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Vienna Circle


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Vienna Circle White Clouds album cover
3.98 | 85 ratings | 7 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. White Clouds (Beginning) (2:00)
2. First Night in Berlin (3:00)
3. Stars of May (5:52)
4. The Morning Fields of Amber Grey (11:25)
5. Argonne Wood (1:30)
6. Falling (4:33)
7. A Break in the Clouds (5:43)
8. Conquered Air (9:16)
9. Her Green Eyes Blew Goodbye (6:29)
10. White Clouds (Final) (5:08)

Total Time 54:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Davis / guitars, piano, keyboards, vocals
- Jack Davis / bass, piano, backing vocals

- Russell Wilson / drums
- Gemma Burch / vocals (2)

Note : The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

CD Audio Treehouse ‎- VC001 (2009, UK)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy VIENNA CIRCLE White Clouds Music

VIENNA CIRCLE White Clouds ratings distribution

(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VIENNA CIRCLE White Clouds reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars It took me a long time to get used to this album, really. I had it for a long time but at first it didnīt strike me as anything really special. It was maybe too modern pop, like a more progressive version of a Radiohead or a Coldplay (but with better vocals and a real guitar player). However, after repeated listenings I was drawn to their fine musicanship, excellent songwriting skills and the subtle arrangements. The concept is quite interesting and original too. This project by the brothers Davies duo (plus drummer Russel Wilson) takes some time to get into, but it is worth it.

After some time I found myself enjoying more and more White Clouds. Itīs a fine tapestry of sounds and so well done you might not get the excellent keyboards and guitar interplay, the shifting moods and the briliant (but discreet) perfomances if youīre paying due atention. But once you do, youīll be reward with a quite melodic and interesting trip to the past, telling the story of an english guy facing the horrors of world war one. I really donīt think it sounds like anything Marillion or even Neil Morse have done as far as Iīm concerned (a little Pink Floyd here and there is ok, but not much either). Neo prog? I donīt know...And yet their work is quite good and, being their first, has quite a personal sound.

I donīt know if I can call this album a real masterpiece, or even essential, for the average proghead. It is however a strong debut and I really hope those guys have plans for another shot at least. They surely made a very melodic, convincing and bold debut and it makes you wonder how far this talented duo can go. If youīre into melodic prog with fine, subtle instrumentation and good songwriting, go for it! Final rating: something between 3,5 and 4 stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Named after the association of philosophers during the early 20's at the University of Vienna, this duo consists of brothers Paul and Jack Davis, coming from the town of Pewsey in UK.Both grew up performing at a lunch club in The Shak, the Pewsey youth centre, where any youngster could pick up an instrument and reveal his talents.After playing in separate bands, the Davis' brothers united in 2006 to record an album of their own under the Vienna Circle name.Helped by Russell Wilson on drums and production they finally launched their debut ''White clouds'' in 2008 as an indepedent release.

This is certainly one of the most accurate, promising and interesting releases of Progressive Rock in 2008 with the Davis brothers creating an album full of emotional colors, vintage references, superb arrangements and thrilling vocals lines.Moreover the album becomes even more interesting with each listening.Vienna Circle sound like a cross between MARILLION, PINK FLOYD, SKY ARCHITECT, MOTHER BLACK CAP, PORCUPINE TREE and several Polish bands like SATELLITE or BELIEVE.Excellent modern Progressive Rock with beats from Neo Prog and Heavy Rock fields, based on impressive guitar leads, soaring synthesizers and mellotron samples, while the background contains also some nice vocal distortions and plenty of acoustic breaks.All tracks are awesome with a deep emotional content yet with a fair dose of demanding musicianship.Changing moods, tremendous electric solos, powerful and grandiose orchestral textures and cool hypnotic ambiances offer series of original structures with a result that ranges from satisfying to simply masterful.And there is also an incredible ability by the Davis' family to combine an otherwise very modern-sounding work with the sounds of the past on the orchestral moves.

