high quality of Brisbane's Myriad represents my home country so well. They sit perfectly alongside Sebastian Hardie/Windchase, Unitopia and Ben Craven as superb local examples of progressive rock.

`Floating On Ascending Plains' is a natural step onwards from Myriad's previous release `Sea of The Sinking Sun'. Everything on this album sounds much more developed and truly progressed forwards from the first EP. Much of the playing is more technical, Matthew Heindorff's lyrics are more abstract and complex (reminds me in places of Jon Anderson at his new age finest!). The production has a much richer and fuller sound, but it never sounds cluttered or over-busy. There's still a very strong emphasis on acoustic guitar, which was one of the things I always loved about the first EP.

I was a little shocked at first by the heavier sound on the two part track `Visions Of Sinai'! The harder sections sound more like Rush, especially with the bass and drums combo, or even maybe 80's Eloy, with hard rock riffs and spacey keyboards. It features wonderful melodic electric guitar solos, with the bass grumbling away in the background, in addition to killer keyboard solo runs! The second half features a very David Gilmour/Pink Floyd inspired soaring guitar solo, as well as a relentless neo-prog sounding keyboard solo! Epic track, with so many interesting ideas. I do wonder why it was decided to split this track in two, as opposed to keeping it the one single big prog epic, though?

`Flood Of Understanding' is a nice collection of atmospheric pieces, alternating between electronic ambient textures and warm reflective acoustic passages. The second section is a drifting icey soundscape worthy of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze or Adeldert Von Deyen. I would love to see the band really implement this direction on future releases. It's followed by a more somber piece similar to final section of Floyd's `Saucerful Of Secrets' with the mournful organs, or even something off the `Staircase Infinities' album by Porcupine Tree. The mood is brought back up again with a nice reprise of the opening acoustic section to wrap up the track, with additional keyboards to back it up. This is my favorite track of the album, and I would gladly listen to the band release an entire album in this style. It really takes you on a reflective and spiritual journey.

I assume the shorter final track `Forever Fading Days' was perhaps from the first album recordings. The production and style of the track makes me think it might have been recorded at the same time or was an outtake from `Sea Of The Sinking Sun'? Nice track to finish the album on.

Matthew Heindorff is an extremely talented musician. Not only is his guitar playing exemplary throughout the album, be it on the many expressive acoustic tracks or the grand, epic electric solos, but his bass playing is extremely impressive as well. Its always mixed very upfront and prominent, the way it should always be in progressive rock bands! Very tasteful and varied in his use of keyboard sounds as well. He is also a very competent vocalist with a warm and genuine voice. Darren Finch on drums/percussion also makes an impression, showing a lot of variety and technical ability.

With so many of our prog acts more closely aligned to metal, it's very satisfying to hear an Australian prog band play classic, epic and grand symphonic rock, that takes elements from the legends of the 70's and adds a thoroughly original and modern spin on it. Myriad's music gets a total recommendation from me, well worth looking into, and I look forward to more from them in the future.

An easy four stars!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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