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Edison's Children - The Final Breath Before November CD (album) cover

THE FINAL BREATH BEFORE NOVEMBER

Edison's Children

Neo-Prog


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5 stars Edison's Children have created their own style of haunted prog.

To me, prog is two things- musical freedom, and then using that freedom to push music to its very limits. Edison's Children not only embraces this freedom, but pushes music farther than I thought was possible. There are few bands that just blow my mind, and EC is one of them.

Track one, The Final Breath, is dark, atmospheric, and haunting. The sonic depth of this song alone is worth praise. There are countless elements and levels to the music. For an opening song, it sounds better than most grand finales. The vocals are what I've come to love about this band, slightly distorted and chilling.

The second song, Light Years, reminds me of the first album. Another part of EC that I love is the lyrics, and this song is great example of their writing. The haunted love song lyrics combined with stellar guitar just grooves perfectly. After six minutes, the song changes into a soft conclusion which immediately goes into the final track.

Silhouette, the song is 67 minutes long. I'll try to keep the review shorter. While Light Years was similar to the first album, Silhouette is an all new sound. I don't know how to describe it. This song is a journey. I don't think I have ever heard something like this before. To rate it would be like an art teacher giving Van Gogh an A on one of his paintings, it simply isn't enough and does not justify the praise it deserves. This is just a song that needs to be heard.

When you listen, wear headphones just so can hear every little touch. The amount of detail and love that went into this album is clear and obvious. Five stars means "Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music" and that is what this album is. It is an accomplishment for music. The Final Breath Before November is a more focused, better produced, and an amazing follow up compared to In The Last Waking Moments. I highly recommend this album to any prog fan. And please, don't just download it, buy it! Prog needs to be supported to continue, new music won't kill prog, apathy from the fans will. This band needs support if there is ever going to be a third album. And after listening to this, I'm already excited for a third.

Report this review (#1088181)
Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars The sophomore jinx has been cast out by the Children!

The Final Breath Before November continues to leave me breathless; however, I've decided to come up for air and tell you that it is simply magnificent.

I have diligently tried to find a way to describe this remarkable and one of a kind release. After many listens on both headphones and my home stereo and I remain speechless. Therefore, I must write.

Rarely do I discuss individual tracks or breakdown individual pieces of a track and this review shall be no different in that regard. Suffice to say that there are three tracks and the last is Silhouette in 13 parts. Once you begin listening you may rest assured that you will be unable to stop.

This is not an "Alien Concept Album" ; however, it does have musical nods to their first release "In The Last Waking Moments" (superb in it's own right) in an unobtrusive way. This makes the album accessible to audiences (of all types of music) while still giving lovers of the first album a tip of the hat so to speak.

The ability to provide such dynamic and dramatic soundscapes is clearly one of the many fortes of Eric Blackwood and Pete Trewavas. Once submersed fully in the isolation chamber that is your mind assimilating The Final Breath Before November you will find your own way thanks to the open writing style and the soulful and truthfulness of the music.

The Final Breath Before November is something for each of us to make our own like a good book. You can visualize your own story and take your own meaning and thoughts from what is heard without being thrust into Edison's Children's mindset during the writing process.

I have my own visualization of what this album is about and I will say this much only (in order to avoid "a spoiler"): Silhouette is an absolutely chilling (and I suspect true) ghost story experienced by one of Edison's Children's members and whenever I listen to it I get goosebumps. This is not a figure of speech and I am not someone who is easily moved.

Whatever pigeon hole (genre) you'd like to put this release into is fine by me, but this album is a 100 percent zero caveat "Must Buy" asap.

Don't miss this one or it may be your final breath ;)

Report this review (#1091318)
Posted Tuesday, December 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Having been a member of this site for many years, this release has prompted me to write my first review....

What makes a great prog album? That's a question that will be debated until the end of time as people fight their corner, in line with their personal musical tastes. For me, the answer is in the description, with the emphasis on the word 'album'. From start to finish, an album has to grab your interest and hold it until the very end, whilst taking you on a fabulous musical journey in between. At the end, you're happy to press play again. For me, first and foremost, that's what makes a great prog album.

With their second release, 'The Final Breath Before November', Edison's Children have created such an album and the journey it takes you on is as haunting and atmospheric as it is beautifully crafted. Their first release was great, with some wonderful songs but this, in my view, has taken them to a new level. The sound is stronger, the music more powerful and the overall feel is much, much darker. There are hints of Pink Floyd and Marillion, even Timothy Pure, but make no mistake, this is a unique sound in many ways, ..at least to my ears.

