Header

CORVUS STONE

Corvus Stone

Crossover Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Corvus Stone Corvus Stone album cover
3.91 | 150 ratings | 44 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


Write a review
Buy CORVUS STONE Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Curtain Rises (1:32)
2. October Sad Song (4:58)
3. Highway to Emptiness (2:28)
4. Ice King (3:11)
5. I'll Leave It All Behind (3:36)
6. Corvus Stone (8:20)
7. Moron Season (3:27)
8. Horizon (1:51)
9. Intermission (0:41)
10. Moustaches in Massachusetts (4:17)
11. Pilgrims (5:17)
12. JussiPussi (2:45)
13. Iron Pillows (5:17)
14. After Solstice (4:05)
15. The Rusty Wolff Attack (2:34)
16. Lost and Found (2:15)
17. Scary Movie (4:22)
18. Cinema (10:50)
19. You're So Wrong (3:52)
20. Ice King (3:10)
21. Ten Inch Lisa (0:31)

Total Run time 79:59

Lyrics

Search CORVUS STONE Corvus Stone lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search CORVUS STONE Corvus Stone tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Pasi Koivu / keyboards
- Colin Tench / guitars
- Petri Lemmy Lindstr÷m / bass, various instruments
With:
- Robert Wolff / drums
- Blake Carpenter / vocals
- Stef Flaming / guitars, vocals
- John Culley / guitars
- Victor Tassone / drums

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
Edit this entry

CORVUS STONE MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

Buy CORVUS STONE Corvus Stone Music


Corvus StoneCorvus Stone
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$12.00
Right Now on Ebay (logo)

More places to buy CORVUS STONE music online Buy CORVUS STONE & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for CORVUS STONE DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

CORVUS STONE Corvus Stone ratings distribution


3.91
(150 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
36%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
22%
Good, but non-essential (27%)
27%
Collectors/fans only (11%)
11%
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)
4%

CORVUS STONE Corvus Stone reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Multi-national band CORVUS STONE is a studio only project that found it's shape and form early in 2012 following chance encounters on Facebook resulting in the core trio of Colin Tench, Petri Lemmy Lindstr÷m and Pasi Koivu finding each other. They developed the majority of the material at hand on what is their self-titled debut CD, with a few supplemental details provided by their most recent members Blake Carpenter and Robert Wolff. The album itself was released in the late fall of 2012, initially as a digital production but with a physical CD edition following shortly afterwards.

The mammoth 21 track CD the core founding trio have developed is a rollercoaster ride that will inspire a multitude of different opinions. Those in close touch with band and musicians alike, of which there are many, will most likely herald it as one of the better productions of 2012. That will most often be the case when people have a strong attachment to a project, and in the case of Corvus Stone a great number of people have engaged themselves in this project. There's a good few hundred people out there who have followed the proceedings and development closely who does feel something of a personal ownership to this album I suspect, and quite a few of them will be visible and vocal advocates of this production.

I know a few of the people involved myself, and care quite a lot about Colin Tench and Sonia Mota. The latter something of a nexus for band interactions as well as the provider of the cover art of the album. And a delightful, charming and spirited person to boot. But while I have an attachment to some of the people involved, I can't allow myself the luxury of treating this production in any other manner than other albums I cover. But just in case someone should point out that my views might be tainted by personal relations in this case, I have chosen to bring them to the table straight away. Then it's up to anyone reading this to decide whether or not this does cloud my judgement.

Personally I feel this production is an up and down experience. The material itself tends to have something of an improvisational nature to it. Improvised by time delay I suspect, as I don't think any of the instrumentalists have been in studio together nor even recording in the same studio. I can imagine quite a few of these tracks flying back and forth between members however, with each successive session resulting in just a few more details added in. Other pieces are more straight forward in nature however, to the point where I suspect quite a few of them only had one session in each members recording studio.

Which of the songs that fall into either category I can't really tell, but personally I'll readily admit that there are excursions here that failed to impress due to the end result becoming a bit too chaotic and somewhat lacking in structure and general cohesion. The least interesting ones assembled in a row starting with the schizophrenic JussiPussi and ending with After Solstice. The latter of these opening up brilliantly I might add, but unravelling into a less than interesting soundscape for this pair of ears.

The high points just about outweighs the low ones however. Ice King is a solid song with vocals and a brilliant one as an instrumental workout. Floydian in nature and with a sound that gave me an automatic association to Canadian Rick Miller's productions admittedly, but a fine effort nonetheless. And amidst plenty of songs featuring playful organ motifs, I'll Leave It All Behind and Moron Season are truly captivating yet also rather different instances of minor magic in that department. The smooth, elegant and mostly Floydian environment explored on epic length Cinema is another high point for me, 10+ minutes of smooth elegance. But Corvus Stone has still has a lot of unfulfilled potential in the songwriting department, and the inclusion of the Black Widow tune You're So Wrong documents this quite nicely, as this piece is the best developed composition by far on this disc. Perhaps not the most intriguing, but a well developed, cohesive affair that feels planned in all aspects and details.

