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Oblivion Sun

Eclectic Prog

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Oblivion Sun Oblivion Sun album cover
3.92 | 100 ratings | 4 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fanfare (4:41)
2. The Ride (5:07)
3. Noodlepoint (3:51)
4. Catwalk (7:40)
5. No Surprises (3:36)
6. Re:Bootsy (3:28)
7. Chapter 7.1 (3:35)
8. Tales Of Young Whales (5:53)
9. Golden Feast (6:45)

Total Time: 44:35

Line-up / Musicians

Stanley Whitaker / vocals, guitars
Frank Wyatt / keyboards, saxophones
Bill Plummer / keyboards, Moog synthesiser
Dave DeMarco / bass guitar
Chris Mack / drums

Releases information

ProPhase Music

Thanks to Ghost Rider for the addition
and to T.Rox for the last updates
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Buy OBLIVION SUN Oblivion Sun Music

OBLIVION SUN Oblivion Sun ratings distribution

(100 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

OBLIVION SUN Oblivion Sun reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Oblivion Sun is the new Project founded by Stan Whitaker and Frank Wyatt (2/3 of the creative brains of Happy the Man), who already had worked as a duo for their "Pedal Giant Animals" album. I mention this album because it contains a lot of compositions that were left aside during the "Muse Awakens" post-production phase (the brief Happy the Man comeback period), and the same happens with a couple of tracks from this Oblivion Sun namesake debut release: they were written during the very fruitful "Muse Awakens" era but didn't find a space in the final repertoire. With the experience of "Pedal Giant Animals", the opportunity was there to form a new full band in order to continue to explore this musical vision, in fact incorporating material written by all other three members. One way or another, it was reasonable to suspect that the resulting album would be solid and energetic. And so it came to be that the suspicions were utterly confirmed - the "Oblivion Sun" tracklist exhibits a high degree of intensity and melodic richness, heavily marked by the Happy the Man heritage. No doubt that Watkins is a major influence in Bill Plummer's playing and writing, as he was for David Rosenthal in "The Muse Awakens"; you can also notice a strong "Crafty Hands"-vibe in the repertoire's predominant spirit. The majesty and drive of the opener 'Fanfare' shout these two notions out loud, and so does the delicately complex dynamics of 'Noodlepoint': these two pieces are cornerstones for the listener's frame of mind. Sandwiched between the two is 'The Ride', a hard rocking song in which Whitaker makes his guitar riffs conform the nucleus for development of the main motif: this track sounds like a halfway stance between 79-80 Kansas and Spock's Beard. Warning: don't mistake the synth lead that starts at 1:50 for a guitar (magnificent job, Bill!!). 'Catwalk' bears a very lyrical atmosphere, including a beautiful Baroque-inspired little interlude that creates a relaxing beauty of sound (HTM-patented). 'No Surprises' is a slightly heavy-oriented piece that conveys a certain density (on a very subtle level), with the segued follower 'Re: Bootsy' shifting things into the realms of funk-inflicted jazz. The alternation of guitar and synthesizer solos in the latter states one of the most incendiary passages in the album, despite not being as heavy as the preceding track. 'Chapter 7.1' is yet another example of how to revitalize the HTM heritage with a higher degree of sonic power: the fivesome manage to keep things under control though all the display of muscle and feeling, which only comes to reveal how amazingly solid this ensemble is. Things remain the same (exciting, moving, cleverly ordained) for 'Tales of Young Whales', whose combination of ethereal melodic bases and punchy instrumental assemblies works beautifully. 'Golden Feast' occupies the album's final 6 minutes, at times sounding as some sort of tribute to 'New York's Dream Suite' (the fantastic closure to HTM's 1977 album), but with a more pronounced jazzy edge and a more robust global sound. Oblivion Sun is definitely a testimony of how age doesn't have to affect creative genius at all or sabotage any further development of musical power: this gathering of veterans creates a kind of refreshing (prog) music that would make lots of contemporary musicians terribly envious.
Review by progaeopteryx
5 stars This was one of those purchases I found on Ebay for a dirt-cheap price. These are hit-and-miss as you can imagine, ranging from fantastic discoveries to uncoordinated heaps of debris reeking of gastric zephyrs and only things that a turkey vulture could consume. Oblivion Sun's self-titled release of 2007, I'm glad to say is one of those fantastic discoveries.