I could go into each track and dissect the album piece by piece but what would be the point in that? Taste is subjective and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Also, when you have a 13 part song that's over an hour long and an album in itself, you need to hear it. If you like your albums long, dark and consistently well crafted, give this a listen. 2013 has been a great year for some excellent albums and I'm certain that I'll still be listening to Airbag, Hibernal and Cosmografs releases decades from now. However, Edison's Children have surprised me here with what I would consider to be the best release of the year. For me, this is the icing on the cake of what has been a wonderful year for new release music. Excellent stuff.

Report this review (#1092175)
Posted Thursday, December 19, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have a problem. I gave the last album 5 stars. It deserved it completely but what do I do now? This new CD completely blows the last album away. I wish there was 7 stars I could click on. Gorilla Munch said it the best i've ever seen when he said This band has created its very own genre... Haunting Prog. This album is a cohesive epic. from beginning to end. It is 3 songs but even those 3 become just one as Final Breath is the intro to Silhouette and the end of Light Years is the segueway to it. There isn't a single song on here that is filler. Each part is unique on its own but they all feed off each other and give off different emotions and feelings. The lead guitar work was good on ITLWM but it is on a whole new level here. Henry Rogers' drumming brings each section to a soaring triumph. Beautiful dark haunting even disturbing but it stays with you and you want it to, haunting your thoughts. the best album i've heard in years.
Report this review (#1102115)
Posted Sunday, December 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
1 stars Looking at the reviews so far, it would seem "the cards are all stacked" against me indeed- it's good that people enjoy this album, but I fail to see it. "The Final Breath Before November" is not far away from what a team of songwriters might produce if asked to create the prog version of an adult contemporary album, though of course it's too dark for that.

I should clarify- in general there's nothing actively disagreeable about the sounds Edison's Children produce here (except the vocals, which are as whiny and cat-like as I've ever heard) , it floats along fairly pleasantly, mostly quite dark, spacey and atmospheric. But that's just it- I don't think I heard anything remotely interesting happen in the entire 80 minutes (which is another problem- the length compared to the amount of material contained within). It's got that kind of faux-emotional attempt at tugging your heart-strings that afflicts so many retro-symph albums (though this effort is considerably less technical than most albums of that style), but which uses such corny progressions and techniques to do so that it really does come off as a cheap trick.

This review may seem harsh, but I really expected something better given the musicians involved and the other reviews. If you want some background music, then this will do the job- but in my view, the only thing worse than a bad album is a boring album.

Report this review (#1104722)
Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 | Review Permalink
lazland
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Edison's Children burst into the progressive community's consciousness in 2011 with the incredible In The Last Waking Moments. I loved that album, so it was a no-brainer for me to pre-order this when I heard it was being planned.

It is, perhaps, fair to say that that incredible album's main selling point was the inclusion of all of Pete Trewavas' Marillion cohorts, until, that is, people actually listened to it and realised just what a good work it was in its own right.

Trewavas, of course, is also a member of Transatlantic, the exceptionally successful prog supergroup. I love Transatlantic, but, with Edison's Children, I believe that Trewavas excels even that venture, for the simple reason that, with Eric Blackwood, he has found a true musical soulmate, and the pair of them have taken their ideas to music without the confines of a "traditional" band, and the result is a second album which, whilst a natural musical and lyrical successor to its predecessor, takes it to an entirely different level.

The album starts eerily, with chilling Blackwood vocals on Final Breath. Does this signify an end, or merely an ethereal beginning? This moves into Light Years, a natural sequel to much of In The Last Waking Moments. A soul lost, searching, especially in the haunting The Fading, thus setting the scene for the main event, the Silhouette suite, which contains over an hour of epic prog.

The first segment of this introduces us to Henry Rogers (he of DeeExpus and Touchstone fame) on drums, who features in much of the suite, and a welcome addition to the fold he is, too.

For me, one of the great differences on this cd to the first album is the exquisite orchestral programming set by the two, although, as before, it is the guitar work which leads and shines. Para glider, synth, electric, bass, rhythm guitars and Oud blend together, combined with intelligent orchestration and drums, to create a landscape quite unique.

From the start, the whole piece screams atmospheric, creating a dystopian vision unlike any from any other act I know.

It is not, I feel, appropriate to interrogate every single piece of the suite, because it demands listening and appreciating as a whole, rather than as separate track listings.