It'll be fun to see where this band project heads off to next. With a drummer joining their ranks too late to really be able to contribute much on this occasion it'll be intriguing to see just how much this addition will elevate the material of this band, as the drums were something of a detrimental factor for this album. The inclusion of a vocalist might also alter somewhat the manner in which future material will be developed by this band. By and large I generally expect their next production to be a better one, at least in terms of coming across as developed and cohesive, and with the now five musicians getting to know each other better the internal band members knowledge about their individual strengths and weaknesses should also see a more interesting second full length production by this act.

As it is, Corvus Stone debut album is a marathon collection of bits and pieces of which some will intrigue, some will not and quite a few will be somewhere in between. A promising but uneven first chapter in the history of a band that those who know more about it will always associate with Facebook. An album I suspect should find favour amongst fans of melodic progressive rock of the Floydian kind, especially if they also tend to like improvisational material of the instrumental variety.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#850911) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 04, 2012

Review by Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The debut effort by newcomers Corvus Stone is an easy album to enjoy, but more of a challenge to describe: always a welcome dilemma in the world of Prog. Suffice to say this isn't an album that will yield all its treasures on first (or even third) exposure, presenting almost two dozen (mostly instrumental) tracks, in total pushing the limits of a single CD right to the digital brim, with 79-minutes and 59-seconds of original songwriting.

That's a lot of music to digest in a single sitting. And while it's all very accessible, there isn't a convenient point of reference for newcomers to latch onto. A lot of new music sheltered under the Progressive Rock umbrella tends to rely on familiar touchstones for easier access, but don't expect too many retro-Prog shortcuts from this group (a keyboard-bass- guitar trio at the moment, but expanding as I write).

So what's it sound like, you ask? Well, consider the tags on the MR Records website, where you can hear the album in its entirety. Progressive Rock; Classic Rock; Avant Garde; Camel; Floyd; Crimson; and European Porn Music (!!) are all mentioned, but every influence is already deeply ingrained in the music instead of cosmetically applied on top. The artwork suggests a Heavy Metal experience, which is hardly the case. And guitarist Colin Tench describes the music (with disarming self-deprecation) as "funky '70s to heavy weird to Floyd to stupid and back again", which only covers about half the stylistic cues.

The 'Floyd' aspect of the album recalls later, post "Dark Side" arena-rock Pink Floyd. The 'stupid' must be the tongue-in-cheek interlude "JussiPussi" (the first syllable pronounced with a long vowel sound)...or is that the Euro-Porn influence? The song "Moustaches in Massachusetts" has a distinct Carlos Santana flavor, with weird Zappa-like digressions; "Scary Movie" quotes the Fleetwood Mac song "Oh Well" (or maybe the more dynamic Joe Jackson remake, from his "Laughter and Lust" album). And it must have been an involuntary reflex that prompted the "Smoke on the Water" nod, in the oddly- titled "Moron Season".

Clearly this is a band that subscribes to the Zappa maxim "make an honest attempt not to take anything seriously", always a welcome policy from professional musicians of this high caliber. Just as clearly, this is an ensemble aiming at a lot of simultaneous targets, from assertive Neo-Prog riffing to delicate acoustic moodiness, often with an Iberian slant, and fortunately with more hits than misses. There's a strong cinematic flair to the music (one of the longer and stronger tracks is even named "Cinema", immediately following "Scary Movie"), reinforced by an opening number appropriately titled "The Curtain Rises", and a later "Intermission".

Keep in mind it's very much a calculated studio endeavor, almost too smoothly produced at times, not unlike an impeccable demo package. A little ersatz live spontaneity would have been welcome, as when real drums are finally highlighted in "The Rusty Wolff Attack" (name-checking new percussionist Robert Wolff). The pacing isn't always consistent either: pieces like "Iron Pillow" and "After Solstice" never quite locate the proper center of gravity, and the old-school lead synthesizers (in "October Sad Song", and elsewhere) don't do the music any favors, especially next to Pasi Koivu's already effective (and more organic) piano playing.

But the full album never once loses its melodic footing, and the enthusiasm of the performances all but leaps out of the speakers. This is an album fairly bursting with ideas even when it lacks a larger thematic unity, and the effect on a sympathetic listener can be just as exhilarating as it must have been for the players themselves (I'm sure the band would still be in the studio if they hadn't already reached their 80-minute event horizon).

Hopefully that momentum will continue to carry them forward. An unknown band playing unfashionable music in such an unforgiving industry is already facing a steep uphill grade, even more so than the proto-prog iconoclasts of an earlier generation. So I give Corvus Stone a little extra credit for their embryonic efforts, rounding up my otherwise conservative rating in a gesture toward grass roots solidarity. An auspicious beginning, without a doubt.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#858849) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Corvus Stone is a multi-national collaborative group that has been working on this album since the three core members started working with each other in late 2011. Colin Trench is probably the most well-known member, being in the band Bun Chakeze. He was asked to work on the album and does the arranging, but everyone else involved with the project volunteered. The album was pretty much recorded by members overdubbing their parts over what they were sent. The end result however, sounds much more 'live' sounding than it should. Generally the music here is very 1970s inspired; sounds like '70s style music recorded on modern equipment. At times the music is reminiscent of Camel, Floyd and Steve Hackett solo.

