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Corvus Stone - Corvus Stone CD (album) cover


Corvus Stone


Crossover Prog

3.84 | 179 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Bluesy prog rock from an international conglomeration of talented instrumentalists that often displays individual skills more than group coompositional skill. There are, however, enough polished, complicated songs to warrant consideration of high marks, but not quite enough for me. This is a collection of songs that are mostly in skeleton condition that could have been worked out a little more. The sound is great, the rhythms are often great, the song structures are often one- or two-dimensional, but when they are not--when the band has really put all of its attention to detail and fullness--the music is excellent.

1. "The Curtain Rises" (1:32) begins like a Mediterranean folk tune, with instruments, rhythms and melody lines straight out of Greece or Spain or Lebanon. Cool little intro to the album. (10/10)

2. "October Sad Song" (4:57) must be Corvus' tribute to JEFF BECK & JAN HAMMER collaborations, though the piano playing is more akin to the style of Vince Guraldi or . The band members pretty much just take turns soloing, which is kind of a jazz-blues way of approaching music?especially in jam sessions between musicians that are fairly new to each other. (which may be the case here). The solos are all tasteful and well executed if a bit flamboyant. The piano actually becomes at times a bit annoying, though it and the drums are kind of the glue that hold the whole jam together. Colin Tench's guitar solo in the fourth and fifth minutes is awesome?the highlight of the song. (7/10)

3. "Highway to Emptiness" (2:28) has a pure SANTANA feel to it, especially the guitar and bass parts. (All that's really missing is Carlos' amazing Latin rhythmatists.) A brief instrumental but well met. Again, it is the guitar that really shines, though the bass playing is awesomely fat and juicy. Can't help but wishing for some tempo changes, though. (8/10)

4. "Ice King" (3:10) is a vocalized melodrama in a kind of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT/PINK FLOYD vein. Haunting keys, nice Spanish guitar, and some creative electric guitar play throughout. The vocal has a HOGARTH-like feel to it. Like the electric piano presence, too. (8/10)

5. "I'll Leave It All Behind" (3:33) feels like a kind of ROBIN TROWER/MONKEYS/ SMASHMOUTH song--ELEPAHNT9 organ and PETE TOWNSEND guitar--all playing a kindof standard blues structured jam. Listen to the bass move! Awesome! The organ work is the best keyboard work I've heard on the album so far. Would rate it higher if the song structure weren't so mathematical/predictable. (8/10)

6. " Corvus Stone" (8:19) starts like soundtrack music--excellent European-style soundtrack. Then around 1:40 (and again around 2:40) it shifts into third gear displaying some of the best guitar pyrotechnics I've ever heard in one song. Eight minutes of jaw-dropping ear candy! Kind of like a great tune from VESPERO or MY BROTHER THE WIND. Even the slow down at 6:00 works! (10/10)

7. "Moron Season" (3:36) What a title! And so out of keeping with the mood set forth by the tender, melodic, dreamy music. Another HOGARTH-like vocal. I guess the moronic part begins with the switch to high octane Wild West rock at the one minute mark. Actually, with the vocal the song sounds more like a ROGER WATERS piece. Perhaps the tightest, most developed song I've heard so far. Very tight! Even the "Smoke on the Water" riff (among others) works perfectly. LOL! (10/10)

8. "Horizon" (1:51) starts like an ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND song--excellent with tongue-in-cheek play from the glockenspiel/toy piano. This is another one to pay attention to the bass playing. Again, a tight, if short, jam. (9/10)

9. "Intermission" (0:41) A brief visit from GEORGE HARRISON and ANT PHILLIPS!

