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Citizen Cain

Symphonic Prog

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Citizen Cain Raising The Stones album cover
3.17 | 88 ratings | 16 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. (Hells Greedy Children) Last Days Of Cain (13:17):
- a) Dead Man Rising
- b) Tears Of Tomorrow
- c) Ixion's Conclusions
2. Bad Karma (Monsters And Men) (8:07)
3. First Gate - Open Yet Closed (Ghost Of Jericho - Part 2) / Looking Heaven In The Face (4:06)
4. Corcyra - The Suppliants (6:31)
5. Dreaming Makes The World / Variations / The Blood Plains Of Hev-Hem / Forever / Aborted (11:51)
6. The Last Supper - Ylixiea's Dream) / In Deep Waters (2:29)
7. Ghost's Of Jericho (Part 1) (5:24) :
- a) Secrets Of Hidden Things
- b) I Spy With My Little Life
8. Black Rain / Webs (6:30)
9. Silently Seeking Euridice (13:42):
- a) A Lovers Tale
- b) The Stalker's Dance
- c) Fixing Broken Hearts
- d) The Trickery
- e) The Stalker's Stance - Intending It
- f) Will-O'-The Wish

Total Time: 70:37

Line-up / Musicians

- George Scott "Cyrus" / vocals, bass
- Stewart Bell / keyboards, percussion

- Andy Heatie / lead guitar (1)

Releases information

Artwork: George Scott "Cyrus"

CD Cyclops ‎- CYCL 059 (1997, UK)
CD Festival Music - 201212D (2013, UK) Remastered by Mike Varty

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy CITIZEN CAIN Raising The Stones Music

CITIZEN CAIN Raising The Stones ratings distribution

(88 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (18%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

CITIZEN CAIN Raising The Stones reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
3 stars "Raising The Stones" represents, CITIZEN CAIN's 3 official release this time with a slightly reduced band membership (CYRUS and Stewart Bell only!). But let me confirm with you my fellow prog lovers that these 2 guys sound like a full band. As in the past "Raising The Stones" is classic CITIZEN CAIN with dramatic interludes and highly memorable songs. Stand out track for me is "Corcyra" which could have been lifted off their first album and been the instant fan favorite. This is a nice long recording pushg the 70 min mark. "Raising..." offers wonderful bass and keyboard interplay which when layered over with CYRUS's foreboding and emotive lyrics makes you wonder why these guys are not touring extensively.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Following their definitive tribute to Gabriel-era-Genesis titled "Somewhere but Yesterday" - by the way, one of the best neo-prog recordings ever -, Citizen Cain (a duo of Cyrus and Stewart Bell) decided that it was time to take a bold turn and try to take their musical essence to a different level, a more somber and more labyrinthine one while retaining their usual sense of majestic pomposity. "Raising the Stones" shows the listener a CC more inscrutable than ever before, so it is not a recommended taster for fresh starters; also, it is no surprise that this may come as a shocker for many who genuinely enjoyed any of their first two CDs. The most notable particular feature of this album is the fact that Bell reconstructed his keyboard input, which became a bit less symphonic and much more texturial and eerie, therefore focusing more explicitly on the creation of ambiences and exploring less on melodic lines - this may cause the impression that the songs are build on half-elaborated ideas or something like it. Well, I personally think that this work is masterful, although I only felt rewarded after a number of listens (yes, this was my first Citizen Cain experience). I felt the prologue of 'Last Days of Cain' quite stunning from listen one, but then I felt surprised and confused about what at first seemed to me an incoherent repertoire. Once I nailed it, I discovered that the album's main purpose was to demand the listener a special attention in order to allow themselves be captured by the overtly complex magic that is comprised in it. The main body of 'Last Days of Cain' is based on a melancholy motif, adopting some cleverly subtle chord variations along the way: it is opened by an epic sinister prologue and closed by an enthusiastic up-tempo epilogue. Keyboardist Stewart Bell was also in charge of the drum kit, and he does a stunning job at managing the intricate rhythm patterns and tempo shifts: at times he adds some jazz-oriented nuances to his drumming, as in 'Bad Karma', one of the most impressive numbers of this album. Track 4 recaptures the melancholy vibration of 'Last Days', while track 5 (which comprises some of Bell's more prominent soloing) retakes the bold, counterpointed complexity of 'Bad Karma' in a slightly more explosive manner. Tracks 3 and 6 are interludes assembled with the following tracks ('Corcyra' and 'Ghosts of Jericho Part 1', respectively), so they keep a proper fluidity inside the repertoire. 'Ghosts of Jericho Part 1' is mostly a prog ballad that slows down the somber tension and takes the music to a dreamy plateau; but then comes 'Black Rain/Webs' to bring back some of the overall weird darkness. The epic 'Silently Seeking Euridice' is a splendorous epitome of what "Raising the Stones" is all about: it is another absolute fave of mine, full of mood twists, challenging counterpoints and syncopated time signatures, until the fast paced Celtic-like coda comes in to make the spectacular closure. The festival airs of this final motif serves as a proper ending for a particularly demanding album: I give it 4 - 4.5 stars.
Review by chessman
2 stars I bought this on the strength of their previous album, the excellent 'Somewhere But Yesterday'. What a disappointment this was for me! Gone were the intricate but noticeable melodies. There is hardly, with the exception of the decent opening track, a melody to be found here at all. Of course, the band suffer from being reduced to a twosome, with just a guest guitarist. In fact, there is hardly a guitar to be heard anywhere here. Cyrus, as usual, sounds quite similar to Gabriel in parts, but his lyrics have become unnecessarily vague and complex now. He doesn't seem to sing so much, as growl and shout. Stuart Bell's keyboards are still very Banksian in parts, and are the best things on offer here. His drumming is adequate, as is Cyrus's bass playing. But, as I said, the lack of melody and guitar mortally damage this album. You don't remember individual tracks here, and are not in a hurry to revisit the record. Nothing stick in the mind musically. As I said, the opening song is not too bad, but everything after it is totally forgettable. Believe me, I played this five or six times in the first couple of days I had it, just to see if it was me, and to see if things finally started to make sense and sink into my brain. It wasn't me, and they didn't. This band had huge potential. It's a pity it didn't come to fruition here. I don't possess the follow up to this, and don't intend to get it unless others can recommend it to me as a return to some kind of form. Only a return to the brilliance of the second album will change my mind. A shame really. Collectors only, I'm afraid.
Review by ZowieZiggy