Another interesting, and very welcome, feature of this work is the inclusion of album artist Wendy Pastore's haunting high vocals, and I, for one, would really like to hear more of her in future releases. The artwork itself, by the way, is stunning, to the point that, in my opinion, merely downloading a digital file would be a crime against art itself. It is utterly beautiful. On Where Were You, which features at its vocal heart a delicious Trweavas triple lead vocal and a plaintive Blackwood "chorus", Wendy creates such an atmosphere. With this, the background news anchor, interviewee, Eric's lead, and the atmospheric soundscapes, this is about the best space rock you will have heard since Floyd were at their peak. Until, that is, you come to Welcome to your Nightmares....

Talking of which, this album, as with the last, cannot be pigeonholed into any particular prog sub-genre.There is too much going on. Some have suggested calling it "Haunting Prog". For me, there is no need for an artificial label, it can merely be called.......Edison's Children. That is enough. Sure, on The Seventh Sign, there is a very knowing, and loving, nod to the bombastic sound of Genesis circa Wind & Wuthering (and Blackwood's lead guitar break on the final part, by the way, is up there with any Hackett effort of that time), alongside spacey, dreamy, heavy, and symphonic prog, but it refuses to be pigeonholed, and therein lies its genius. Take The Longing, which has a subdued, sad vocal passage to begin, but moves effortlessly into a full blown heavy prog track, with Blackwood, especially, cranking up the vocal pressure, and, then, we have The Morphlux, which, on first listen, is quirky, but is, in fact, rather scary. What is a Morphlux? I know not, but I do know that these spiritual entities take me back to those golden days of sitting behind the sofa when the scarier monsters on Doctor Who came on, and the music accompanies the nightmare vision perfectly. They come back for more helpings.....gulp.....

As with the first album, it is left to the listener's imagination to garner its meaning. The I Am Haunted section, especially, puts me in mind of a recurring dream/nightmare I have. At my local golf club, there is a stray dog who spends his day following players. He is no trouble whatsoever, but does get a little agitated as dusk approaches. My dream has deceased players teeing off to play in the dead of night, when all is silent in the beautiful Welsh countryside, and the dog follows them at night. When they have finished playing, they simply look confused, as if they know they should be elsewhere, before disappearing to return on the following dream. Strange, but true!

I Am Haunted is a pure heavy rock track, but even this pales into heavy insignificance when compared to What Did You Want, a Trewavas dominated track which blows so called prog metal bands into Kingdom come. Hard, pulsating, and damned heavy.

It all builds up to the finale of the final two pieces, especially Music For The End Credits Of An Existence (is this the end?). On the debut album, the services of Marillion were utilised as the album built up to The Awakening. On this, no such assistance is required, because the guitars, programming, and drums of three special musicians unite to create a glorious noise, layered with sound perfectly mixed by John Mitchell. On this, every single eclectic mix of progressive rock music is witnessed. At once symphonic, then heavy, then pastoral, but overall simply beautiful, this is an instrumental track to die for.

And, to close, The Clock Strikes November, with the final nightmare of our hero morphing into a Morphlux, and the promise of a further sequel to his nightmare of time and space.

I can't wait.

This is another amazing piece of work by two very special musicians, and their helpers both musically and at the mixing desk (take a bow Jakko Jaksyzk, John Mitchell, Robin Boult, and Mike Hunter), and I really cannot recommend it highly enough.

It is, by far and away, the album of 2013 (and don't forget it had an incredible BIg Big Train album competing), and gets the maximum rating we can award here on Prog Archives.

Indispensable, and an absolute must buy for all progressive rock fans. The future direction of quality prog rock is enclosed in this album, it is as simple as that.

Report this review (#1105048)
Posted Wednesday, January 1, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars Every now and then a masterpiece of Progressive Rock comes along...this is one of them. If there is one new Prog Rock release to buy right now...make sure it's this one. I guarantee you, you will not be disappointed. I'm a very picky music consumer and this is one of those rare albums that upon first listen, start to finish, I loved every minute of. That doesn't happen that often with me. If you're like me, usually it takes a few listens to start getting into a new album. Not this time around. I think this will go down as a classic Prog album.

Do yourself a favor...buy this album and simply enjoy...with the lights out, in the dark...and loud!

Report this review (#1106260)
Posted Friday, January 3, 2014 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Eh, I might be a bit out of step with most prog fans on this one, but by my reckoning this second Edison's Children effort is, whilst still never less than competent, somewhat less interesting than their debut. Yes, out of all the acts out there with a modernised Floydian sound they're probably one of the more engaging, but I feel that the album's centrepiece - Silhouette, a song clocking in at over 67 minutes - presents some fairly fundamental structural problems.

