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The Reasoning - Awakening CD (album) cover


The Reasoning

Crossover Prog

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erik neuteboom
3 stars This is a UK sic piece band that host two guitarists, a keyboard player en three members (including a female singer) who are doing the vocals. So no wonder there is a lot of attention for the vocale lines in the eight composition with lots of duets and vocal harmonies.

The songs are pleasant and melodic with a modern, a bit polished sound. The colouring by the keyboards and guitars is very tasteful like the propulsive rhythm and sensitive guitar solo in the titletrack, a spectacular synthesizer solo with propulsive guitar riffs and a wonderful final part in the alternating Aching Hunger, a beautiful closing section delivering a fiery guitar solo, lush keyboards and powerful drums in the great build-up Sacred Shape and a fiery, in the R&R tradition drenched guitar solo in the also strongly build-up piece Shadows Of The Mind. But the absolute highlight (in my opinion) is the final composition Within Cold Glass featuring Marillion guitarist Steve Rothery (a sticker on the front cover of this CD mentions him): first a dreamy climate with intense and melancholic sounding violin work and warm piano, then a mandoline and female vocals enter, the sound become more compelling. Halfway Steve plays a very moving guitar solo with howling runs that fits perfect to this emotional song

I am impressed by this new band and their strong and tasteful modern progressive rock on this debuut album, especially the neo-prog fans will be delighted! My rating: 3,5 stars.

Report this review (#143746)
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am very happy that The Reasoning finally found their way to the Archives since I didn't find the bravery to face the nearly insuperable band addition's procedure to try to get them in by myself.

I discovered this band by pure chance following different web links related to Magenta. By the time, their first album was not out yet but the available samplers hooked my attention right away. When I finally got a copy of The Awakening, I was not disappointed.

If I had to make a synthesis of the music that you will find on this album, I would tell that it fits very well this website's crossover prog definition. The title track is a perfect opener and a potential hit single but unfortunately I doubt it will find a broad audience to go big. The rest of the songs, though less immediately catchy, are equally good and interesting with different moods and influences, sailing their way between classic rock and symphonic/neo prog. No long epic in sight but this is not a flaw in my book. My only complaint could be with the voices : they are ok but not overwhelming. Nothing that could prevent you from enjoying the music, though.

Magenta is an obvious influence here, which is no surprise considering that Matthew Cohen, one of The Reasoning's founders and leaders, formerly played bass in Magenta. Similarities between those two bands can be found not only in the music but also in the artwork and logo. You will also find hints to Pink Floyd ("Chasing Rainbows") or Marillion ("Within Cold Glass" where Steve Rothery himself delivers a guitar solo).

I already figure out what some people will think : "Well, if The Reasoning sound like Magenta or Marillion that sound like the old symphonic prog giants, there must be very little novelty to be found here". Of course, I strongly disagree with that statement. I find this album very fresh and entertaining. Maybe not for dry and challenging prog fundamentalists but worth four stars on my scale and one of the very good surprises of 2007. So I'll go with the consecrated sentence : highly recommended.

Report this review (#143923)
Posted Friday, October 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars After reading about the links to MAGENTA and KARNATAKA, this, I thought, would be a sure fire progression showing the amalgamation and extension, with wonderful harmonies, together with STEVE ROTHERY guesting...

Unfortunately, I feel, the album failed to deliver.

It comes across as very dour and moody, no bad thing maybe in moderation, but every track... It sounds like a poor mans version of Evanescence with the constant interplay between the vocalists, and, with each of the songs sounding too similar, with little variation or experimentation the expectation and excitement soon wears off.

The harmonies and interplay that were present in KARNATAKA do appear here and somehow I felt vaguely satisified on hearing them, but with this being a new venture with established musicians, the whole offering failed to engage me.

Though I appreciate that this is a personal opinion, the album will, however, appeal in moderation to those who, like me follow the fortunes of MAGENTA and KARNATAKA, I would suggest some caution though.

Sorry, but I can only award 2 stars for this, and feel that even this might be a little generous.

Report this review (#144422)
Posted Sunday, October 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm a little surprised this band hasn't attracted more attention. Something about them really clicked with me when I heard the title track, Awakening, in streaming. They bear a certain similarity to Pure Reason Revolution, though they aren't exactly clones. Both have an attractive female vocalist/instrumentalist, along with more than one male vocalist/instrumentalists. Both have strong vocal harmonies, are from the U.K., utilize progressive musical elements, have the potential for popular appeal, and have "reason" in their names.

I'm pretty certain if you like one, you'll like the other. The main difference I see is that PRR has more of a psychedelic edge to it and the Reasoning more of a metal edge. I have found both of these bands to be rather addicting. I got hooked on the former earlier in 2007 and these guys towards the end. For what it's worth, this old prog fan is really enjoying what these young'uns are doing.

According to an excerpt from the band's about statement "The Reasoning were born out of necessity. Necessity to play and necessity to bring music to people who desired more than just rock and more than just prog." Uhm, OK.

Awakening was a couple of years in the making. Fortunately, as I write this, they have another one in the works. Be sure and check out their web site. It's way cool! Also of note, and Marillion fans may already be aware of it, Steve Rotherty puts in a cameo on Within Cold Glass.

Report this review (#157726)
Posted Saturday, January 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Truthfully, I noticed this album because of the art, and it had decent reviews and the streaming track wasn't too bad, so I decided to give it a try.

In the end, The Reasoning were not the spectacular little known band that I had hoped they were. The music, while not always bad, never really reached any heights.

