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Corvus Stone - Corvus Stone CD (album) cover


Corvus Stone


Crossover Prog

3.81 | 178 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I don't care if I feel the need to be critical over an album which is 20-years old or really stinks, but I feel sorry having to be critical with the debut album from a new project by musicians who undoubtedly have put much goodwill and effort in their work, but I have to say that I'm really baffled by the praise that this album is receiving.

Personally I was never too impressed by the BunchaKeze album. This time guitarist Colin Tench seems to have delegated most of the composition duties to new collaborator keyboardist Pasi Koivu but this has not resulted in a much better product IMHO.

My first listening was a disappointment, but given the mamooth length of 80 minutes and the high ratings given by other reviewers I thought that I must have missed it, so I insisted on listening to it again and again before daring to write a review. After repeated spins my first impression has improved but I'm still very far from sharing all that praise.

The music style is not your typical prog or even crossover, it has a lot of 70's blues-pop- rock foundation and it's not explicitly complex, some symphonic, hard rock and fusion ingredients are thrown here and there. Mostly instrumental with a few vocal songs which is not bad because the vocals are not great but having a bit of them helps getting through the album without getting too bored. Most tracks are really short (there are 21 of them!) which helps as well.

In honesty the keyboards and guitar are often really good when considered as soloing or accompanying work, the Emersonian keyboard sounds and often Camel-esque quitar help it sounding more proggy than it is.

But there are several weak points, the first and most important one being composition. It feels like a disjointed collage of musical ideas without any flow and very little melodical and harmonical content. Most tracks are basically soloing over a basic chord progression foundation, but they do not have structure and do not develop anywhere. There are of course some breaks and phrase changes but they do not feel like properly developed songs. There are variations on tempo and energy but neither the individual songs nor the whole thing show any really interesting dynamics. The often artificial-sounding drums do not help either and the production sounds cold and clinical to my ears.

The inspiration in the chord progressions and harmonies is weak in my opinion, when they want to do something different from the traditional blues-rock chord progressions and scales they always resort to the same variations, semitone intervals and those hijaz scales (phrygian dominant with augmented 7th) which brings some egyptian, middle-eastern flavour.

I feel sorry for being so harsh and there are good tracks though, my favourites being the fast-paced "I'l Leave It All Behind" with great keyboards, the 2 longer tracks "Corvus Stone" and "Cinema", the cinematic "JussiPussi" and the 2 very short guitar pieces "Intermission" and "Ten Inch Lisa".

Probably I should be generous and round up my 2.5 stars to 3, but when I think of other albums I rated with 3 stars, they are consistently better than this. Don't give up guys, next time give a bit up in quantity and focus more on quality.

Gerinski | 2/5 |


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