Pete Trewavas is no stranger to super-epics like this from his time in Transatlantic, of course, but I personally find such efforts to be extremely hit-and-miss - there's a real danger in trying to be "prog for prog's sake" and extending song durations simply for the sake of demonstrating prog credentials, regardless of whether the song demands to be strung out for that long. Each twist and turn and movement of the composition seems to stick around just long enough to get irritating, and I usually tune out before half an hour is up.

On top of that, once again lyrically and thematically the guys go right back to the "pining for a dead relationship" territory which they'd already regularly plumbed on the first album, and whilst the subject matter suits their melancholy tone at the same time a bit more variation would be nice, lest Edison's Children paint themselves into a corner as music for depressed divorcees.

Report this review (#1108278)
Posted Sunday, January 5, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars A Hauntingly Beautiful and Dark Sophomore Effort. Get it before the darkness comes...

Anais Nin said "we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are".

That is the absolute truth - in life and in great art, literature, and music. It speaks to you in a deeply personal way. The artist's specific intent, the story behind the story, matters not. What does matter is that when you interact with what the artist has wrought, you feel something. You feel as if it was created especially for you, about you, your life, your life experience. It speaks to you. It makes you stop in your tracks and forces you pay attention. It touches something deep in your soul.

"The Final Breath Before November" is that album. Edison's Children is that artist. Artists is more accurate. This masterwork showcases vocalists and multi-instrumentalists and Eric Blackwood and Pete Trewavas, drummer Henry Rogers, and backing vocalist Wendy Farrell-Pastore, who also designed the release's haunting artwork. The album was mixed by a virtual Who's Who of Progressive Rock including King Crimson's Jakko Jakszyk, Marillion's Mike Hunter, It Bites' John Mitchell, Robin Boult, and Pete Trewavas.

Yes. It is a ghost story. But, that is the most simplistic view of what it is.

It is a love story. It illustrates the power of love. It drives us to do crazy things. It endures after death. It endures across time and space. It reminds us that people never really leave you. They linger in the ether, in your heart, in your mind. Their essence stays behind to watch over you.

It is also a cautionary tale. It is a warning not to act harshly or rashly. Don't do things that you can not come back from. Don't make mistakes you can not fix. Once things have been done (or said), you can never take them back. You can never get back to the place where you once were. You can never go home again. No matter how much you want to. No matter how hard you try. You just can't.

It is a reminder that we have to let go of the pain, hurt, anger, regret and whatever else we have pent up inside ourselves. If we don't let go of all those things, we become stuck and can't move on. We remain in the same place all of our lives. The same physical place. The same emotional place. The same spiritual place. Stuck. Never growing. Never changing. Never becoming who or what we were supposed to be. We remain a shadow of ourselves, forever trapped in a darkness of our own making.

It is a reminder that we have to face our demons. They will come at us over and over again until we do. If we don't, they will be back and they will try to pull us down to even darker places. Over and over again. We will be stuck in the mire for our lifetime, for eternity if we don't.

What this album says to me is that love is a powerful thing. The most powerful thing in the Universe. But, in the end, you have to let go of those you love. People change. People die. Relationships change. Relationships end. If you keep holding onto someone who is no longer with you, then you can't move on. Not until you let go. You can't be truly happy. You can't feel the sunshine. You can't walk into the light. You destined to live in a hell (or a purgatory) of your own creation. Unless you let go.

Report this review (#1110770)
Posted Wednesday, January 8, 2014 | Review Permalink
Second Life Syndrome
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It's difficult to know where to start when reviewing this utterly unique (at least in 2013) album from Edison's Children. Their sophomore album, "The Final Breath Before November", is both atmospheric and focused. It's eerie, yet strangely beautiful. It leaves a shadow over your mind, but somehow feels clear and clean, too.

Edison's Children wowed the prog community back in 2011 with a stunning debut album. Their sophomore effort, however, disappoints by no means. Their Floydian atmospheres mix perfectly with their efforts at eclecticism, both in instrument choice and structure. Honestly, I was quite impressed from beginning to end, even though this is a lengthy album, including a final multi-track song that is over an hour long. Is all of this a problem? No! It doesn't bring the album down at all.

This, my friends, is interesting music. I said earlier that it is quite atmospheric. Yes, much of the album is very mellow and drenched in personality and aura. It contains layers and layers of sound and melody that will send shivers down any prog fan's spine. However, the band knows how to structure an album expertly, too. After a few shorter, foundational tracks; the band delves right into their "epic" without any hesitation. It is grand. It is synthy. And it is elegant. Yes, that's the word. This album is elegant in a dark and channeled fashion.