Excellent debut to say the least.Moving, adventurous, pompous and perfectly arranged Progressive Rock, that becomes even more valuable considering the fact that it was created by only two very young artists.Highly recommended.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars There has been a raging rumour going around lately that Neo-prog is making smashing inroads in 2013, boldly torching a new pathway for musical enjoyment, with an abundance of brilliant releases that just keep coming one after another. I must admit that despite my title as a Symphonic Prog Specialist, I have been noticing a massive influx of unknown talents that have been taking my heart and my ears with surprising gusto. Led by double recent releases from both Big Big Train and Galahad, the recent list is long= stunning discs from Final Conflict, Primitive Instinct, Deeexpus, Silhouette, Comedy of Errors, Anubis, Airbag, Edison's Children, Introitus, Legend, Cosmograf, Elephants of Scotland, Gandalf's Fist, Lifesigns, Mystery, Nine Stones Close, RPWL and Silver Key, with a few others that presently escape me. So when I took the plunge to discover Vienna Circle, I knew I was going to be in comfortable territory. I bought both their releases, this sparkling debut and their brand new "Silhouette Moon" (to be reviewed soon) . Aided by a few samples and the obligatory reviews, I am happy to report that this is another new player that deserves your undivided attention. There is something effortless and grandiose in their song craft, the playing is simple yet highly evocative, wonderful bass work, sizzling guitar runs, both rhythm and lead as well as acoustic, atmospheric ivories and solid drumming. The vocals by Paul Davis are indeed higher pitched, certainly in a loftier octave than say BJH's John Lees, James Warren of the Korgis or Steve Wilson. Another close vocal companion would be Xavier Phideaux, especially if the music is also taken into account. The Vienna Circle draws its name from an early 20th century association of philosophers based in the Austrian capital.

The debut album is a savvy affair, a highly mature piece of musical expression that has all the ingredients necessary to carve a long and storied career in Progland. Jack and Paul Davis are two brothers who handle all the instruments, the first mostly on bass and piano while the second handles the guitars, keyboards and the vocals, with guests Russell Wilson on drums and female vocalist Gemma Burch. The foremost strength that immediately leaps out at the listener is the impeccable song writing on display, as well as a musical delivery platform of the highest order. The material is about the First World War, a mournful storyline but with a delicate, romantic, dreamy and memorably hooked manner with some devastating choruses that stick to your ears like glue. Think Porcupine Tree tracks like "Sentimental" or "My Ashes" off the Fear album or some of the classic Blackfield tracks. The playing is quite stunning with a constant sense of creative arrangement = extended mellotron cascades, some fancy slide guitar and quirky melodies. Paul Davis is a tremendous guitarist who is unafraid to let her rip in the fine tradition of Latimer/Gilmour, long bluesy solos that electrify the soul. His vocals are, once you get used to the higher pitch, extremely addictive. Drummer Wilson actually muscles the kit pretty good, keeping things nice and tight.

Like the French band Xang on their farewell "The Last of Lasts", we are offered a graphic story, a concept album that relates the devastating effects of gory trench warfare, expertly relayed in terse lyrics coated in melancholic reverie, from the opener "White Clouds" suavely segued into "First Night in Berlin", a perfect introduction to Vienna Circle's classy neo-prog style. A sad piano amid a train track rumble, ringing bass guitar and the gorgeous voice introduces the upcoming battle, "Deutschland will conquer all"! Funny how gung-ho many seem to be on the onset of bloodletting! So foolishly they forget the carnage! This short song conveys perfectly the innocence of such idiocy. "Stars of May" has the bass upfront and bold, acoustic guitar raging nicely in the backdrop, a few delicate electric licks that garnish the orchestrated sound rather radiantly, the vocals get revved up quite a bit, hitting heftier heights with super backing vocal work. The overall mood follows, stirring up a cauldron of fiery leads and then dies slowly, mercifully vanquished.