Awakening is a nice track, and it pretty much lays the ground for what's going to work with the rest of the album: decent hard rock-based tracks with some keyboards and nice vocal interplay. It's nice, and with the right team of musicians could yield something really stunning. There's no denying that the band has some good chemistry, but with this album, it is apparent to me that they still have some growth to do before their full potential will be met.

The second track, Chasing Rainbows, starts out with some great dialogue. But the rest of the track fails to deliver, and musically is a bit flatter than the first track. Playing The Game has the same problem, without the neat intro of Chasing Rainbows.

The album picks up a bit with Aching Hunger, which has a catchy chorus, but unfortunately, this song drags on for 6:45, repeating the chorus over and over until you have your own Aching Hunger to never hear the song again. Sacred Shape is a bit more varied and a lit less overdone, and closer to the quality of the title track.

Fallen Angels is a nice track, although there is not really anything too amazing going on here. Just solid rock and roll with nice vocals and keys, without any of the things that detract from tracks 2-4. Shadow of the Mind and within Cold Glass are at approximately the same value.

Perhaps as an EP with only five songs (scratching tracks 2-4), this album could have been 3 stars, but with 17 minutes of lower quality music on it (than the already not-impressive quality that it has), I have to give this album the low score of 2 stars, while at the same time acknowledging a bit of optimism for future releases.

Report this review (#258165)
Posted Sunday, December 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I came across The Reasoning a couple of years ago at the suggestion of other ProgArchives reviewers who said that if I liked Pure Reason Revolution (because of their vocal harmonies) then I'd love The Reasoning. Well, I like them fine but they are in no way the same league or even the same kind of music as PRR! The Reasoning, IMO, are more like a rock group who have prog elements, whereas Pure Reason Revolution's The Dark Third is an example of multi-talented prog musicians who are (now, with Amor Vincit Omnia) exploring more rock structures. Don't get me wrong, I like this album, I play it (or songs like"Chasing Rainbows," "Aching Hunger," and "Playing the Game") repeatedly, and I consider "Within Cold Glass" to be a truly GREAT song, but The Awakening is not in the same "masterpiece" category I consider The Dark Third to be in.

3.5 to 4.0 stars marked up to four because of its consistency throughout.

Report this review (#278552)
Posted Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars The modern new progressive wave (or "crossover prog"- as you often call it) sometimes is characterized by strange their use of melodic but too much predictable dark lines (a bit easy in some circumstances), even though enriched by means of a good vocalism.

Well actually such vocalism, along with three different strong voices, is partially ruined by the recording (the sound is too much compressed and the mix is not perfect, also regarding of the bass guitar!!); and moreover They never forget the modern exigencies of the modern market, almost forcing them to lose their precise music direction!! Besides the final track "Within Cold Glass", featuring Steve Rothery on guitar, could make us change idea about it, as perhaps you find a leading guitar here, but it's not their usual mood.

"Awakening" has got a standard sound, standing in the middle between a typical n.w.p. music genre and the crossover genre, but a better production could have improved this tune. Instead that unique style by "The Reasoning" could meet your taste, despite of finding a song like "Playing The Game", with its sensible rhytmical section (do you remember the bass guitar within the ensemble of "Magenta"?) and a fairly good piano as well...nevertheless their production is not so modern (in the true meaning of this word, that is in the technological and polished manner, for example in the vein of a Terry Brown' sound engineering I mean!!...), so that is becoming a defect after a repetitive listen. However their typical rock is always present in the other songs, without any surprise, and They don't grow on me, also by recognizing their split from the commercial sound of the UK, which let us hope for their better music productions in the future!

You can add an half star, at the end!!

Report this review (#281570)
Posted Wednesday, May 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars MAGENTA bass player Matthew Cohen put this band together gradually adding the pieces until the lineup was complete. The most significant piece would seem to be Rachel Jones formerly of KARNATAKA, but she's one of three lead vocalists that share the duties.

"Awakening" is the best song on here. I like when it gets heavier. Male vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. A nice heavy undercurrent here. Rachel leads for a while too. The guitar lights it up before 5 minutes. "Chasing Rainbows" opens like a FLOYD track. Spoken words after a minute then it kicks in as vocals follow. It's a pretty good tune. "Playing The Game" is piano and vocal led and it's kind of poppy. "Aching Hunger" opens with the guitar crying out until it kicks in with female vocals after a minute. It's fairly heavy.

"Sacred Shape" has these female vocal melodies as acoustic guitar comes in. Male vocals too. It gets fuller with some good guitar. "Fallen Angels" opens with atmosphere then it kicks in with female and male vocals. It's okay. "Shadows Of The Mind" has an almost jazzy vibe to start then vocals come in and a heavier sound. It settles 3 minutes in with female vocals then picks back up. "Within Cold Glass" has some guest violin in it as sounds come and go. Piano leads 2 minutes in followed by female vocals. Some nice soaring guest guitar from Steve Rothery (MARILLION) too 3 1/2 minutes in. The second best song in my opinion.

Good album but the next one "Dark Angel" is better.

Report this review (#291834)
Posted Saturday, July 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Vocal based new prog !

When I heard the tunes at first time, I got captured by the guitar sounds, but later I became aware that this band is Vocal band. Well, the female vocalist is primarily main front as from the beginning, but the band has turned out to be not the second version of Karnataka but a new style prog band which attracts you by variety of chorus singings.

When you listen to Yes music, most probably you like the chorus singings by Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, and Chris Squire as well as their amazing instruments plays. You can imagine that The Reasoning's attractiveness is similar to that. Actually, this is fresh experience which I have not had since I got away from the late albums of Yes. They are also talented for composing.

4 stars for me.

Report this review (#300277)
Posted Thursday, September 23, 2010 | Review Permalink

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