This album features amazing guitars that are meaningful. That's one of the first impressions I had. The solos especially are incredibly well-composed and full of soul. However, my favorite part of this album is the presence of synth. This adds a delicious contrast to the classic vibe of the guitar with its fluid strength and its quirky, addictive tone. Solos abound, too, of which I'm a huge fan. "The Final Breath of November" also features one of my favorite drummers, Henry Rogers of Touchstone and DeeExpus. His mix of technicality, melodic support, and amazing fills is so very welcome on this album, and he serves as yet another layer of sound that stands out on its own. "Silence Can Be Deafening, Part II" is especially indicative of Rogers' skill as he opens the throttle wide at the end. Imagine this, melody + haunting atmosphere + expert drumming. It's a combination I really can't resist, and it's what you will experience along the journey that is this album.

The creepy themes are somewhat put on the backburner, honestly, as most of the album is instrumental. However, we do get ideas of metamorphosis and the like. It's almost scary, but more like intriguing and mysterious. This ingenious album readily deserves the praise it has gotten, and is definitely a keeper from 2013. Arcing, masterfully crafted, and proggy to its core; Edison's Children's "The Final Breath Before November" is a winner.

Report this review (#1117048)
Posted Monday, January 20, 2014 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The powers of prog never fail to astound, as the Eric Blackwood and Peter Trewavas partnership originally appeared to be a one shot project but rave reviews and good sales have flipped the switch on a sophomore album which just may kick it up a further notch, as some once famous Cajun chef voiced. They have obviously concocted an incredible chemistry, soul mates who have both the eyes on the same prize. The formula remains the same with both tackling the lion's share of instruments and writing, where some melodies from the first album actually resurface, rather slickly but the biggest upgrade is clearly focused on the presence of my current enfant terrible of the drums , Henry Rogers of Deeexpus, Touchstone and Final Conflict fame. He is the modern version of Paul Thompson or Queen's Roger Taylor, no frilly sissy here, just a dead serious thumper who knows how to treat his kit with bold confidence and genial flair.

The material is perhaps denser and more linear, as if a soundtrack to some slick silver screen extravaganza, in fact the atmospherics here take on a massive role, not content to be mere decoration or lacy undergarment. Eric's hushed voice is aided and paralleled by some smart female adjuncts. "Final Breath" starts the ball rolling, a clever title that has more to do with segueing in the past, and not the completed backward principle so precious to some 'artistes'!

The 2 part "Light Years" is a variation on the previous album's mainstay title theme but Rogers' drums force the pace right from the get go. His style is meat and potatoes but with tons of flavor and solid textures. What happens then is simply a continuation on what worked so well on the debut, a tension-laden fragility borne from the widest orchestral berth, smooth, silky and yet somewhat ominous also.

The duo then dispenses with any further foreplay and get right down to the heavy panting with a colossal 13 part suite, entitled "Silhouette" that plants the Edison standard firmly on top of the prog hill, for all to witness and admire, while at the same time, giggling at the supposed neo label previously pinned to their chest. This suite reeks either space or symphonic, especially in lieu of the thick orchestrations that garnish each section, as if drenched in some philharmonic coating , highly evident on part 2 "welcome to your dreams", a dramatic podium for Rogers to show his mastery of percussive expertise. The 12 minute epic "where were you?" is dark, somber and desolate, the sweeping melancholia dripping from the pained voice, the synths ruffling in the wind, the beat unrelenting. This is pure trippy perfection. "The longing" owns a trembling voice, a swirling violin and a passionate, neo-romantic style that has as much an early Roxy Music vibe as possible, under the circumstances. Blackwood has a vocal that agonizes, plaintively suffering, elevating the angst to nearly unbearable levels. Quirkiness is needed to cut through the dried tears crackling on the cheeks and thus "the morphlux" shows its peculiar facade, almost oriental in its tonal qualities but boosted by a rash and gritty guitar , Rogers kicking this musical camel squarely in the butt (the man can drum , big time) . 'I am haunted' is a guitar driven interlude that has spooky synths blaring in the mist, propelled expertly by the percussives. This snippet is partnered by the rabid and angry "what did you want?", a mere oasis of buzz saw guitars grinding and insane synths howling. "The seventh sign" mellows things out, with sweeping melodies, airy guitars and synthesizers, the solo reminiscent of Steve Hackett's gliding style. Hushed voice effects, brooding bass, clanging symphonics and serene disposition make this a highlight piece. 'the second coming' has a minimalist approach to a previous theme, very Oriental again (oud), yalah! 'silence can be deafening part2 ' is another Rogers high point, a gorgeous melody wallowing in deep agony, misty, murky and sad. Then Henry opens up the jets and takes this haunting piece into interstellar overdrive! The final blowout occurs on the massive 'music for the end credits', a brilliant amalgam of a focused and determined duo of masters at work.