"October Sad Song" is some nice easy-going, '70s styled prog. "Highway To Emptiness" in contrast, is more upbeat and modern sounding. Almost '80s rock but the keyboard work in particular sounds more '70s. "I'll Leave It All Behind" is more playful and fun sounding proggy retro-rock. "Corvus Stone" is the first of the two long songs. Begins in a more mellower mood with emotive guitar playing. Later gets more busy with synth soloing and start/stop dynamics. Later on mellows out again with some piano and violin joining in. "Moron Season" introduces a melody that gets reprised later. Of all the vocal songs, I enjoy this one the most. After the opening part goes into a more rockin' part with stereo separated double-tracked vocals. At one point you briefly hear the riff to "Smoke On The Water."

"Moustaches In Massachusetts" is one of the better tracks. Lots of nice instrumental interplay here. "Pilgrims" is another stand out. Very symph prog sounding with great playing and nice chords/melodies. "JussiPussi" has an interesting title. Lots going on here for such a short track, including a bit that sounds like it came from a Mario game(?!). "Iron Pillows" begins on an almost prog metal vibe. I like the organ work in this track. The tempo picks up and then a guitar solo. Tempo picks up yet again with more guitar soloing. "After Solstice" starts off reprising that earlier melody I mentioned. Features some interesting drumwork. "Scary Movie" is another standout track. A bit darker and menacing sounding than the rest of the album. I love the groove they go into with slightly spacey synth sounds over top.

"Cinema" is the other longer track. It starts out reminding me of solo Hackett. I like the classical guitar part they go into. The basswork is impressive at times. The remainder of the song is mid-paced classic symph prog; it gets better and better as it goes along. There are two "Ice King" tracks here: one with vocals, the other instrumental. They are both low-key and subdued for the most part. "The Rusty Wolff Attack" is just a drum solo. A really good drum solo mind you, but it seems out of place and doesn't add too much to album overall. Actually, that would probably be my biggest complaint about the album: it's very long. It is apparently 79:59 and CDs only fit 80 minutes. I think that if they cut some of the fat and made a leaner album, it would be even stronger and more consistent.

The album starts off decent but gets stronger in the middle, then getting weaker towards the end. I generally prefer the instrumentals to the vocal songs. Overall this is a really good first effort from this group. They are now working on a new album apparently. Neither the highs nor lows are very high or low. Despite it's length, it is fairly consistent overall. Recommended to fans of classic 1970s prog, but if you want something groundbreaking and original...you may be disappointed. Well written, well played and it sounds good. I will give this a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#864792) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 22, 2012

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Blues Based Prog and More Once in a while a recently added artist sends me a PM asking to please write about their album, the first thing I tell them is that this is risky, because I don't have problem in giving 5 stars if a band deserves this rating, but neither my hands shake to rate an album with one star if I believe it doesn't deserve more, so before accepting the MP3 files that the guys from CORVUS STONE asked me to review, did a bit of research, and even when not a fan of most Crossover (I like my coffee strong and my Prog elaborate), read very positive reviews, and sent a PM to the guys.}

This is a decision I don't regret, because I enjoyed their eponymous debut from start to end, the music band. Don't expect the particularly complex music but they surely know how to rock, including references from different genres, including Psychedelia classic Rock, Blues, Symphonic and even some ethnic touches from different regions, all blended with great taste and skills in a Prog package.

I won't make a song by song review as I normally do, because Corvus Stone has 21 tracks and it would take me hours and would be so long that would bore most readers, but of course will mention my favorite moments.

The album is opened by the enjoyable The Curtain Rises, a weird introduction in the vein of Pyramids by ALAN PARSON'S PROJECT, with a Greek touch, which I liked specially for the acoustic guitar at the beginning and an instrument that sounded almost as a bazouki.

The combination of piano and guitar in the vein of Erick Clapton of October Sad Song creating a nice fusion of Blues with folksy bits caught my attention, really an impressive track, they use aggressive distorted guitar applied over rhythmic and melodic music, until now, I like what I listen.

Another favorite of mine is the elaborate Ice King in which the guys of CORVUS STONE blend carefully and with great taste a mysterious atmosphere with some Spanish acoustic influences, nice fusion of sounds and genres.

I paid special attention to Moron Season because of the peculiar name, but was immediately trapped by the frantic music with an almost Psychedelic Hammond, laughed a lot with the DEEP PURPLE reference, when they played part of the famous Smoke in the Water intro.

Well, no review of this album would be complete without mentioning the wonderful albeit short Intermission which surprises with some Indo/Raga elements, and of course "La Piece de Resistance"?The 11:06 minutes epic Cinema, a track that has everything an exigent listener would ask for, from the amazing guitar work to the subtle drumming and dreamy keyboards, some sort of Blues oriented Space meets Psychedelia, really extraordinaire.

I could go for hours talking about the other tracks, but I believe that what I wrote is enough to have a good idea of the music, because that fusion of styles and genres is preeminent all along the album, some harder, others oneiric With Space Rock references (Pay special attention to Ice King (Instrumental), and a couple full of frantic Psychedelia elements like the breathtaking After Solstice, but each and every one solid and entertaining.