The epic 11 minute 25 second centerpiece track "The Morning Fields of Amber Grey" is a classic progressive track ("I'll Find You") that has an immediate radiance to its credit, a perfect synopsis of what this talented crew can offer, clanging guitars and deep philharmonic swaths in a musical style closer to recent Phideaux, a prominent bass and rock solid drumming. The slide guitar work is particularly impressive as its no Howe/Gilmour clone, preferring to fit into the overall symphonic mood. Flabbergasting! This is so worthy, it's positively scary! The brief spoken sample of a shaken veteran soldier "Argonne Wood" is a memory of a brutal battle there between Imperial Germany and France but where many US and British soldiers died needlessly. "It was a curse, really"! Perhaps but the finality of death becomes obvious on "Falling" , a ramshackle crater that will entomb so many, the realization that despondency and not courage is what prevails in the end. Another meaningless life in a meaningless war that ultimately changes nothing. The raging speed guitar barrage evokes the infernal desperation brilliantly as the Big Bertha bass and cannonading drums bash along brutally. "A Break in the Clouds" is a piano-fueled moment of 'all quiet on the western front', a brief respite from the savagery to ponder what every soldier's death leaves behind, a family of loved ones who now have no future left. The sizzling axe solo is a sad and mourning adieu, a farewell to arms that never seems to bring any hope. A church bells resonates profoundly.

"Conquered Air" is another lengthy piece, clocking in over 9 minutes and with military precision evokes the senseless frontal assaults, mowed down by machine gunners with no lack of visible targets. "Prayers for the conquered air" think the troops as they crash to the ground, their bodies shredded beyond recognition. The music reflects the gore, pounding flesh on flesh with muscular drumming, colossal salvos of brooding orchestrations mixed in with slippery synth buckshot. Cute pop this is not! The ebb and flow of battle initiates a piano as it shakes in obvious pain, Davis screeches in agony, deeply possessed by the material at hand, heartbeat evident for now.

"Her Green Eyes Blew Goodbye" is a love song and what a song it is, full of overt romanticism in a chorus to expunge over willingly. Davis lets his axe carve some unfathomable sentimental pain, bass bopping around in a frenzy, "trying to find my way home to you" repeated over and over, I mean just utterly beautiful. The explosive ending is stunning, poignant and tear-inducing. Classic playlist track this is! "White Clouds, Finale " signs the truce to end the confrontation, a track that somehow resonates with foolish hope that 'peace in our time' is at hand , a sad mistake that allowed an even worse scourge to be unleashed on mankind 20 years later. The crows are cawing??

This is a masterpiece in my eyes, just my kind of intelligent, well executed, provocative and well-sung progressive rock, with fabulous lyrics and a seductive voice.

5 milky gases

Review by Warthur
3 stars Presenting a rough draft of the blend of the classic 1980s Marillion/Pendragon neo-prog sound on the one hand and thoroughly modern art rock (a la Radiohead or Porcupine Tree) on the other hand that Vienna Circle would perfect on Silhouette Moon, the brothers Davis and their guest make this first Vienna Circle album a confident debut. Drawing on a somewhat smaller pool of personnel than their subsequent album - Russell Wilson is on drums, and aside from guest vocals from Gemma Burch on the second track that is it - almost everything you hear on here is performed personally by the Davis brothers themselves, establishing the duo (especially main soloist Paul) as interesting new talents in the prog scene with a lot of potential, even if that potential isn't fully realised here.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Hello everyone this is my first album review as a member of Progarchives. After reading it I would appreciate if you could Give me some feedback on how I did and what I could do better next time, it would be much appreciated. White Clouds is a concept album, and this is my interpretation of it, ... (read more)

Report this review (#1008667) | Posted by Meegan | Tuesday, July 30, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album has been getting heavy playtime since I received it a few weeks ago. After listening to a few of the songs online I decided to order the CD and have not been disappointed. I know it is a concept album with the first world war as the backdrop but to be honest, I really don't worry ... (read more)

Report this review (#210832) | Posted by progly | Thursday, April 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The debut album from Vienna Circle, White Clouds is a concept album, set against a backdrop of the first world war. The album defies direct comparisons but there are definite influences apparent, such as Pink Floyd, Marillion and even Neal Morse. The music is very melodic and layered in the tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#195508) | Posted by Calvin Celsius | Sunday, December 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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