A definite masterpiece on par with the debut, except this one has way more superlative drumming, a further-seeking homogeneous feel and a clear sense of witnessing something special. That is not debatable! A must hear for the patient, avid and discerning audiophile, as it cannot be dissected, diced or sliced. It is a whole work of progressive art.

5 Autumn expirations

Report this review (#1132876)
Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars A stronger album than I anticipated, which is always a nice surprise. The album starts very strong with Final Breath and Light Years. The listener is immediately drawn to the fantastic use of vocals, creativity and strong songwriting skills. In truth, the only real complaint I have with the album comes with the 60+ minute Sillhouette. It's not that it's bad, parts are fantastic in fact. The Longing and The Morphlux for example. And there is certainly enough diversity in the song to keep the listener engaged throughout.

Despite the strong and diverse music however, this epic feels loosely put together. The parts in and of themselves can be wonderful (though I was never nuts about the far too long Where Were You (which would be fine if it were half the length) but it never really feels like one cohesive song. A strong example of this is What Did You Want? (which I love), which feels just a smidge out of place. This is only proven when the song harshly cuts out at the end before changing styles completely with The Seventh Sign.

I'm picking the album apart for what may seem like minor details but continuity and flow are extremely important in long epics such as this.

Nevertheless, the music is very well played and interesting, though this is not a perfect album by any means.

Report this review (#1172713)
Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars When I was playing this for the first time I could already imagine what had been written about it, and when I checked I found that I wasn't disappointed. Yes, many seem to be saying that this is one of the finest albums that one is likely to find anywhere on the planet, so it looks like I am in the minority again. This isn't a bad album, but neither is it a particularly good one. Unlike the debut, which featured the rest of Marillion as guests, here we are down to the core duo of Pete Trewavas (Marillion, Transatlantic) on bass, vocals, guitar, synth and programming and Eric Blackwood on vocals, guitar, synth and bass with Henry Rogers (DeeExpus, Touchstone) on drums and Wendy Farrell-Pastore on backing vocals.

I was supplied with this as a download to review, so I am not sure if this is the case with the CD, but there are only three songs, with 'Silhouette' coming in at 67 minutes long, and it isn't possible to play just parts of this as it hasn't been broken up (although the track listing does denote 12 sections). Now, I'm a proghead, and have no issue with long songs per se, but I don't believe that this is a long song. To me this in a number of songs that have been put together in such a way that they can have an 'epic', but there isn't enough inter-relation or repetition of refrains or key musical hooks to make one think that this is indeed one piece of music. And what's worse, is that for the most part it is just plain boring.

There are some truly magnificent sections on the album as a whole, which had me doubting my own comments, but there are others where I just wanted to turn the whole thing off and play something that was far more interesting. I kept thinking back to The Flower Kings, who have produced some albums where they really need an outside set of ears to cull the material and provide some judicious editing, and the same is very much the case here. Looking at the chart for 2013 on PA, before I post this, I can see that this is ranked at #13 so there are a great deal of people who think that this is incredible. I'm just not one of them.

Report this review (#1179575)
Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2014 | Review Permalink
BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A late release in 2013, it's taken me this long to get to listen to this album and now that I know it intimately I write my review and prepare to adjust all of my year-end rankings to make room for this masterpiece of prog ear candy.

1. "Final Breath" (4:04) opens with some ominous incidental noises and sustained notes before an old player piano and synth exchange supporting melody lines. Pulsing synth bass and other instruments slowly gather around until drums declare the song to be in the style of Pink Floyd, not a cinematic soundtrack. (8/10)

2. "Light Years" (7:33) opens with a strumming 12-string not unlike George Harrison's infamous "My Sweet Lord" before a somewhat cheesy upper register electric guitar melody line joins in--introducing and, later, mirroring the vocal melody line. Drawn out over minutes it becomes a little tedious. The second solo guitar line added at 3:25 is no better. The vocal could very well come from Fish--especially his more rock oriented solo stuff-even his album of the very same year, A Feast of Consequences. Nothing very special here, though the unusual 'second song' that begins at the 6:20 mark is a bit more original and a notch more interesting. (7/10)

3. "Silhouette" is an epic masterpiece. Thirteen to nineteen song threads woven together into one long story have an atmospheric quality that captivates the listener even through the heavier sections. The opening two sections ("i. Silence Can Be Deafening, Part 1" [6:47] and it's companion, "ii. Welcome to Your Nightmare" [3:16]) are so hypnotic, so comfortingly, beautifully engaging, as to lay the groundwork for the totality of the 67 minutes.