People often critique reviewers who rate a record depending on how Progressive it is, well, this time they will have no complains, Corvus Stone is not a particularly Prog release, as a fact is a blend between Heavy Prog and Prog Related, but the important issue is the quality and this album has plenty. Enjoyed it from start to end and in my opinion deserves no less than 4 solid stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#865126) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 23, 2012

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
5 stars Corvus Stone is the new project by members of other prog artists Bun Chakeze who release "Whose Dream?" in 2010. Guitarist Colin Tench returns with Corvus Stone, playing guitars, and he is joined by Pasi Koivu who is a wizard on keyboards, and Petri Lemmy Lindstr÷m plays bass, Robert Wolff is on drums, Blake Carpenter on vocals, Stef Flaming on guitars, John Culley on guitars, and Victor Tassone also plays drums.

Now that I have a copy of the CD packaging I have to mention that it has some sensational artwork depicting a red sky with full moon and black crow perched on a crossroads sign. This could mean a number of things but speaks to me of the many crossroads in life we may be lead into. The scary cinema sign and long staircase is alluding to the tracks on the album, and the bird is a running theme on the artwork within. The booklet is very attractive thanks to Sonia's wonderful art throughout including an amusing shot of 3 moustached rock chicks and band members' faces embedded in art culture such as Mona Lisa, Superman, and Mary Poppins. The middle of the book is a closeup of the crimson cover art, and there is also a few more designs of similar paintings with the crow perching on a cross and a grotesque gargoyle. The liner notes feature a picture of the band and lyrics and special thankyous of those who inspired the members, including myself and some progarchives members! (A very pleasant surprise I must admit).

The music varies throughout from jazz fusion, to spacey keyboard dominated instrumentals, to classic 70s rock with heavy lashings of electric guitar. It opens with a symphonic intro on 'The Curtain Rises', with a cinematic atmosphere, and moves along from song to song incorporating a myriad of styles to captivate the listener. The songs never outstay their welcome and in fact some are too short for their own good. However there is a lot to offer the listener; although the songs are not focussing on prog elements per se, there are still a great deal of proggish constructs to revel in. 'October Sad Song' is an accessible musical treat, with Camel like lead guitar melodies. Pasi's synth is clean and retro, maintaining a consistent motif, while Colin blissfully takes centre stage on electric guitar. The musicians answer each other and form some exceptional phrases, and the bass and drums augment the instrumental. The wah-wah electric guitar solo is exquisite, with tremolo bar shudders and incredible soaring string bends.

'Highway to Emptiness' pumps along on a steady tempo, and the organ swells and cascading guitar help it along. The synth surges have that continuum feel made famous by Jordan Rudess. So far a very skilfully executed album.

'Ice King' is here in 2 forms, at first provided with Blake's vocals, that sound like the theatrical work of an Ayreon project. I like both versions of this track, each as spacey, chilling and atmospheric as the other.

'I'll Leave It All Behind' is a very jumpy instrumental with a great melody and awesome keyboards. This one is uptempo with a glorious organ outburst. The beat is strong and it features vibrant guitars, hi hat work and wandering basslines.

'Corvus Stone' runs to 8:20, opening with swathes of keyboards and acoustics. It eventually powers along with a hypno tech sequencer, heavy doses of lead guitar, a sprinkling of ambient keys, and a dash of sporadic percussion. The music is permeated with odd angular rhythms, swells of keys, strange time sigs, and a wash of keyboard and extended lead guitar soloing. The improvisational guitar runs, and very spacey synths, lend a King Crimson feel. This has a peaceful ending and just lulls me into a dream; the haunting guitar and drifting keys are incredible, played to perfection.

'Moron Season' has a return to gentle vox, and then is enveloped in a jaunty melody, the distorted guitar spasms are overpowered by classy Hammond 70s style organ solo, with lightning fingers on the keys. This is a joyous celebration of prog excess; it is fun and even uses the Smoke on the Water riff at one point.

'Horizon' has an accessible melody, a measured tempo, a crossover style vibe and jazz fusion rhythms. It ends quickly before it even reaches the 2 minute mark. The even shorter 'Intermission' is a blaze of Eastern flavoured acoustics. This is followed by 'Moustaches in Massachusetts' that boasts a fast tempo, and feels like Santana focussing on a frenetic percussion, Hammond and lead guitar. When it switches tempo signature, the song is unrecognizable from the one at the opening.it grown more intense at the end with grinding distorted chords.

'Pilgrims' has a crystalline keyboard layer and Colin solos eloquently over. This instrumental wafts along on waves of organ shimmers and divine lead guitar. You can drift off into a daydream during this track, it is captivating and poetic.

'JussiPussi' is a bizarre, short blast of hyper energy, with metal guitar blasts, weird acoustic bursts and a frantic bass. It launches into Gentle giant territory with expulsions of xylophone and blazing trumpet freak outs. This is one of the proggiest tracks, and is highly experimental careening all over the place.

'Iron Pillows' is off kilter musicianship, with manic organ runs, a strong beat, and lead guitar with an improvised feel. It is akin to King Crimson, the time sig is delirious and it switches into some dynamic guitar and organ dialogue.

