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Corvus Stone - Corvus Stone CD (album) cover

CORVUS STONE

Corvus Stone

 

Crossover Prog

3.93 | 143 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I was asked to write a review about the debut album of this international band and I must say I found it to be far harder than I could have imagined. Not that the music was bad or too far out. In fact, the music here is extremely good in almost all aspects. And we´re talking about a mamooth CD filled with almost 80 minutes of original music! The biggest problem I´ve found is the lack of references. Let me try to explain: they simply don´t sound like anyone or anything else I know. Ok, their music is not something too out there as some might expect reading what I write now. In fact their 70´s influences abound: classic rock, blues, eastern rock, jazz, classical, avant guard, you name it! However, the way they mixed all those references is quite original and not easy to discern when you listen to the album.

As you may have guessed, this is not an easy listening music, although Corvus Stone sound is quite familiar and accessible in several parts. However, the one listener who is patient enough to give it a few more spins will be rewarded with an excellent collection of tunes (mostly of them instrumentals, with a few vocal tracks thrown in to balance it. they were smart enough to ask for outside help to do so, and the vocals are quite nice). This is great prog music done by superb musicians who know how to use their obvious talents for the music. although I found some self indulgent moments here and there (like the drum solo on Rusty Wolf Attack - fortunatly a short one), they are also few and far between. The star of the show is clearly Colin Tench´s brilliant guitar playing: the guy knows how to be both original and familiar with his tasteful, soulful solos and licks. I´ve always loved guitarrists who know how to express emotions thorugh their instruments notes, while others use the music as an excuse to show their technique with endless (and pointless) noodlings. Tench fortunatly is one of the formers, knowing very well when to play and when NOT to play, a rare quality to be found nowadays.

The other two band members, keyboardist Pasi Koivu and bassist Petri Lemmy are also outstanding players who give the album not a small amount of contribuition, but this is really a guitar-led CD. Sometimes I think the record would benefit more if Koivu used more vintage sound timbres on his instruments: things like a Hammond B-3 and a mellotron would fit quite nicely in this kind of music. On the other hand I cannot say for sure if that would make it sound too retro, it´s just an opinion. As it is, I must say I liked his perfomances a lot.

Overall I can say this is a winner. The production is excllent, the songs are very well done, the arrangements are tasteful and the perfomances are impeccable. But more than anything else, they know how to write fine songs, with a great knack for the nice melodies that go together well with the intricated musical structures. It´s hard to point a highlight on this album, since the tunes are too varied and the quality of the tracks is quite even (I heard it from beginning to end just wishing they had dropped two of the 23 tracks). However, three instrumentals do stand out: the hauting title track (definitly their best song), the 10 minute epic Cinema and the fantastic climatic After Solstice. What really amazes me is how on earth those guys could put so much different music together and make it work as a whole. To finalize the tracklist must have been a nightmare, but they made it.

Conclusion: A terrific debut that every prog fan should listen to. I´m looking forward to hear their next releases.

Rating: something between 4 and 4.5 stars. Highly recommended!

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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