"iii. Where Were You?" (12:01) has such awesome, pleading and floating vocals over Floydian rhythm tracks with Dave Gilmour/Mirek Gil-like lead guitar play. Could anyone sing "It's in my head" with any more feeling and vulnerable power than Pete Trewavas? Awesome lead guitar play in "iv. The Loging [7:48].

"v. The Morphlux" [3:12] is interesting for it's departure from the flow and synth domination of the previous 30-minutes. Oud, acoustic guitar and hand drums lay down the base for the theatrical whispering Genesis-like Gabriel vocal. Once the rock instruments bash their way in the song rollicks along with a relentlessness that is just awesome! All-out vocals and Hackett- like guitar leads carry this song to prog heaven!

The sudden and complete switching of gears at the transition into "vi. I Am Haunted" [2:51] is interesting if a bit off-setting. Then, just as suddenly, we enter into a reprise of the opening themes with "vii. What Do You Want?" [2:04] only this one amped up with two channels of prig-heavenly lead guitars, which, then transitions rather (too) quickly into the atmospheric four-part "viii. The Seventh Sign [7:01], a very Pink Floyd Wall-era sounding song, complete with a Gilmour-rivaling solo. Suddenly we find ourselves back in the Morphlux theme with the disturbing effect of multiple vocals vying for our attention ("ix. The Second Coming of The Morphlux" [3:08]) before fading/floating us back into the awesomeness of the soundscape of Silence Can Be Deafening (Part 2) [5:13]--though a decidedly more echo-y and atmospheric version. This, however, allows the drum play to stand out much more--and awesome is that drum play as it builds and plays with Pete Trewavas' excellently layered synthesizer extravaganza and Eric's beautiful Mirek Gil-like guitar leads. By the time we flow into the exquisite nine-minute instrumental "Music for The End Credits of an Existence" we are wondering how much longer these guys can maintain this high level of inspiration, creativity, and emotional output. Incredible! The final 100 seconds of "The Clock Strikes November" teases us with a little ditty from The Morphlux themes in order to try to bring some closure to this amazing sonic journey. Perfect!

I cannot imagine someone not enjoying this song! Even my wife keeps chiming in to ask who's singing, who is this playing, what are they singing so beautifully about? I have even found myself pushing replay while working with this song in the background--and been curious enough to follow the lyrics through an entire listening. Is it a ghost story or a story about a lost part of life, an older identity, a past life, a look back into the past at an older version of one's self or another? It's no matter. It's gorgeous, composed, performed and sung with heartfelt emotion and excellent, excellent engineering and mixing. Kudos, Pete, Eric and helpers. Thank you for keeping beautiful progressive rock alive--ney, giving it a great booster shot of fresh life! I am ever so grateful!!

Report this review (#1214673)
Posted Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I thoroughly enjoyed the debut of this band so it was an easy choice to pick up their sophomore effort from late in 2013. I still feel "In The Last Waking Moments..." is their best, I prefer that heavier sound I suppose. This recording is very enjoyable though and I can't give this anything less than 4 stars. It's that melancholic vibe that permeates throughout this album that is the main draw for yours truly. There does seem to be a connection between the two recording, in fact a line from their debut from the song "Dusk" states "When will this November end" plus there are other lyrical connections. Yeah i'm probably way off(hehe).

"Final Breath" opens with atmosphere as picked guitar and melancholic synths cry out. A beat after 1 1/2 minutes as it picks up in tempo and becomes fuller. The vocals before 3 minutes are almost spoken and seem to echo. "Light Years" opens with static like something you'd hear when playing vinyl. Strummed guitar and more join in as it builds, vocals follow. This is a catchy upbeat track compared to the rest of the record. This does seem out of place until it changes completely after 6 minutes to a beautiful, melancholic vocal-led piece. Gorgeous! My favourite section right there.

Next we get the tour-de-force called "Silhoutte" and it's ridiculous length at over 67 minutes. A melancholic start with fragile vocals early on and I like the beat and atmosphere 2 minutes in. Such a feel-good section with a hint of sadness and reflection. Vocals stop as it winds down before 10 minutes then it changes as we get an electronic beat, drums and atmosphere. Spoken words 11 minutes in before the vocals arrive once again. Nice soaring guitar in the Gilmour style here, in fact the soundscape is very PINK FLOYD-like after 13 minutes. It eventually begins to wind down until we get a change after 22 minutes of intricate guitar only. Fragile vocals join in along with strings. It turns fuller before 25 1/2 minutes and guitar comes to the fore a minute later, nice prominant bass too.

