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Prefers To Hide In The Dark - Boundless Eternity, Hereafter Torment CD (album) cover


Prefers To Hide In The Dark

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4 stars Unique ... I must admit this is a somewhat offbeat matter, or what other term could be used for something you are not able to nonchalantly pigeonhole? Sounds specifically unusual in some way, just trying to describe that in the further course. But please don't expect too much, I mean, when somebody is really flabbergasted? Okay, one reason, maybe it's due to Rob Poston's singing voice, which surely needs getting used to. His expression is a tad lachrymose, very melancholic. Yep, this is exemplary for the term uniqueness those four musicians are offering, also to name Paul Samber (guitars, keys), Sam Higgins (bass) and Diane Galen (drums). Since 2021 they are established as a band, not completely hiding in the dark anyhow, or what? At least residing on different continents, that said United Kingdom and the States, as for the creative process predominantly corresponding and exchanging via internet. Hence, for example, so far there's not any authentic band photo available.

'Boundless Eternity, Hereafter Torment' is a concept album in four movements = tracks. Context-wise coming with a rather philosophical approach, it '... centers around the mind's tendency to focus in on moments or events of profound significance from one's past ...'. The album title is self-explanatory, or the track order, the other way round? Clever idea, or pretty easy solved? It's your choice. We have a bit of a Rush sentiment included here and there. But this is way too multi-layered in the end, to reduce this to a heavy progressive output solely. A driving rhythm fundament is surely provided. First of all anyway Boundless invites us to follow an easygoing electronic ambient path for some minutes, equipped with an atmosphere reminding me of Rain Tree Crow or some exclusive Richard Barbieri solo stuff a bit. Just in time they are switching to a rocking behaviour then.

The flow is gaining pace furthermore when turning into the polyrhythmic Eternity, engines are running in full load now, And there's a bit of a jamming appeal to remark. The following Hereafter turns out to be a wonderful space jazz excursion, featuring acoustic guitar and some well appointed trumpet support by Adam Heaton. The second half with its distorted speech samples always drives me crazy. Man, this sounds just like arriving from the outer world, from very far away at least. A remarkable guitar mantra is initiating the last track Torment with a slight krautrock flair due to the hypnotic flow. For the sake of variety though it evolves into a metal riffing heavier episode and so on ... and so on. A multi-varianted and expressive finale for sure. It only remains for me to add that Paul Samber is the main songwriter on this occasion. Chapeau! The sophomore record is already in the making, I'm curiously waiting.

Report this review (#2758556)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2022 | Review Permalink
3 stars I appreciate this record. Here we have four quality tracks that have a certain adventure. It is accessible but also adventurous enough. The group doesn't appear to copy prog greats from the past blatantly.

The songs are creative and well performed. They play really well. I especially like the trumpet in Hereafter. This section has a bit of a Miles Davis feel to it which I appreciate.

I'm not so fond of the singer. He's drawing out his sentences too often. It's getting tedious at some point (for me).

That said, I think that many will enjoy this record. It is a good addition to the prog music world and I'm looking forward to their next output.

Report this review (#2769270)
Posted Thursday, June 9, 2022 | Review Permalink
4 stars PREFERS TO HIDE IN THE DARK is the prog rock band founded in 2021, based on great harmonic and hypnotic pieces, nothing but mouth watering in these hot times; psychedelic, singular and complex contemporary prog with out-of-the-ordinary instrumentation, associations between heavy riffs, spleen trumpets and bewitching voices, that's the menu; texts on the reminiscences of the past and its collateral damage and the attempt to get out of it, the scene is set.

4 great titles including 'Boundless' with the hovering, spatial intro, reminding me of the first emotions of TANGERINE DREAM, disturbing atmospheres of LUSTMORD; it goes up with a minimalist electronic sound and the addition of Rob's depressed but warm, cajoling but dark voice; hypnotic title in fact, bewitching austere air extending on a melody with gloomy spleen; it evolves in the second part on neo prog 80's bass and vocals, alternative prog rock de facto then piano and voice in wavelets. 'Eternity' changes diametrically in sound, plaintive syncopated voice la RADIOHEAD, riff and heavy rhythm on the edge of prog metal, its polyrhythmic heady with its chorus; guitar solo with chorus behind for a progressive mantra experience where the drums electrify. 'Hereafter' and its trumpet intro Andalusian western atmosphere; Rob, whose high-pitched voice will take some getting used to, launches a lament aided by an acoustic arpeggio; Adam's trumpet returns, amplifies the air, makes it gripping, intense with an ambient jazzy side to the minimalist, chilling break; the hairs stand on end, the sound effects make the atmosphere sinister, the distorted voices end up perfecting the climate; singular and disturbing, on a progressive Miles DAVIS for the trumpet and a diabolical wild mantra with its hypnotic pebbles. 'Torment' concludes the album with dynamic rhythm and ever-hypnotic vocals; long litany in crescendo then the electric side gives a progressive doom effect to the MY DYING BRIDE, heavy, unhealthy but it goes down quickly, more ethereal on a spatial mantra; tortured breaks occur on inventive and enjoyable heavy prog, the rhythm blasts; the synths spin, I think of RIVERSIDE for a while, it's furious and beautiful; final acoustic with hints of atmospheric keyboards and a gripping bass to continue the trance.

PREFERS TO HIDE IN THE DARK threw a cobblestone concept album into the musical, inventive, expressive pond; Paul has composed a pearl that is half-prog, half-mantra, half-ingenious, half-enjoyable rock demon which denotes admirably with the current releases which are a tad formatted. An album that can be listened to while resting and that pushes back progressive barriers. A plus to stand out and acquire it while waiting for its sequel.

Report this review (#2776428)
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2022 | Review Permalink
A Crimson Mellotron
3 stars Grim, melancholic, unsettling, suspenseful, and very dark - this is the debut album 'Boundless Eternity, Hereafter Torment' by the new UK progressive rock project Prefers To Hide In The Dark, formed in 2021, and made up of songwriter Paul Samber and vocalist Rob Poston, and aided by drummer Diane Galen and bass player Sam Higgins, completing the debut album lineup. This record is a 40-minute concept album split in four movement, with the band focusing on creating large, slowly built mood pieces, very interestingly composed, definitely not following the conventional way of structuring a song, with a great emphasis on keyboards, soundscapes, and the operatic-style vocals that could only be described as causing a bit of uneasiness; in a good sense, I believe.

The first few seconds of 'Boundless', the opening track, set a haunting, eerie atmosphere, with the metallic keyboard thumping leading to the first vocal chords, after which we are gradually introduced to the rest of the musical instruments - the guitars and the drums are sparsely and intelligently used, and these grand sonic pictures that the band has crafted are really very impactful and put in a sort of trance, engulfed by the melancholy and the darkness of the record. The vocals, must be mentioned, will not please every listener - unless you are ready for this very unusual voice, you might leave with the impression that the album is quite grotesque.

Broadly, Prefers To Hide In The Dark could be described as the doomy stepbrother of Pink Floyd, definitely a strong progressive rock influence all over this moody record. There is, however, something lacking, a bit of glue, or a sixth element to stick everything together more seamlessly, but still, 'BEHT' is very good and I am eager to see what this collective has to offer in the future and how they could develop their sound further.

Report this review (#2819736)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2022 | Review Permalink

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