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


Nine Stones Close



3.92 | 208 ratings

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Distant Planet
5 stars 'One Eye On The Sunrise' is contemporary progressive rock that will probably appeal to fans of bands such as Porcupine Tree, Anathema, Pink Floyd, Marillion and King Crimson.

Nine Stones Close was originally a solo project brought to life by guitarist Adrian Jones. His first release under the NSC name, 'St. Lo' deservedly won critical acclaim and enabled Adrian to recruit some notable musicians to collaborate on further releases. 'One Eye On The Sunrise' completes the transformation of NSC into a fully fledged band and Adrian is joined by : Marc Atkinson (vocals) and Brendan Eyre (keyboards) both of Riversea, Peter Vink (Ayreon) on bass and Pieter Van Hoorn (Knight Area) on drums. Whilst Marc and Brendan had also been present for the second NSC album (the excellent 'Traces') 'One Eye' is the first NSC album to really sound like a genuine band effort.

NSC have come a long way in three albums. Whilst I loved parts of 'St. Lo', it wasn't structured enough for me and is now hardly recognisable as the embryo that NSC developed from. 'Traces' was itself a huge step forward, but 'One Eye' is revelatory and really sees NSC come of age. Whilst the themes and flavours build on those used in 'Traces', there is a greater maturity to the composition and musicianship.

The album opens with a brief Floyd-esque instrumental 'Faceless Angel' that sets the atmosphere of the music on offer. 'A Secret', follows. This is a sparse, minimalist prog-rock anthem. Marc Atkinson's emotive vocals accompany stepping stone guitar chords that are awash with melancholy. Although there is nothing commercial about the song, it quickly entwines you in its hypnotic spell. "I told you a secret, Wrap it up and keep it, Then swallow it whole"...

'Janus' follows, a majestic and powerful instrumental that contrasts with the minimalist flavours of 'A Secret'. Wailing guitars are underpinned by a driving and pulsating bass line before yielding to ornate piano lines. Again, the melodies on offer are savagely addictive.

Adrian then treats us to some beautiful acoustic guitar riffs that luxuriate with the reverberation of open strings and harmonics and eventually lead us into the title track. Despite the beauty of the melody on offer here, there is a brooding underlying, menacing atmosphere that is further developed with the use of unsettling cello lines, before angst-ridden heavy metal guitars aggressively release the tension. The awesome cover art of the album (courtesy of Antonio Seijas) perfectly depicts the musical flavours on offer here, especially in the way it portrays both lightness and darkness and mystery.

'The Weight' is another epic track that builds on flavours that were introduced on the 'Traces' album, whilst 'The Distance' offers a pastoral, ethereal flavour that is again adorned with Adrian's acoustic guitar lines. 'A Frozen Moment' has an almost apocalyptic feel at times and combines musical mayhem with strong melodic passages and varying atmospheres as it clocks in at more than thirteen minutes, the longest track on the album.

I was totally blown away when I first listened to this album, it's been a haunting, emotional and atmospheric's essential listening for all fans of progressive and classic rock and to my ears at least is pretty much (Nine Stones) Close to perfection....

Distant Planet | 5/5 |


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