This project is made up of two members of Happy The Man, guitarist Stan Whitaker and keyboardist/sax player Frank Wyatt. Having not been much of a fan of HTM, I wasn't expecting much on this album. But I was greatly surprised. This album sounded much more dynamic and energetic than anything I had previously heard by HTM. The music is complex, sometimes jazzy, and mostly rather eclectic. I love the Moog synthesizers played by keyboardist Bill Plummer, talented enough to be compared with Jan Hammer and Tony Banks at the same time.

It's really hard to pin down the sound of this band, in which I hear references to the Dixie Dregs, King Crimson, D.F.A., and obviously Happy The Man. It seems like a fine mix of symphonic prog and jazz rock/fusion, often with quirky melodies, sometimes reminiscent of Gentle Giant. The song Catwalk is an unsual number in that it reminds me a lot of Genesis, particularly for Whitaker's vocals sounding like a subdued Peter Gabriel and the Baroque interlude in the middle sounding like it was off of Genesis' Trick of a Tail album. On occasion, their sound gets harder in places. The album is chiefly instrumental, with only two tracks containing vocals.

A rather unexpected, yet wonderful discovery performed by an extremely tallented band full of intelligently arranged, quirky and mostly complex compositions. Well worth the highest grade of five stars. This one will be in my CD rotation on a regular basis.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A US project from late-00's, installed by ex-Happy the Man bandmates Frank Wyatt and Stan Whitaker, Oblivion Sun were born out of the need of the two musicians to produce some proggy music, after they realized a new Happy the Man work would be difficult to occur after the surprising comeback in late-90's.Whitaker & Wyatt had already collaborated on the ''Pedal Giant Animals'' album in 2006 and their new effort would be the self-titled album of Oblivion Sun in 2007, released on Prophase and featuring also Bill Plummer on keyboards, Chris Mack on drums and Dave DeMarco on bass.

Any kind of a vintage recreation is totally abandoned by the HAPPY THE MAN ex-duo, although their influence is all over the place, as Wyatt and Whitaker seem to follow the path of contemporary Prog and blend the modern productions with their beloved style of the legends of 70's US Prog.The instrumental tracks still follow the Symphonic Rock/Fusion style of HAPPY THE MAN, based on the impressive use of saxes, the twisting keyboard parts and the powerful and dramatic changes.However the heavy use of synths add an appropriate modern approach and the style of Oblivion Sun sounds very fresh and up-to-date with the new Prog age.The hints from the sound of GENESIS, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and GENTLE GIANT seem to still haunt Wyatt's and Whitaker's main musical preferences, the musicianship remains always fairly complex but there are also plenty of melodic themes to keep the album balanced.A few tracks sound weaker than the others, like ''Re:Bootsy'' and the mix of Neo Prog-ish synths with funkier rhythms or the more easy-going and rockier but rather uninspired ''The Ride'', the rest though are absolutely satisfying with some fantastic instrumental ideas and plenty of inspired, changing climates.

The two veterans of US Progressive Rock are still hungry for some quality Progressive Rock and ''Oblivion Sun'' prooves just that.Very good album with plenty of blinks to the legendary past of these great musicians.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Here I am writing a belated review of the first Oblivion Sun CD. I will say up front that I shot photos of a Happy the Man show at least once in the 1970s and became a regular photographer at their shows in the 2000-2005 time frame. I have done the same for Obilvion Sun. I donate the photos to the ... (read more)

Report this review (#980606) | Posted by Dreamer of Pictures | Monday, June 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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