'After Solstice' has excellent drumming, wonderful lead guitar picking and spacey keys. It builds to a grand organ solo and locks into a faster tempo, with high speed picking, then dreamy guitar and keyboard embellishments.

'The Rusty Wolff Attack' is Robert's stunning drum solo, while 'Lost and Found' is a nice slow song with a Mellotron sound and it ends quickly after some soft vocals and ambient strings. 'Scary Movie' is one of my favourites, that has a heavier guitar edge and some recognizable Led Zeppelin style riffs. There is a spacey vibe going on and some rather avant sounds with a razor sharp dissonant guitar over measured rhythms. Petri's bass heartbeat is entrancing, and Colin's guitar spirals wildly out of control until it closes with some crunching metal chords.

'Cinema' is the longest song clocking 10:50, and it latches onto an ascending 4 note melody. The music is dreamy and beautiful. The acoustic vibrations are outstanding and there is a very gentle motif on a Mellotron sound alike synth. This instrumental is a real showcase for this dextrous band.

'You're So Wrong' blossoms with piano and guitar over vocals. It has a similar structure to Yes' 'Starship Trooper' at first. The vox are great, encompassing soft melodies, shimmering organ, and peaceful guitars. 'Ice King' sounds like ghostly theremin, and is a very beautiful slice of spacey ambiance. I really like this track, reminding me of 70s space rock or, more specifically, Goblin. 'Ten Inch Lisa' closes the album with 31 seconds of Spanish acoustics.

The album has so many songs that it has enough to maintain interest even for the most casual listener. There are some masterful tracks on offer, and Corvus Stone blend many genres to form one incredible album. The passion of the musicians as they play together is infectious, and it is a joyous labour of love from beginning to end. I was delighted that the band were able to create such a dynamic sound, that is highly innovative and brimming over with virtuoso skill.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#865591) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars Bewildering volcano of sound!

Corvus Stone is an unfathomable quasi-religious foray into the essence of progressive rock, a delirious symphony of sound, atmospheres and structures where the compositions have merit both as sonic arrangements as well as showcasing individual performances by the musicians involved. They have elected to incorporate a wide array of influences covering the entire prog spectrum, avant-garde Zappaisms, profound psychedelia, pastoral prog -folk, bluesy rock, swirly space, euro- eclectic and the kitchen sink! The whole sonic buffet is rather difficult to assess on first listen, simply to cornucopaic to swallow at first but what a menu! Welcome to Snippetville! All aaaaaboard! Pull up your boxers, here we go!

What a crew this is, three masterful weirdoes surrounded by a few friends! Colin Tench is a sensational guitarist, full of dense invention and almost manic subtlety, displaying a multitude of styles and textures. The Wizard Pasi Koivu from Finland (do you play hockey by chance?) shows his mettle on assorted keyboards and bassist Petri Lemmy Lindstroem has the bass shuffling aggressively ahead. Drummer Robert Wolff is a phenom as well, while the Minstrel's Ghost leader Blake Carpenter shuffles the microphone when prompted.

But I am getting ahead of myself (which is entirely caused by the music within), so let's go back to the beginning then, with a rising velvet curtain, aptly named "The Curtain Rises", where sultry symphonic and avant-garde rock meet in introduction to the wild and wonderful world of Corvus Stone. Colin uses a lot of wah and even more wah-wah pedal on his majestically crafted solo on "October Sad Song" , a kiss ass piece of music than has a modern, proggier version of Traffic and some classic Robin Trower thrown in (not bad, eh?). Sustained beat and bright delivery, there is no way one can leave indifferent and skip ahead to the next one! This is a clinic of blues-based prog rock, swarthy, bellicose, suave and sassy, all in one. Twirling Moogs in sustained embrace with the lewd guitar (I mean "lead"), the bass keeps it all solid and then, outright slippery when coaxed into a jazzier groove.

Things get foxily creative with the swirly "Highway to Emptiness", loaded with sexy guitar meows and synth caresses that playfully excite and fascinate. It's short and it's brilliant with that masculine beat (think Diamond Head -era Phil Manzanera) and a little wisp of Latino influence, a backdrop of raunchy Cubanas dancing and swaying to the beat. Then comes the first real killer track, the galactic waltz of "Ice King" features the dancing duo of flat-out space bliss with colossal psychedelic winds, where flavors of Hawkwind, a touch of DiMeola and a weirdness bred by the likes of Robert Calvert coalesce in shuddering awe! Overwhelming influences and an execution to die for (pun)! The vocal from Blake Carpenter is simply put, chilling. I cannot help being reminded of the Stranglers tune of the almost same name ("The Ice Queen").

On "I'll Leave it all Behind" , the ivories take over on mainly the dirty organ with a little groovy piece of jazz-prog so predominant in Finnish prog, playfully juicy and loaded up with some blistering organ solos, and thrashing guitar , sounding almost like Manfred Mann's Earth Band meet Focus in a jam. Bouncy Helsinki! (Good name for a band).