What a logical step for a "Genesis" clone to follow the same orientation than their mentor. Only Peter Gabriel ooooups, sorry Cyrus Scott (bass and vocals) and Stewart Bell on keyboards (who comes back after the poor "Ghost Dance" interlude) remain from the original line-up.

Their first two albums were totally "Genesis" oriented with fully Gabrielesque vocals. Both "Serpents..." and "Somewhere But Yesterday" were good albums. No masterpiece of course, but pleasant full neo-prog trips back into another time.

The same mood comes out the opening number "Last Day Of Cain". Great instrumental intro and a melodic epic (over thirteen minutes) full of great keyboards and melancholy. But lots of cliché as well here. At times, it is just too much (just listen to the closing part). Tony, where are you ?

Song-writing for several songs of this album is pretty weak. Uninspired, dull, with no feeling at all. The first example is "Bad Karma". It could have been unreleased, IMO. And when you listen to "First Gate Open Yet Closed", only the intro part sounds nice. After this, the song will go in so many directions in such a short time (four minutes) than one is completely lost. This track goes nowhere. Another one in the style is "Dreaming Makes The World". Well, for sure this one won't make me dreaming. Monotonous, flat. Dispensible.

"Corcyra - The Suppliants" is another good piece of music. Varied, powerful, theatrical vocals (but this is one of their TM) and strong keys. Ony of my fave from this album. I pretty much like the spacey keyboards intro and closing part.

The short "Last Supper" (nothing to do with the other "Supper") is a poignant track. Super keys, almost classical. A bit pompous maybe. It could have been the intro part of an epic; but nothing as such, unfortunately.

As usual, the structure of most songs are made from the same mould : a relatively long instrumental intro which might be inspired or not; but the latter is more frequent. "Black Rain" confirm this (but not only : "Bad Karma" also followed this scheme).

This album is also over-extended (but this is another of their trade mark). Over seventy minutes when fifty would have been more appropriate. Too many songs are totally uninspired and emotionless. Even if like me you are keen to listen to "Genesis" clones, this one does not captivate me.

"Silently Seeking Euridice" closes the album as "Last Day Of Cain" opened it. Great intro, nice melody and beautiful music. Fortunately these songs are the longest ones (over thirteen minutes each). But even if you add "Corcyca" and "Last Supper" this represents only half the album.

Two stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Quite a disapointment. The once Genesis-derivative, but great band anyway, now reduced to a duo, has become a too much complex affair. The music turned out to be too dense, unecessary intricated and lacking hooks and melodies most of the time. Of course those guys are great musicians: I still think that Cyrus is even a better bass player then the original one. But excellent technique itself does not automatic translates into good music. And sadly, this is the case when the band reaches a level that they simply seems willing to show how good and skilled they are, delivering more instrumental exercises than memorable tunes. Even the lyrics suffer from this malady, being too far out and inextricable.

