Header
Nine Stones Close - One Eye On The Sunrise CD (album) cover

ONE EYE ON THE SUNRISE

Nine Stones Close

 

Neo-Prog

3.94 | 176 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BrufordFreak
5 stars Nine Stones Close vocalist Marc Atkinson has a voice and style that, IMO, nearly duplicates the great voice of one of rock'n'roll's all-time greatest vocalists, rocker JON BON JOVI. That alone give this album some amazing weight. Now put that controlled, emotional voice together with some gorgeous, never-overdone neo prog music and you have the makings of a truly addictive listening experience. Lush beauty reigns supreme throughout this album and yet it retains--no, revels, in--its rock'n'roll roots and a neo-proggish sound palette. 1. "Faceless Angel" (2:55) is a pretty space-age instrumental that uses multiple keyboards in three or four layers to set up the 'surprise' entrance of a wailing lead guitar as the song kicks into third gear at the 1:25 mark. Very emotional gtr play over the perfect setting of beautiful keyboards. (10/10)

2. "A Secret" (5:33) is a simple yet gorgeous vocal ballad in which keys and strummed and picked acoustic guitars wailing electric guitar solo perform all of the accompanist duties until almost the three minute mark. Has a bit of a "My Guitar Gently Weeps" feel and sound to the music and guitar play. Not a complicated song but very hypnotic and well performed. (9/10)

3. "Janus" (5:46) is an instrumental that begins with modern keyboard play a la CHROMA KEY before keys fade to background synth washes while multiple lead guitar tracks wail away at the same single, awesomely bent note, repeated over and over over the revolving chord progression beneath. AT 2:30 this all stop and a piano practices shifting arpeggio chords for while before the rest of the band, bass, drums, synths, and strummed acoustic and soloing electric guitars play along. Even the acoustic guitar gets a little soloing in "Spanish style" in the last couple of minutes. Again, not a very complicated song, but gorgeously composed and executed. (9/10)

4. "?And Dream of Sheep" (1:52) begins with some acoustic guitar play--two guitar tracks playing with and off of one another--almost sounding like a WINDHAM HILL piece. Piano joins the two guitars at 0:54, then background synth strings. (9/10)

5. "One Eye on the Sunrise (12:06) begins with acoustic guitars and what sounds like a cello. Not far different in mood or feel from the previous song except that the vocalist soon enters with a cool, controlled performance--that is until 2:55 when all hell breaks out with a very BON JOVI "Wanted Dead Or Alive"-like explosion. For a minute we are lulled back into the intro themes--but his time by electrified instruments, not acoustic. Then, at 4:50 the full powered rock versioin of this song takes over. The vocal and guitars' strummed chord progressions are, admittedly, not very engaging at this point--too clichéd and stale sounding. Then at 6:30 everything stops. Electric guitars begin picking arpeggios again, treated cello floats in and around, Atkinson sings "Hey-ah" over and over. It's pretty. It might go on a bit too long. Finally, at 9:18 a new section begins, with Atkinson's dramatic vocal. He's so good! The emotions on display here are masterful! I just wish that the music was better. Incredible JOHN BONHAM-like drumming here--at 10:55 it kicks into a new (and totally unexpected) world of LED ZEPELLIN-like heights. Brillliant finale! (8/10)

6. "Eos" (2:39) has a very PINK FLOYD feel to it, start to finish. Starts like "Hey, You" until the amazing voice of Marc Atkinson graces the aural waves--on two levels! Guitar strums and guitar leads all feel so Gilmour-esque! This is most obviously a PINK FLOYD tribute song all the way--and probably the best I've ever heard, if I do say so myself. (9/10)

7. "The Weight" (9:51) has almost an 80s classic rock sound and feel to it--like one of those gorgeous emotional ballads by WHITESNAKE, BON JOVI, POISON, DEF LEPPARD, or even a 70s classic from JOURNEY. The song does suffer a tiny bit from several unusually long pauses--almost gaps--which make one wonder how many small parts might have been spliced together to make this ten minute beauty. (9/10)

8. "The Distance" (4:54) is another masterful vocal performance drawing from the same softer, ballad side of the classic rock masters of the 1980s. Not as proggy but a beauty anyway. (8/10)

9. "Frozen Moment" (13:34) starts like a great DEF LEPPARD song before the more modern drum (kick) style diverges. The electric guitar strum sound, however, is very old-- PAYOLAS or even PSYCHEDELIC FURS old. The first minutes of the song feel so 80s, even the background mix of the lead vocal is different from the previous songs. The coda at the four minute mark gives segue into another 80s-ish section--this one sounding even more like a cross between PAYOLAS "You've Got the Eyes of a Stranger" and Def LEPPARD's "Hysteria." The kick back into heavier gear in the seventh minute is more modern--with great sustained lead guitar and strummed acoustic guitars. I wonder if the "Frozen Moment" theme is being mimicked by the instrument sound choices. At 8:44 a heavier section with echoed background vocals kicks in to prep us for an awesome section with very cool lead guitar and drum interplay--very fresh and adrenaline pumping. Organ tries to get involved, and background mellotron, but all ears are still on the electric guitar and drums. Simply awesome! Three minutes into it and Adrian Jones is trying to go FRIPP-crazy! Same section plays out to the end! (9/10)

10. "Sunset" (1:28) is a pretty little outro-bookend, piano and violin. (8/10)

I'm really not much of a fan of either classic rock or Neo prog but the incredible levels of compositional and instrumental mastery coupled with one of the best voices I have ever heard make for quite a listening experience--one that I have been drawn back to over and over during the past few weeks. Album of the Year? Perhaps not for composition but for aural pleasure . . . ? Skies the limit for this group. You can be sure that I will be keeping my Eye on the Sunrise.

P.S. Thanks to Sunhillow and all those at progstreaming.com for allowing us commitment- free access to such a vast array of new release music. You are part of why I have become a believer and outspoken champion of the fact that Prog Is Alive and Well in the 21st Century.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Share this NINE STONES CLOSE review

>

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.02 seconds