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Shades Of Dawn - Graffity's Rainbow CD (album) cover


Shades Of Dawn

Symphonic Prog

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Conor Fynes
2 stars 'Graffity's Rainbow' - Shades Of Dawn (4/10)

Like so many others, Shades Of Dawn takes their inspiration from the classic British prog rock acts of the early 1970s. As most could guess, the vast majority of this music does not even begin to compare to the legends. After all, back when bands like Yes and Genesis were making their music, the style they were playing was truly progressive and fresh. Now, there are certainly progressive acts out there, but so many do what Shades Of Dawn do, that is, to favour emulation over innovation. Suffice to say, this band does not do it with near the same conviction that their influences, or even some other modern day progressive acts do. Despite the obvious ambition that goes along with the territory of releasing four epics on one album, I find myself generally bored and unimpressed by what Shades Of Dawn have done with 'Graffity's Rainbow'.

This latest album from the band appears to be an attempt at replaying the magic that Yes captured with 'Tales From Topographic Oceans', a four track double album built by four epic suites. While 'Topographic Oceans' was- in my opinion- a work of genius, this falls short of that mark. Instead, 'Graffity's Rainbow' is an overdrawn work that shows glimmers of light here and there, but overall feels like its taking too long to say too little. As far as symphonic prog goes, the tones and textures that we might associate with the modern incarnation of that sound are here. Warm guitars and plenty of keyboards are the order of the day here, with vocals and lyrics about war, fantasy, and some combination of the two. There are a multiplicity of vocalists here, and some parts are much better than others, as far as singing goes. At times, the voice is emotive and soft, and at other times, the German inflections mix with the cheesy lyrics in just the wrong way, and leaves a fairly negative impression on me.

On the other hand, the 'symphonic' element on Shades Of Dawn is quite good, even excellent at times. It seems this band were aiming for a classical influence in their music, and I believe they have found it with their lush keyboard arrangements, particularly in the latter half of the album. While uneventful and even bland by some standards, they build and counterpoint in ways that are indicative of classical music, and it's among the most sincere work you will hear on the album. Barring that, 'Graffity's Rainbow' is a mediocre work from a band whose mission statement in making music is not really one I find myself agreeing with.

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Posted Tuesday, November 1, 2011 | Review Permalink

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