Besides its moniker "Corvus Stone" should also be the band's outright anthem, a finely set jewel of multiple emeralds, rubies and diamonds. Thrown in some topaz, jade, opal and pearls! It all starts out lightly jazzy and then just blooms into a masterful composition that is an absolute emphasis on style and substance. Colin Tench displays his utter guitarring talent, bending notes like a madman, Koivu kills on synth, oozing like molten seed into every crevice and every orifice. The piano work adds exalted passion and the whole just cooks like liquefied foundry of steel. Bassist Petri Lemmy Lindstroem hangs around the guardrail, riffling along for the untamed ride. This will appeal to all fans of prog, its intense darker side toying with their innate zaniness.

The stellar "Moron Season" is stunningly fragile at first, one of those typical Brit folk-rock that feature Carpenter's woozy voice but then thunderously veering into an outright 'Highway Star' boogie, bass searchlights scouring the horizon (I haven't heard stuff like his since J.Geils) , slight adjustment near Canterbury and then , daring to lick "Smoke on the Water", tongue not just in cheek, if you see what I mean!. Nasty and clever, Mr. Wilson would love this! Growling organ dueling with the fiery guitar, now that's nice!

Little ditties also have a place in the nursery, as "Horizon" drives down the country road, "how y'all doin?" those funny Europeans. Cutesy! Almost Beatles 2012. "Intermission" has a pastoral acoustic barely 41 seconds long (Cutesy).

"Moustaches in Massachusetts" is hilarious take on DiMeola era, more rock-jazz than jazz- rock, with whiffs of Carlos Santana of the Caravanserai air, a universe where the sheer and elegant brutality of the electric guitar rules divine, adorned by looping organ motifs and some deadly bass propellers. The drumming is particularly effective, the atmosphere turning denser, heavier and more psychedelic. Slashing guitar throttles the bruising keyboards on the way out. Phew!

"Pilgrims" is a rumbling, clanking sympho-prog monolith with bruising keyboards and whirling dervish guitar solos, alternating delicacy and sizzle. Wolff's drumming is authorative and precise. A fine little workout!

"Jussi Pussi" is lewd in an almost Zappa with Steve Vai way, proposing a playful, "kani'kani boo-boo" carousel in the circus ground, goofball Canterbury silliness. This is nutty, bizarre (some Gong-isms in the vocal effect department) but bloody delightful!

"Iron Pillows" ratchets it up, careening into a King Crimson groove circa "Red" but with some slippery Phil Manzanera-style axe playing, churning organ adding luster and fluster. Rock solid drumming from Robert Wolff keeps this firmly entrenched in your mind. The sense of eternal progress is quite evident in the arsenal-like delivery; these guys are really into it, darn! Nothing soap commercial or sappy fodder here! Just real creative music, played to the hilt breathlessly.

"After Solstice" gets weird, oblique and slightly dissonant, a tortuous slither of strangeitude and deflection, Colin's weeping instrument carving nicely into the ivory whirl. I guess the best way to describe this is a prog-aerobic soundtrack (one-two-three-four, and repeat sideways). This segues nicely into a Robert Wolff little drum solo and a mournful vocoded piece, "Lost and Found".

"Scary Movie" is a highlight track, an absolutely ominous slab ob hulking heavy prog-rock, with a cinematic, Panavision-style grooming, nice binary bulldozing riff that slowly emanates virile from the ambient din. Boom!

"Cinema" is the epic, sweeping orchestral adornments abound, now deadly serious in their melodic approach, settling down a powerful groove (that delicious bass again) and sprinkling some fabulous acoustic guitar soloing and then positively exploding on lead guitar , evoking cloudy cellars and gritty streets, decadent cafes with blas├ę faces, clowns tossing oranges in the midnight sky. Cinematic is correct in my books, dreamy sections wash over the loudspeakers, the raven-haired beauty in the red dress slurps her mojito in languorous flicks of her tongue. The bartender worried about how late he will be home, the pilfered scotch bottle already wearing its kilt, kneeling at the shrine of girlie magazines stashed akimbo. A phenomenal piece of music, instrumental genius and what a mood! The soloists shine brightly, Tench ripping off one for the ages, tortured, sanguine and resolute. Power and delicacy, what a combo! Koivu paints and Lindstroem rumbles. Darn, this is classic terrific!

Following that monster is no easy feat "You're so Wrong" plays it safe, flute quivering gracefully and the only vocal from Blake Carpenter of the amazing Minstrel's Ghost shows its face, very much like something early Caravan would create, a relaxed symphony of accessible folky pop. Pleasant and fluffy.

"The Ice King Instrumental" only confirms the brilliance of the song, the instrumental prowess on display is second to none. Lush, deviously crafty, seductive and utterly charming, this one burrows very deeply into your soul, yummy!

The lewdly titled "Ten Inch Lisa" is a sprightly wee ode.

Bonus track 1= The silly and confused paranoia of "The Stones Meet Cheryl?" is evocative of circus-like insanity, bizarre effects, brutal noises, marshaling beat, doom keyboard slams, brash guitar rams and pulsator flexing drums. Heavy bombs here and I love it, Bonus track 2= "Cinema- alternate version"

I have rarely heard such a long (70 minutes worth) and lustrous premiere album, with so many gargantuan yet condensed compositions, stellar playing and endless cheery spirit. Some will be turned off by all the stylistic changes that wrongly give the sense of under- development; they just don't like to overstay their welcome. But if you listen to it as a whole, the enjoyment is enhanced by the breathless procession , as weird as it may seem at times. This is Nuggetville, so many gems to choose from. Who cares if it's a tad helter- skelter? That's their style, eccentric, iconoclastic, eclectic and adventurous. They have musical balls and so do you.