Production is very good, but not above earlier releases. Also there´s the problem that Stewart Bell is not that great drummer for this kind of music. There is also almost no guitar on this album, another big loss, since the band had good guitar lines on both two first albums. Once In while through the 70+ CD you find some good moments, but they are few and far between.

Conclusion: after a lot of spins I did not changed my initial opinion. The once exciting and interesting Citizen Cain became too complex and boring. Some scattered melodies and good ideas here and there do not save this album. Two stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the success of seminal and masterpiece work "Somewhere But Yesterday" in 1994, it took approximately three years to release this follow-up album. Unfortunately, the music did not measure up with the previous work. This was essentially due to the lack of of unity among band members and the band was jut becoming two-piece consisteing Cyrus and Stewart Bell. Consequently, the music undergone dramatic change in direction and style. While in the past I could enjoy "Somewhere But Yesterday" in similar vein as Genesis "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" or "Foxtrot" or "Selling England By The Pound" was then suddenly shifted to the kind like Dutch band "Rick van Der Linden's TRACE" leaving the vocal line intact (Gabriel-like). Why do I say so? Look at the use of keyboard with intense use of clavinet that reminds me to the kind of music Trace made in "Confrontation".

To be specific, the opening track " (Hells Greedy Children) Last Days Of Cain" (13:17) describes exactly with what I mean like TRACE. This is an excellent opening track that sets the whole album nicely. Of course, Citizen Cain's composition is much complex than Trace. The track is opened with ambient keyboard sound in symphonic style followed by dynamic music and excellent vocal. "Bad Karma (Monsters And Men)" (8:07) continues similar style with previous track. Drumming sounds like a programmed one and makes the music less inspiring and keyboard has to work hard as there is no guitar sounds involved. As this track sounds electric and industrial, it lost the natural symphonic sound even though the structure is still complex. Cyrus sound is still powerful with this kind of music. In this track I associate the music like those performed by Magellan in "Impending Ascension" album.

"First Gate-Open Yet Closed Looking Heaven In The Face" (4:06) is darker in mood with ambient keyboard effects and vocals at intro part followed by ELP-like keyboard work that accompanies Cyrus vocal. The drum sound is quite annoying because it's programmed, it does not sound natural. The composition is actually not bad at all - it combines high and low tones beautifully. Cyrus accentuated vocal helps making the music better. "Corcyra-The Suppliants" (6:31) starts ambient with a long sustain multi-layered keyboard / synthesizer work. Cyrus vocal suddenly enters the music beautifully with a blast of music (drumming, bass and keyboards). This is an interesting and energetic track. The keyboard solo is stunning. Unfortunately drum sound is not good and it should be better with manual drumming.

"Dreaming Make The World... "(11:51) is a keyboard driven composition in relatively complex structure. The long keyboard solo at opening part followed by Cyrus vocal. For those of you who like keyboard solo, you will find an interesting solo in the middle of the track even though it sounds to long for me, actually. "The Last Supper / in Deep Waters" (2:29) is my favorite even though this is a relatively short track. I like the way the keyboard sound is arranged in multi-layered sounds in symphonic style with a nice melody, especially when the vocal line enters the blistering keyboard sounds. This short track is a good bridge to the next track "Ghost's Of Jericho (part 1)" (5:24) which has nice piano work. The album concludes nicely with symphonic "Silently Seeking Euridice" (13:42).

Overall, I tend to give this as four stars (excellent) album. However there are some composition issues that evade me in doing so. The issue of drumming is very critical to me, as well as the music flows that in some segments do not seem to happen naturally and they sound like being forced. So, I believe that this is just a good album that deserves three stars. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
5 stars Might Xyrus be a HEAVY and DARK storyteller from WHEN?

If you know the previous work of Citizen Cain well, definitely you have such a impression as above. On Somewhere But Yesterday, the content and stream is bright and easy-to-understand...perhaps Cyrus could create the album with his gracious mind. In fact, that work has pop and cheerful sound all around.

To the contrary, what happened on this work Raising The Stones? The atmosphere on it has changed heavier and darker completely. If you love the previous album, it's somewhat hard you accept the air, beat and mood. I wonder it was none other than Cyrus who had changed depressively. Believe me, that was what earned him the heavy and dark sound.

And please listen, the album got more brilliant and more fantastic. Let me say this darkness must be suitable for the progressive rock world in late twentieth century.

For excellent album, thanks Citizen Cain.

Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars CITIZEN CAIN is basically a duo at this point with some guest guitar on one track. So we mostly hear chunky bass, vocals and drums throughout with keyboards coming in fairly regularly as well. At almost 71 minutes I must say i'm ready to fire this out the window part way through track 5 (haha). It's funny because I enjoy this record at first but it wears on me. I've always liked singers who sound like Peter Gabriel but for me this album puts too much focus on the vocals as there are a ton of lyrics. Plus it's a concept album which doesn't help either.

"(Hell's Greedy Children) Last Days Of Cain" opens like an epic movie and it lasts for 2 1/2 minutes. Vocals before 3 1/2 minutes. Nice bass after 4 minutes. Flute and keys 7 1/2 minutes in as the bass continues to throb. "Bad Karma (Monsters And Men)" opens with bass and drums that rumble during this 2 1/2 minute intro. It settles then the vocals join in. The sound does get fuller but the focus is on the vocals. It settles again 5 1/2 minutes in with bass, piano and flute before building again. "First Gate-Open Yet Closed" opens with lots of atmosphere and percussion-like sounds. Vocals after a minute with lots of powerful atmosphere.That changes when the music kicks in before 2 minutes. Great sound here with chunky bass lines.

"Corcyra-The Suppliants" opens with atmosphere then the vocals come in after a minute. "Dreaming Makes The World" is an almost 12 minute track and this is where I grow tired of their sound. I do like the huge bass early. There's even some vibes before 6 1/2 minutes. "The Last Supper" is a song that I just can't get into at all. "Ghost's Of Jericho" is really more of the same although there is some piano here. "Black Rain" is led by drums and bass early. The tempo picks up after 4 minutes with violin ? Vocals and mellotron follow. "Silently Seeking Euridice" opens with lots of atmospheric synths. It settles with vocals before 2 1/2 minutes. It turns lively a minute later before settling back 5 1/2 minutes in. It picks up again after 10 minutes with flute, then it kicks into another gear with keys late.

This is a far cry from their debut which I like very much. For me this is like running a marathon.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Here we have the third album from Citizen Cain (not the fourth as some would have you believe), some three years after 'Somewhere But Yesterday'. There had been quite a change in line-up as well, with the band now reduced to just a duo of Cyrus and Stewart Bell. There are no details of who plays what, just that they performed everything themselves apart from lead guitar on one song which was played by Andy Heatie. As with all five reissued albums, it has been remastered and there is a subtle alteration of the artwork, but the track listing is as the original with no additions. In many ways this is one of the band's darkest pieces of work, as they strike their own path and move somewhat away from the early Genesis feel into something that is more brooding and powerful. The bass is now much more to the fore, and taking on a greater lead role, while Stewart's keyboards have grown both in stature and layers.

The word that keeps coming to mind when trying to describe this album is "power", as although they are now reduced to a duo this is very much a band firing on all cylinders that disproves the notion that prog musicians should just sit back and not worry too much about the rock element. That is definitely disproved here as these guys belt it out, yet still have loads of time changes and switches as move through numerous styles and designs. By this time in their history Stewart and Cyrus knew each other well, and how to work together, and more than 15 years after the release of this album they are still producing great music.

Festival Music have reissued the first five albums in a remastered form, and now couldn't be a better time to discover the incredible symphonic prog of Citizen Cain.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Citizen Cain's long career was always problematic, but heading to the third studio album these issues started to become a bit too serious.First comes the dissolution of the SI label, but fortunately Cyclops would be there to support the band (and eventually re-release its entire back-catalogue).Second comes the reduction of the performing crew.With most of the material written for the new work Cyrus and Bell were counting on the presence of Alistair MacGregor on guitar.As he was of Australian citizenship and his visa was about to expire, MacGregor had to travel back to Australia, the result was that Bell and Cyrus had to rewrite the material, which was now heavily based on keyboards.Andy Heatlie provided the sole natural guitar parts of the first track and the album was released in 1997 as ''Raising the stones''.