10. "Moustaches in Massachusetts" (4:17) is another instrumental homage to the more free-form stylings of CARLOS SANTANA. Excellent job of capturing that vibe--especially the axe and organ work. I swear that the songs get tighter, the music more polished and worked out as the album goes along. Great shift at the 2:25 mark. And still the organ blisters on! And that bass groove gets me out of my chair and onto the floor! Great tune! (10/10)

11. "Pilgrims" (5:17) Lord I miss ROY BUCHANAN! But here Colin Tench lets me feel that his spirit is still with us! Awesome work, boys. Keys, bass, and, of course, guit-box are awesome. But on this song it's the DRUMS that blow me away! So attention-grabbing! There's also a lot of J TULL here as well as the ROY and ROYE (ALBRIGHTON) stylings. Hope this drummer is with CORVUS for the long haul! Sure makes a difference. (9/10)

12. "JussiPussi" (2:45) Wow! What can I say about this circus extravaganza? Wow! Reminds me of vaudeville and DeVOTCHKA all at the same time. Not sure what the title or lyrics refer to, though. No doubt something French. (9/10)

13. "Iron Pillows" (5:17) starts out with an awesome psych/heaviness like a long lost JIMI HENDRIX song. Unfortunately the pace eventually established by the drum and bass players does not match the intro. The guitar soli are wonderful, as is the organ. Love the time switch at 1:45--the drums reach out and want to grab you. Keys and guitar are so wonderfully supportive of one another. And that bass player must be having a blast! (9/10)

14. "After Solstice" (4:05) is most attractive for the driving bass line groove of the first minute and wonderful drumming. Somewhat reminiscent of some of FOCUS' best work in the 1970s. Colin and keyboard player Pasi Kolvu once again complement and play off one another amazingly well. Lots of tempo and mood shifts in this one. Something missing in the melodic "hook" department, though. (8/10)

15. "The Rusty Wolff Attack (2:30) is a surprisingly nice drum solo--as melodic and rhythmic as it is showy. Interesting for a drum solo! (8/10)

16. "Lost and Found" (2:20) begins with the drums that normally accompany a military funeral. As other instruments join in, it develops into a GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA/PINK FLOYD vocal song. Powerful and all-too brief! (10/10)

17. "Scary Movie" (4:21) Definitely one that ended up on the cutting room floor from a LED ZEPELLIN/STEVEN SPIELBERG movie collaboration. Really an awesome tension-filled song. (Now I want to see this movie!) (10/10)

18. "Cinema" (10:50) a very cinematic song (thus the title??)--very PINK FLOYD. I especially like the Petri Lemmy Lindström's section at 4:00, but "the hero's arrival" at 5:30 is also great. The ensuing battle is quite climactic, as expected, with some nice axe work from Mr. Tench. (Or is it 'Mr. Gilmour'?) (8/10)

19. "You're So Wrong" (3:51) is a gorgeous little Southern Space Rock in the vein of Captain Fantastic and Brown Dirt Cowboy and HAWKWIND or FRUUPP. Awesome vocal, whoever it is. (10/10)

20. "The Ice King (Instrumental)" (3:10) sounds much more cinematic--(B movie Spaghetti Western)--in this form--despite the excellent HACKETT-esque guitar work. IMHO, the keyboard sound choices don't work very well. (7/10)

21. "Ten Inch Lisa" (0:29) a little dittie CONCRETE BLONDE Mexican Moon-era style.

22. "The Stones Meet Cheryl in the Soundtrack from Hell" (Bonus Track) (2:44) is another dramatic cinematic mood piece--with some excellent tension building until the 2:00 mark when it all turn 180, tension gone; robots we are! (8/10)

23. "Cinema (Alternate Version)" (5:59) is a beautiful version of one of my favorite songs on the album. I think I like this one even better than the 11-minute version! (The acoustic instruments are more prominent.) (10/10)

A lot of very simple Blues-Rock song constructs, sounds, and instrumental riffs (I hear a LOT of MOLLY HATCHET in the guitar play and sounds) pulled together in an almost fun jam session way--as if in a warmup for some real and original music. The other half of the album has very polished, mature song constructs--many deserving of top marks. Throughout there are wonderful performances by all of the musicians but I have to admit that the guitarist rather blows me away. Colin Tench's pyrotechnics are reminiscent of Jeff Beck, Todd Rundgren, Frank Zappa, Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Arjen Lucassen, Molly Hatchet, Roy Buchanan, Mark Knopfler, Steve Hackett and, of course, Carlos Santana. Mixing/editing and production are not as polished as the instrumental sounds.

4.5 stars, a near masterpiece, rated down for inconsistency.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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