A band to follow intently. A glorious debut with so much to enjoy.

Instant gratification, racing pulse, visions of Emerald Beyond, tongue sticking out etc...Please be civil

5 galaxies

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#869548) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 01, 2012

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I was asked to write a review about the debut album of this international band and I must say I found it to be far harder than I could have imagined. Not that the music was bad or too far out. In fact, the music here is extremely good in almost all aspects. And we┬┤re talking about a mamooth CD filled with almost 80 minutes of original music! The biggest problem I┬┤ve found is the lack of references. Let me try to explain: they simply don┬┤t sound like anyone or anything else I know. Ok, their music is not something too out there as some might expect reading what I write now. In fact their 70┬┤s influences abound: classic rock, blues, eastern rock, jazz, classical, avant guard, you name it! However, the way they mixed all those references is quite original and not easy to discern when you listen to the album.

As you may have guessed, this is not an easy listening music, although Corvus Stone sound is quite familiar and accessible in several parts. However, the one listener who is patient enough to give it a few more spins will be rewarded with an excellent collection of tunes (mostly of them instrumentals, with a few vocal tracks thrown in to balance it. they were smart enough to ask for outside help to do so, and the vocals are quite nice). This is great prog music done by superb musicians who know how to use their obvious talents for the music. although I found some self indulgent moments here and there (like the drum solo on Rusty Wolf Attack - fortunatly a short one), they are also few and far between. The star of the show is clearly Colin Tench┬┤s brilliant guitar playing: the guy knows how to be both original and familiar with his tasteful, soulful solos and licks. I┬┤ve always loved guitarrists who know how to express emotions thorugh their instruments notes, while others use the music as an excuse to show their technique with endless (and pointless) noodlings. Tench fortunatly is one of the formers, knowing very well when to play and when NOT to play, a rare quality to be found nowadays.

The other two band members, keyboardist Pasi Koivu and bassist Petri Lemmy are also outstanding players who give the album not a small amount of contribuition, but this is really a guitar-led CD. Sometimes I think the record would benefit more if Koivu used more vintage sound timbres on his instruments: things like a Hammond B-3 and a mellotron would fit quite nicely in this kind of music. On the other hand I cannot say for sure if that would make it sound too retro, it┬┤s just an opinion. As it is, I must say I liked his perfomances a lot.

Overall I can say this is a winner. The production is excllent, the songs are very well done, the arrangements are tasteful and the perfomances are impeccable. But more than anything else, they know how to write fine songs, with a great knack for the nice melodies that go together well with the intricated musical structures. It┬┤s hard to point a highlight on this album, since the tunes are too varied and the quality of the tracks is quite even (I heard it from beginning to end just wishing they had dropped two of the 23 tracks). However, three instrumentals do stand out: the hauting title track (definitly their best song), the 10 minute epic Cinema and the fantastic climatic After Solstice. What really amazes me is how on earth those guys could put so much different music together and make it work as a whole. To finalize the tracklist must have been a nightmare, but they made it.

Conclusion: A terrific debut that every prog fan should listen to. I┬┤m looking forward to hear their next releases.

Rating: something between 4 and 4.5 stars. Highly recommended!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#876121) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 15, 2012

Review by Andy Webb
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Admin / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars Corvus Stone is an interesting little project that popped out of nowhere in early 2012 and suddenly released an album only a few months later. Comprised of an international group of internet musicians, the 'band' cooked up a generous offer of quality prog music to the online community of proggies, and many jumped on the bandwagon. With heavy lobbying here, the band quickly became fairly well-known within the forum reviewing community. In no time at all I was approached to review the album, and after hearing the mounds and mounds of positive press, I was eager to hear this new debut as well.

Sporting an impressive play time of 79 minutes and 59 seconds, filling up every ounce of space a standard CD has, the album was sure to contain its fair share of proggy goodness, or so I expected. After spinning the unbearably long album for the first time, however, I realized I was sorely disappointed. The 80-minute opus is a menagerie of progressive styles, ranging from blues rock, jazz, funk, symphonic rock, avant-garde, hard rock, and more. I quickly realized that this album had far too much on its plate for a single sitting. Trying to devour this musical monster required a musical appetite that I simply wasn't willing to sacrifice in one sitting, and even after splitting the disc into a number of separate listens (as the 'Intermission' does provide a nice place to stop and take a breather), I still felt as though so much music was shoved into so little space there was no way I could properly enjoy this album.

Let me break down what I understand to be the basic premise of this album. A collaboration of international musical connoisseurs, a backbone of keyboardist Pasi Koivu, guitarist Colin Tench, and bassist Petri Lindstrom recruited a vast number of 'session' men to record bits and pieces of the album over the course of a year. With the help of their friends, the band's self-titled debut was released. It seems, however, that the bits and pieces of professionally recorded music and not so professionally recorded music (mostly a few of the seemingly programmed drum tracks) do not mix well for an overall messy sounding album. The far reaching influences, highly eclectic musical spectrum, and variety of the level of production quality really muddle the maximum enjoyment this album can give.