A change 30 minutes in as we get vocals and intricate guitar only. It sounds like flute before 32 minutes then it turns much fuller.An interesting sound after 34 minutes that reminds me of those orchestral sounding keys by SATELLITE. It turns heavier 36 minutes in. Nice. A change after 38 minutes as that SATELLITE sound returns along with vocals. A beautiful section arrives after 42 minutes then we get another change after 45 minutes as dual vocals and acoustic guitar take over. Another change after 48 minutes as we get a beautiful and emotional section. Very atmospheric with vocals. Pleasant guitar after 51 minutes when the vocals stop, but the vocals will come and go. This drifting section continues until becoming more powerful 57 minutes in. A complete change after 65 1/2 minutes as dual vocals and acoustic guitar return to end the song and album.

Another winner from these two and while I didn't find it as engaging as the debut I can't help but be taken with their melancholic and atmospheric style.

Report this review (#1328582)
Posted Thursday, December 25, 2014 | Review Permalink
Angelo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars In a dark, North American forest, infested with British bass players, live a people of creatures (could we call that a creatle?) called the Morphlux. Their leaders, Pete Trewavas and Eric Blackwood lead them into haunting you - preferably at night, and even more preferably in a very loud, melodic and muscially layered fashion. Once they get to you, you will never, ever be the same.....

What Morphlux are exactly, and why they are so scary is unclear to me, even after hearing the album The Final Breath Before November of Edison's Children a million times. What I do know, however, is that their leaders, or at least inventors, mentioned above have created a great musical spell around them, over a period of several years. Pete Trewavas, mainly known as bass player for Marillion and Transatlantic, and guitarist Eric Blackwood both are actually multi-instrumentalists. On this album, they take care of all guitars, keyboards, synths, v-oud and something called paraglider guitar.... on this album they are accompanied by Touchstone and DeeExpus drummer Henry Rogers, and on some tracks backing vocals (haunting backing vocals even!) are provided by Wendy Farrell- Pastore, who is also responsible for all the photography on the artwork for both albums of the band..

The albums 15 tracks actually are only three tracks, one of which is a 67-minute epic - Silhouette. The opening track, Final Breath, starts slowly and builds up to the point where keyboard and bass form a pulsing foundation for a flute, until the vocals come in. On this track, the voice of Eric Blackwood reminds me of David Bowie, one of the many vocal similaraties in his reach. On the second track Light Years, that changes, as Pete takes with a vocal sound that reminds me of some tracks on Fish' second album. This track is a somehow catchy tune, based around a repeating pattern, but switches into a more haunting piece at the end (a separate track called Light Years I. the fading). The lyrics of this one introduce Silhouette, the long epic that follows, and consists of 13 tracks on the CD. This epic contains too many different things to go past all the tracks, but after a few listens it becomes clear that at least musically, they form a consistent piece. Some themes return (The Morphlux, Second coming of the Morphlux, The Clock Strikes November) or simply flow over into each other (The Morphlux, I am Haunted). Also, all parts are composed and orchestrated in a similar fashion, making it blend together in a way that is sometimes symphonic, but often also psychedelic in a way that reminds of Pink Floyd, or Eloy. Key elements: the always melodic, but supporting bass of Pete Trewavas, melodic guitar solos by Eric Blackwood, a lot of synths and orchestration, and vocals that range in sound from David Bowie to Fish, but also Wayne Hussey (lead singer of The Mission, for example Eric's part of Where where You).

It's hard for me to describe everything on this album in detail, there's too much to hear to do that. That makes the album not easy to access, but for those into symphonic or psychedelic music, with a soft spot for the backgrounds of the two main members of Edison's Children, this is an adventure well recommended.

Report this review (#1360757)
Posted Monday, February 2, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars The second Edison's Children album is an extended meditation on/exploration of a musical theme from their first album. Musically the theme takes off from the stand-out track from that first album, A Million Miles Away, taking the central musical motif and extending and reshaping it in different ways. Lyrically, the theme is the haunting presence of the past in our lives, the personal past of loves lost and the spectral past of other lives long gone, but somehow both still present at the edges of our consciousness. Great music for the small hours of the night, though in the bright light of day I do wonder if the ideas herein can really sustain 80 minutes of music? On that basis, I would say this is a good album, though not essential.
Report this review (#1389114)
Posted Saturday, March 28, 2015 | Review Permalink

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