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4 stars This band Edge were really a unique experience because they crossed so many progressive boundaries. Overall the musical content is eerily dark and so haunting in nature, especially as the vocals by Fran Hallard are seductive and emotionally charged, while the flute playing by Oliver Page serves notice that this instrument can find's it place in progressive music. Jez Ford and Neil Allies attack the songs in genuine gusto and the bass accompanying by Mark Hampton is also worth mentioning. The scope of the CD is a collection of spell enchanting scenes from some fantasy movie or film, the rich tapestry of the content is never dull and will always feel fresh when listened to. Comparisons are hard as the mid 80's were characteristised by many small groups in the UK appearing and disappearing after a short period, but EDGE's debut is a testament to good music. Peter Beaman
Report this review (#33283)
Posted Tuesday, February 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very interesting British progressive rock with a jazzy (but rocky) "edge". This band has nothing in common with the neo-prog movement back in the eighties. Female vocals by Fran Hallard are great as well as subtle flute playing. The music is quite raw and sometimes dark. The quality of the recording is not the best aspect of the album but who cares with music that good !
Report this review (#33284)
Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mid-80's had to be maybe the worst period for progressive rock.UK, among a few other countries,kept producing some imaginative and decent music though.EDGE is one of this cases,a band that survived around mid- to late-80's and released two highly acclaimed albums.The first one entitled ''Suction 8'' was released in 1986 on MSI,a label with specialty on Neo Progressive Rock.

STYLE: While having obvious influences from the typical 80's British Prog sound,EDGE surrounded these sounds with heavy fusion doses with an even slight Canterbury touch.With a female singer (Frances Pearless aka Fran Hallard) on the front,the band delivers an energetic Neo/Symphonic style,often surprisingly paused by dynamic breaks with the flute player playing a permanent role.Frances sounds a lot like Tracy Hitchings,but her voice is more balanced and less theatrical.The guitar work ranges from melodic stuff to Crimson-esque riffs,often covered with flute sounds.Bass and drum work are very stable and consistent and have a sound closer to the typical 80's UK prog than any other instrument.Keyboard work is varied with plenty of inspired solos and haunting atmospheric passages.Definitely a very personal approach!

SOUNDS LIKE/INFLUENCES: Due to the female vocals,I would say imagine the most complex QUASAR/LANDMARQ parts blended with soft GENESIS,Canterbury-like flute playing and some mid-70's KING CRIMSON complexity.

PLUS: One of the most unique sounding albums ever!Superb female vocals,awesome and adventuruous interplays and one of the most rich-sounding albums of the period.Flute playing is among the best to be heard in the league.Keyboard work is also magnificent,producing a lot of changing themes.

MINUS: I guess this would have been even better if it wasn't of the familiar 80's sound production.More specific,some opening notes with keys and bass or a few guitar parts sound totally out of place.

WILL APPEAL TO: any serious music fan of this site,from the neo prog follower to the most demanding proghead.

CONCLUSION/RATING: It is prooved that 80's hadn't space only for Neo Prog music and EDGE are an excellent example.While having all these elements to be categorized as Neo Prog,this band kept the level of their musicianship even higher than some of the 70's big names.For anyone into intricate,challenging and original music,this is a must-have.4 solid stars!

Report this review (#297146)
Posted Thursday, September 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars FIrst comment: I'm sad to inform that this great accomplishment didn't earn a good quality recording. On the other hand, the flute and the vocals were almost always recorded a little better. And also the drums, most of the time. As these are the highlights of this work, the sound technician at least didn't do so bad. In short, it deserves a remastered edition, if possible.

On the first song, the constant changes of shift, rythym and arrangement don't get confused and aren't too hard to follow; even when the moves are faster. The singer quickly shows her skills and versatility. Drummer makes a show on his own, with incredible variations through the harmonies, on the cymbals but specially on the toms. Closer to the end, he gradually adds layers of music with notorious maturity.

The flute goes genius on the start of next song. Singer this time keeps herself on middle tones, but mantains great interpretations. On the middle of this track the beat goes slower. Guitar slowly and randomly searches space, but soon accelerates agressively. Throughout the remaining minutes, he manages fast/slow concepts in challenging ways. Close to the end, almost all instruments dialogue in an apotheosis.

The first arrangements on 3rd track aren't so good. Nevertheless, they begin to find themselves before the middle of the song. And very briefly, from now on, develop complex combinations of tempos and musical concepts.

The guitar is fantastic and penetrating on 'Trap Door'. Bass and drums make a very solid basis for its solos. In addition, amazing tones are executed by the synths, some of them similar to a trumpet. Fran sings with intensity and passion many bass tones, with surprising alternation with high tones. High leve lis mantained, because the conclusion of this piece is really fabulous.

The group tries to develop something similar on 5th track. With two diferences. They're not so fast, and flute is more presente. This is one of the album tracks with the worst recording. And the composition seems to be not so inspired.

On Incognito you'll here consistent and very technical rythmic sections. With a nice melody on its company. There's a melancholic transition until the song moves again to a powerful rythym.

A wonderful piano introduces last track, very acoustic, a rare kind of execution on the album. Then a strange and quite naďve guitar riff cuts off that good mood. Fortunately it doesn't last long, and gives space to n explosive rythym. The music goes on with these ups and downs (even a little confusing), but wisely ending with that same piano vibe. Final note: 4.2 (Probably I'd give a higher note if the recording were more refined)

Report this review (#2986058)
Posted Friday, January 26, 2024 | Review Permalink

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