With the band being always fond of long and emphatic compositions, ''Raising the stones'' couldn't escape the rule.70 minutes of Retro Prog in the vein of GENESIS with three pieces clocking longer than 10 minutes.''Last days of Cain'' is a great opener, featuring Heatlie on lead guitar, and coming as a complete effort of theatrical Symphonic Rock with impressive synth flights and some harsichord work by Bell, the sinister voice of Cyrus and the measured but well-needed guitar plays of our guest.From this point on the album becomes heavily keyboard-oriented with some sampled instrumentation displayed, exploring the historic style of GENESIS, but being much more complex in nature, while Citizen Cain's lyrical moments and orchestral parts have a quite dark atmosphere.Good enough reason to compare the group with the less shiny side of MARILLION.The compositions remain impressive, unbelievably dense for a duo, with many complicated instrumental ideas, providing a set of unique atmospheres (including some programmed strings).Neo Prog with a blistering sound and monumental symphonic overtones, maybe a bit too much keyboard-based, but always coming up with a great quality of compositions, based on fast grooves, dual keyboard flashes and odd breaks.Typical CC stuff until the very end.Sort of...because the closing ''Silently seeking Euridice'' has to be one of the better songs written by CC, a bit different than their usual offerings.Romantic parts combine with a strong MARILLION-esque atmosphere, big orchestral moves and lovely symphonic strings, featuring a timeless vocal performance by Cyrus.Absolutely brilliant.

These guys could play.''Raising the stones'' is not inferior compared to the rest of the Citizen Cain albums and if you like Genesis-styled Prog Rock this was made for you.Strongly recommended due to some fantastic instrumental parts, vocal lines and the reckless efforts of Bell and Cyrus...3.5 stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Catastrophic lineup troubles plagued Citizen Cain after the release of Somewhere But Yesterday, with the result that the recording a followup proved a more difficult process than expected. In the intervening time, Mellow Records in Italy put out Ghost Dance, a compilation of recordings from the 1980s trio incarnation of the band - "Citizen Cain Mark I", if you will - but Raising the Stones, as the third album by "Citizen Cain Mk II", is the true successor to Serpents In Camouflage and Somewhere But Yesterday.

With the band reduced to the duo of stalwart keyboardist Stewart Bell (who also provides drums - I suspect via drum machine) and vocalist Cyrus, with Andy Heatie guesting on guitar on the first track only, an attempt to reproduce the sound of Somewhere But Yesterday would have been folly under the circumstances. Instead, the band turn necessity into the mother of invention and evolve their sound - taking things away from the symphonic Genesis-mimicing style of the preceding release to instead delve into darker neo-prog territory, with a punchy, powerful approach that is a bit more aggressive and confrontational than classic Genesis.

It's a sinister, claustrophobic sound, and there's an air of terror and fury in Cyrus' vocals which help this, though at the same time the sonic evolution also underscores what I keep harping on about in these reviews - which is that, unfortunately, Cyrus' vocals are still a significant sticking point in the band's sound. If anything, Cyrus' unimaginative mimicing of Gabriel-era Genesis (or rather, one particular mode which Gabriel brought to bear in Genesis, since Gabriel was a much more versatile vocalist even then than Cyrus shows himself to be) is even more incongruous now that the musical backing has moved away from rote Genesis worship.

With more original ideas combined with the improved handle on composition that the band showed on Somewhere But Yesterday, this release overcomes the difficult circumstances of its recording and an occasionally cheap-sounding keyboard sound - but I feel like Citizen Cain's music would be improved markedly were Cyrus to evolve his vocal approach as much as Bell evolves the music here.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Another "Citizen Cain" masterpiece. Dark-strange album. Really original "Genesis"-based. I love these guys, they have the guts to even surpass their ancestors. The singer is the best "Peter Gabriel" clone you'll find in any Progressive Rock genre. Let me declare that we all as Prog lovers shou ... (read more)

Report this review (#151606) | Posted by | Sunday, November 18, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Very mixed reviews here I see. Well, I must say that this is my favorite Citizen Cain album. It is progressive in every sense of the word, while still retaining ties to their PG Genesis styled previous album. I for one quite enjoy the dark, menacing quality of the album. Other reviewers have ... (read more)

Report this review (#76581) | Posted by | Friday, April 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars The problem with citizen Cain's music is that despite the fact that they are accomplished musicians capable of great complexity and sophistication, the compositions themselved are poorly structured and lead nowhere melodically. They imitate the Genesis sound well, down to the minutest vocal in ... (read more)

Report this review (#1459) | Posted by EMinkovitch | Monday, February 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars You have got to listen to this CD to believe it. Not once but many times. People who throw this on their CD player and give it a listen then try to judge it just will NOT be able to be fair. This is extremely technical and layered music that is some of the best classical- progressive rock I hav ... (read more)

Report this review (#1458) | Posted by dalt99 | Wednesday, November 24, 2004 | Review Permanlink

1 stars On its first two albums, Citizen Cain was a five piece band consisting of crack musicians. Those albums are absolute pinnacles of 90s progressive rock, reminiscent of and better than early 70s Genesis. On Stones, the band for unknown reasons cut back to two members. And just as when Genesis st ... (read more)

Report this review (#1456) | Posted by | Thursday, June 17, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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