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Corvus Stone - Corvus Stone CD (album) cover

CORVUS STONE

Corvus Stone

 

Crossover Prog

3.87 | 149 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Multi-national band CORVUS STONE is a studio only project that found it's shape and form early in 2012 following chance encounters on Facebook resulting in the core trio of Colin Tench, Petri Lemmy Lindström and Pasi Koivu finding each other. They developed the majority of the material at hand on what is their self-titled debut CD, with a few supplemental details provided by their most recent members Blake Carpenter and Robert Wolff. The album itself was released in the late fall of 2012, initially as a digital production but with a physical CD edition following shortly afterwards.

The mammoth 21 track CD the core founding trio have developed is a rollercoaster ride that will inspire a multitude of different opinions. Those in close touch with band and musicians alike, of which there are many, will most likely herald it as one of the better productions of 2012. That will most often be the case when people have a strong attachment to a project, and in the case of Corvus Stone a great number of people have engaged themselves in this project. There's a good few hundred people out there who have followed the proceedings and development closely who does feel something of a personal ownership to this album I suspect, and quite a few of them will be visible and vocal advocates of this production.

I know a few of the people involved myself, and care quite a lot about Colin Tench and Sonia Mota. The latter something of a nexus for band interactions as well as the provider of the cover art of the album. And a delightful, charming and spirited person to boot. But while I have an attachment to some of the people involved, I can't allow myself the luxury of treating this production in any other manner than other albums I cover. But just in case someone should point out that my views might be tainted by personal relations in this case, I have chosen to bring them to the table straight away. Then it's up to anyone reading this to decide whether or not this does cloud my judgement.

Personally I feel this production is an up and down experience. The material itself tends to have something of an improvisational nature to it. Improvised by time delay I suspect, as I don't think any of the instrumentalists have been in studio together nor even recording in the same studio. I can imagine quite a few of these tracks flying back and forth between members however, with each successive session resulting in just a few more details added in. Other pieces are more straight forward in nature however, to the point where I suspect quite a few of them only had one session in each members recording studio.

Which of the songs that fall into either category I can't really tell, but personally I'll readily admit that there are excursions here that failed to impress due to the end result becoming a bit too chaotic and somewhat lacking in structure and general cohesion. The least interesting ones assembled in a row starting with the schizophrenic JussiPussi and ending with After Solstice. The latter of these opening up brilliantly I might add, but unravelling into a less than interesting soundscape for this pair of ears.

The high points just about outweighs the low ones however. Ice King is a solid song with vocals and a brilliant one as an instrumental workout. Floydian in nature and with a sound that gave me an automatic association to Canadian Rick Miller's productions admittedly, but a fine effort nonetheless. And amidst plenty of songs featuring playful organ motifs, I'll Leave It All Behind and Moron Season are truly captivating yet also rather different instances of minor magic in that department. The smooth, elegant and mostly Floydian environment explored on epic length Cinema is another high point for me, 10+ minutes of smooth elegance. But Corvus Stone has still has a lot of unfulfilled potential in the songwriting department, and the inclusion of the Black Widow tune You're So Wrong documents this quite nicely, as this piece is the best developed composition by far on this disc. Perhaps not the most intriguing, but a well developed, cohesive affair that feels planned in all aspects and details.

It'll be fun to see where this band project heads off to next. With a drummer joining their ranks too late to really be able to contribute much on this occasion it'll be intriguing to see just how much this addition will elevate the material of this band, as the drums were something of a detrimental factor for this album. The inclusion of a vocalist might also alter somewhat the manner in which future material will be developed by this band. By and large I generally expect their next production to be a better one, at least in terms of coming across as developed and cohesive, and with the now five musicians getting to know each other better the internal band members knowledge about their individual strengths and weaknesses should also see a more interesting second full length production by this act.

As it is, Corvus Stone debut album is a marathon collection of bits and pieces of which some will intrigue, some will not and quite a few will be somewhere in between. A promising but uneven first chapter in the history of a band that those who know more about it will always associate with Facebook. An album I suspect should find favour amongst fans of melodic progressive rock of the Floydian kind, especially if they also tend to like improvisational material of the instrumental variety.

Windhawk | 3/5 |

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