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

ONE EYE ON THE SUNRISE

Nine Stones Close

 

Neo-Prog

3.94 | 171 ratings

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wiseOwl
4 stars Nine Stones Close third album is another huge leap forward after St Lo and the follow up Traces.First of all the main thing that has improved is the production,but most of all the use of a REAL drummer and what a fine drummer Pieter Van Hoorn (Knight Area)proves to be.The aquisition of Peter Vink of Dutch prog legends FInch,also is an inspired choice as is the core crew of Marc Atkinson and Brendan Eyre on vocals and keyboards respectively. The album opens with a huge slice of symphonic prog instrumental,Faceless Angel,which lays the foundations of what is to come.A Secret is next with a gorgeous Atkinson vocal setting up for a grand finale of synth and another fine Jones solo.Another instrumental follows in the way of Janus which is my personal favourite on the album,a mellotron chord sequence interspersed by wailing guitar and a metronomic drum beat,melting into gentle piano riff and vintage string synth, and then opening like a spring flower with splashes of classical guitar and choral vocals...stunning. And Dream of Sleep is yet another fine acoustic instrumental with a touch of piano and a bit of strings which is the appetiser for the epic title track of the album,One Eye On The Sunrise is a mishmash of styles ranging from acoustic,almost folk like with gorgeous cello and piano and what is Marc Atkinsons finest vocal on the album where he moves from gentle plaintive to screaming painlike in anguish..superb.The riff is Led Zep like in style as the song takes off and the rythmn section of Vink and Hoorn truly shine.EOS is next, which is a Floydian track and a repeat riff from the opening Faceless Angel with some great dreamy keyboard work from Eyre,The Weight is the most Traces like song on the album,another great Atkinson vocal and melody but the track is rather let down by the strange opening gambit that sounds out of place with rest of the track, with the soloing rather loose and out of tune in parts and spoils for me what is another very strong piece.The Distance is a beautiful atmospheric ballad that shows off again Atkinsons vocals and also Eyres beautiful piano and string parts..its also light relief as its doesnt have an extended heavy section or soloing which is sometimes overdone rather than keeping it simple.Frozen Moment is,quite simply the best slice of heavy prog you will hear anywhere,the whole band really let rip with fine riffs and thunderous drums and bass from Vink and Hoorn,interspersed with great soloing from Jones,Matt Stevens and Eyre,also a mention for the slight but effecting backing refrains from Stolen Earths Heidi Widdop...a truly great moment. Sunset is a beautiful Eyre piano piece with some mornful cello combining for what is the perfect end to a great great album. I look forward to what Nine Stones Close come up with next,but this will take some beating.
wiseOwl | 4/5 |

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