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Lunatic Soul - Impressions CD (album) cover


Lunatic Soul

Crossover Prog

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4 stars Well, here we we have the much anticipated third release from Mr Duda. I listened to this album three times before attempting this review, as I am a big fan of Lunatic Soul's first two outings. This is masterpiece of recording technique and sonic developments, however, it seems to be missing the lunatic in Lunatic Soul. Most of the tracks on Impressions have more of an ambient feel to them than anything progressive. It is also missing the darker, gothic (or maybe Middle Eastern) flair that the first two offerings provide. For me, the best track is Impressions V, which elicites some emotional response, rather than a mostly mellower, sink into the couch, feel. Having said that, this album is a quite comfortable glove, and is fully suited to background music with company over; not for dropping acid and playing right after Pink Floyd's "Meddle". Even though I am a bit disappointed with this music as a Lunatic Soul album, I still quite like it and am giving it a 3.7 stars, and therefore rounding up to a 4
Report this review (#568988)
Posted Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars While I really like this and the previous two Lunatic Soul albums, I can see why some dismiss them as not really being prog. Me, I love this kind of ambient world music--soundscapes with emotion--which makes Impressions, IMO, better than its two predecessors (though I don't really like the space filler of two previously released songs present here as "remixes"--especially in that the original "Gravestone Hill," from Lunatic Soul II, was one of my favorite songs from 2010). The atmospheric "Impression I" and the roiling acoustic guitar strumming "Impression IV" are my favorites. I am glad and grateful for Mariuz Duda's personal medium for outlet and exploration. I hope there are many more Lunatic Soul efforts in the future as I like them better and will buy them over any Riverside output. 3.5 stars rated down for the two remixes.
Report this review (#571322)
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Despite being a member of one of the biggest progressive metal acts on the scene today, the music you'll find from Mariusz Duda's Lunatic Soul is just about as far away as you can get from anything related to metal. Lunatic Soul clearly is a project with different intentions than that of Riverside, with its reflective and emotionally compelling style of new age often leaning more towards dark ambient than anything rock-oriented. Though the wordless, atmospheric, and experimental nature of Impressions may not be a guaranteed success for all fans of Riverside, it's clear to me that Mariusz Duda struck gold with this spectacular effort. Those who enjoyed the first two Lunatic Soul albums should find no difficulty falling in love with Impressions.

Mariusz Duda is best known for his spectacular vocal pipes as the frontman for Riverside, but his singing is used rather sparingly throughout Impressions. His vocals don't pop up too frequently, and when they do, his singing is used only to provide an additional melody rather than any lyrical concept. The almost entirely wordless nature of the album leaves every listener with the opportunity to create their own story to match the introverted style of the music - I actually think this aspect of the album allows the listener to connect with what Mariusz Duda is creating on a more personal level than one would ever imagine. The music is rather dark and repetitive, with the vast majority of the focus aimed towards creating hypnotic atmospheres and beautiful subtleties. While Lunatic Soul never prides itself on creating overtly technical music, the talent of these three musicians is clear right from the beginning. Everything from the lush acoustic guitars, transcendental synthesizers, and subtle use of digital effects is executed perfectly, and the crystal clear production makes this listening experience even more authentic.

While the highly atmospheric and emotionally demanding style of Impressions guarantees that it should never be used as background music, it's surprisingly quite accessible. I found myself entranced by the album even during my first listen, and every future spin has only deepened my affection for the music found on Impressions. While it may not be for everybody, the music that Lunatic Soul creates is highly original, transcendentally mystifying, and extremely professional - take it or leave it, this is one of the best progressive albums of 2011. 4 stars and a warm recommendation are very well-deserved.

Report this review (#595088)
Posted Friday, December 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is the latest release from the RIVERSIDE frontman's side project called LUNATIC SOUL. It's album number three and according to Mariusz "This third one is totally cinematic...I decided to return to the music I was listening to when I was younger such as Vangelis and Mike Oldfield". He describes this third one as a supplement to the first two albums and not part of a trilogy. There are no lyrics on this one but we do get vocal melodies. Also we get two bonus tracks that have been re-mixed. One is from the debut and it's called "Summerland" and the other is from the second release and it's called "Gravestone Hill". Each track on here is called "Impression" and it goes from I-VIII.

"Impression I" is led by vocal melodies and atmosphere early on then we get a beat after a minute that will come and go along with the vocals. Guitar around 3 1/2 minutes as the beat continues. "Impression II" features gentle guitar as the piano joins in. A beautiful track. "Impression III" has these intricate sounds that ping as the rain comes down. It picks up with percussion and guitar before 2 minutes. It then kicks in with surprising heaviness before 5 minutes. Cool song. "Impression IV" has strummed guitar and percussion early then the bass and vocal melodies follow. It settles after 2 1/2 minutes to the end. Nice bass late as it blends into "Impression V".The bass is joined by guitar then atmosphere before 2 minutes. It kicks in hard before 4 minutes.

"Impression VI" has this drum beat that comes and goes slowly as the guitar and vocal melodies join in. Piano around 4 minutes. It turns haunting 5 1/2 minutes in and we get strings too. "Impression VII" has percussion sounds as the guitar echoes. Great sound after 1 1/2 minutes with deep bass and more. "Impression VIII" is mostly piano and atmosphere.

Once again Travis Smith did the art work. It's interesting that the first album has that black cover depicting this soul who has left it's body and starts to wander. The second disc has the white cover revealing this soul has drawn closer to the light. This supplement album is a mix of both of course since it's a reflection of both. An excellent album that I really enjoy listening to in solitude with headphones.

Report this review (#611199)
Posted Monday, January 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Lunatic Soul's Impressions, another solo/side project from Riverside's frontman. Again with the help of Maciej Szelenbaum, and Indukti drummer Wawrzyniec Dramowicz.

Lunatic Souls, moves even further into the landscape of Instrumental Ambient/ New age music. With a clear reference to early Mike Oldfield albums. Duda's vocal now tuned down from actual songs to a vocal instrument. More tracks now only featuring Duda, playing a wide range of different instruments. The music on the album interesting, taste full, but in my personal taste, also a little boring. Just as with Mike Oldfield, its music, I have to be in a special mood to enjoy.

You should not judge music by comparishment, but I cannot help compare it with Lunatic Soul II, and I do miss those songs a lot, they kept the album together, and I just love the sound of him singing. Its not a bad album at all, but in this style I find other albums more interesting and important, so I will stick to 3 stars, and hope he will be back with more, next time with those mellow songs.

Two bonus tracks, with vocals, both remixed from Lunatic Soul II, finish off the album, I have no idear what they are doing here, they do not fit at all, and they spoil the fact that the piano driven Impression VIII, would have been a perfect ending.

Report this review (#794976)
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

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