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Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Silent Running is decent album in the neo-progressive rock tradition. One may expect some flashy keyboard work and professional guitar playing, but the one outstanding aspect of this album is the voice of the lead singer, which is rich and husky. The compositions range from memorable to dull (a hit or miss affair, really), but these guys sound very good, and now I am curious to hear their earlier works.

"Welcome to the Circus" After a cheering crowd and spoken word, a soft synthesizer and fatherly vocal take over. The singing is warm and heartfelt. The soloing, particularly the dazzling guitar, is fantastic, and exhibits the musicianship well.

"L13" Gentle electric piano, electric guitar, drums, and a delicate synthesizer lead begin the second piece. Both the guitar and keyboards get to open up in a more powerful way, but for the most part, the track retains an easy symphonic feeling. Unfortunately, this one is mostly nothing more than a string of instrumental solos.

"Credo" A distant choir appears, followed by a 1980s King Crimson bit, followed by electric guitar and organ being panned all over. The keyboard work is excellent, while the composition itself is a incoherent but somehow mature.

"The Acid Rain" Delicate tones introduce this remarkable work. I love the deep bass notes under the flute sound, with clean electric guitar accompanying. The music soon launches into foundation for a gritty guitar solo. Thankfully, after a couple of decent instrumentals, the singing returns, which I think adds a well-deserved and much-needed dimension of character to the sound. A highlight of the album, "The Acid Rain" is a delightful and uplifting work.

"Bad Guys" Opening with piano and drums, this has an odd rhythm if a fairly simplistic chord progression. It abruptly turns into a semi-reggae song mired in convention, none of which has anything to do with what came before. Other than an enjoyable chorus, the bulk of the song is uneventful and disjointed (despite a good synthesizer solo).

"Silent Running" Soothing yet somehow urgent piano begins the lengthy title piece. The main melody is very simplistic, yet incredibly memorable, and the band does a good job exploiting its potential. As usual, the vocals are wonderful, and the musicians do a fine job demonstrating their respective abilities, but overall, the piece isn't particularly remarkable, even though it's really enjoyable in many places.

Report this review (#282597)
Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars A very curious record, to say the least! It took me quite some time to figure out if I liked or not. It is simply too different from the symphonic rock from Spain Im used to. In fact, they dont sound like spanixh at all. their music is very international, and I initially thought they were from England or USA. if Silent Running has many excellent parts, while others are not as good. At first this CD sounded too modern for my taste, but after repeated listenings, I found their music quite interesting. Its a mix of modern prog (mostly), neo and classic prog (even with some Beatles influence on parts).

The most striking feature are the guitar parts: always brilliant perfomed, they are creative, melodic, and tasteful. Those terrific solos are the CDs highlights. The keyboards parts are also excellent with some very good solos too. Alex Warner is a very good singer, able to handle all the different moods and styles that Pi2s offers in Silent Running. The production is very good and it is very clear that those guys are talented and capable of writing fine tunes. Some parts of this CD are gorgeous and very moving. However, the tracks flow is a bit uneven, making it less enjoyable that it could (and should) have been. The musicanship is top notch. But the mix is still not totally mature, I guess.

In the end I can say that I became very curious to hear P-2s earlier works. Judging by this Cd only, I can say that their sound is very promising and will please more open minded progheads, specially the ones who like fine melodies. Rating: good (sometimes very good). 3 stars.

Report this review (#286299)
Posted Sunday, June 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars This Spanish formation was rooted in 1998, after their previous (third) effort Endless Journey from 2005, I was very pleased to notice a gradual progress in PI2 their melodic and accessible progrock sound on their CD entitled Silent Running from 2009, their fourth studio-album

And again I notice a step forward in their musical development, even a huge one! The alternating and long opener Welcome To The Circus starts mellow with dreamy piano runs, soaring flute-Mellotron and a bit melancholical vocals (somewhere between Alan Parsons Project and Peter Gabriel solo), halfway there's a flashy synthesizer solo and then cascades of varied guitar solos, from bluesy to jazzrock inspired by the two guitar players and the keyboardist who also plays guitar, what a joy! Next the track L13 that carries us away to Prog Heaven: compelling symphonic rock featuring moving guitar runs (with hints of Andy Latimer and Jan Akkerman) and a strongly build-up synthesizer solo, all supported by lush keyboards, especially a choir-Mellotron-like sound, goose bumps. Then PI2 puts on her 'Camel- coat', like on their previous albums, in Credo: a very warm sound with howling guitar and soaring Hammond organ, followed by a fluent synthesizer solo with propulsive guitar riffs, I love the dynamics! The next composition is The Acid Rain (close to 10 minutes) in which we can enjoy wonderful work on guitar and keyboards. In the following song Bad Guys the atmosphere is more in the vein of progressive pop delivering a catch rhythm guitar but in the end the climate turns into 24-carat symphonic rock with sensitive electric guitar, choir-Mellotron and synthesizer flights. Finally the epic title track (25 minutes) that delivers lots of flowing shifting moods and great moments with strong build-ups and exciting finales with moving guitar solos, sensational synthesizer runs, supported by lush keyboards, again we are in Prog Heaven! Unfortunately after this captivating and compelling final part faded away, it's followed by a hidden track that contains sounds and a long drum solo, what a waste of time, and not really a way to end this beautiful album. But we can use the 'STOP' button before this hidden track starts.

So I would like to end in the style this new PI2 album deserves: recommended to all symphomaniacs and neo- progheads (early Marillion lovers to be more specific), a big hand for Spanish formation PI2, unfortunately it turned out to be their final album.

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#1906923)
Posted Monday, March 19, 2018 | Review Permalink

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