Not don't get me wrong. There are a number of truly great moments on this album. Every here and there, I was really impressed by the general songwriting ability of the core of the band and the ability to pull strings from so far away and pull together an internationally recorded album. If the band had cut the album to just these gems, such as October Sad Song, Highway to Emptiness, Intermission, The Rusty Wolff Attack (which is a great drum solo and very well recorded), and Lost and Found, they would have had a superb album. Seeing as that is five of the twenty-one tracks that appear on the album, however, I was overall mostly unhappy with the album.

The music, for the most part, started out very strong. With my first listen to the first few tracks, I could see why people thought so highly of the album. Once the album really started going, though, it lost its shimmer. The album, to me, is cold. While each individual instrumental track is played with emotion and passion, there is no chemistry between parts. There is no "warmth" in the music to add color or dimension to the sound. While this seems to be a common problem with bands who record internationally, I feel like each part of this album is exceptionally 'lonely' in the grand scheme of the recordings. To add to this, most of the instrumental parts are terribly runny in terms of loose instrumentation. While each part is surely played with skill, few songs really play together well. Keyboard parts and guitar parts seem to clash and sound awkward, tones are harsh and non-complimentary, and the album has a horrible mix of real drums, which are superb, and programmed drums, which are just a total drag. Often keyboard tones that should be meaty and organic are flat, boring, and stale. Sections of 'improvisation' fail to impress due to the lack of musical communication. While the album has its golden moments, it is marred by more lackluster ones.

In the end, I feel this project does, however, have a lot of potential. The song structures, melodies, and general ideas behind the songs present on this album are really great. The orchestration is well done, but execution is lacking on many parts. I'd like to hear what the band has to offer next, but I dearly hope that the band's next album is slimmed down considerably and more attention is given to how the music talks. I see the desire, the passion, and the drive to create quality progressive rock, but there is significant work that needs to be done before Corvus Stone can be with the greats. 3- stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Andy Webb (BETA) | Report this review (#876144) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 15, 2012

Review by Gerinski
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I don't care if I feel the need to be critical over an album which is 20-years old or really stinks, but I feel sorry having to be critical with the debut album from a new project by musicians who undoubtedly have put much goodwill and effort in their work, but I have to say that I'm really baffled by the praise that this album is receiving.

Personally I was never too impressed by the BunchaKeze album. This time guitarist Colin Tench seems to have delegated most of the composition duties to new collaborator keyboardist Pasi Koivu but this has not resulted in a much better product IMHO.

My first listening was a disappointment, but given the mamooth length of 80 minutes and the high ratings given by other reviewers I thought that I must have missed it, so I insisted on listening to it again and again before daring to write a review. After repeated spins my first impression has improved but I'm still very far from sharing all that praise.

The music style is not your typical prog or even crossover, it has a lot of 70's blues-pop- rock foundation and it's not explicitly complex, some symphonic, hard rock and fusion ingredients are thrown here and there. Mostly instrumental with a few vocal songs which is not bad because the vocals are not great but having a bit of them helps getting through the album without getting too bored. Most tracks are really short (there are 21 of them!) which helps as well.

In honesty the keyboards and guitar are often really good when considered as soloing or accompanying work, the Emersonian keyboard sounds and often Camel-esque quitar help it sounding more proggy than it is.

But there are several weak points, the first and most important one being composition. It feels like a disjointed collage of musical ideas without any flow and very little melodical and harmonical content. Most tracks are basically soloing over a basic chord progression foundation, but they do not have structure and do not develop anywhere. There are of course some breaks and phrase changes but they do not feel like properly developed songs. There are variations on tempo and energy but neither the individual songs nor the whole thing show any really interesting dynamics. The often artificial-sounding drums do not help either and the production sounds cold and clinical to my ears.

The inspiration in the chord progressions and harmonies is weak in my opinion, when they want to do something different from the traditional blues-rock chord progressions and scales they always resort to the same variations, semitone intervals and those hijaz scales (phrygian dominant with augmented 7th) which brings some egyptian, middle-eastern flavour.

I feel sorry for being so harsh and there are good tracks though, my favourites being the fast-paced "I'l Leave It All Behind" with great keyboards, the 2 longer tracks "Corvus Stone" and "Cinema", the cinematic "JussiPussi" and the 2 very short guitar pieces "Intermission" and "Ten Inch Lisa".

Probably I should be generous and round up my 2.5 stars to 3, but when I think of other albums I rated with 3 stars, they are consistently better than this. Don't give up guys, next time give a bit up in quantity and focus more on quality.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Gerinski (BETA) | Report this review (#877961) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Corvus Stone' - Corvus Stone (6/10)

Corvus Stone are another band made possible by the convenience and networking of the internet. It's a story most of us can appreciate really; Finland's Pasi Koivu got in touch with Bunchakeze guitarist Colin Tench in hopes of a collaboration, and within no time at all, the online jam had grown to include a host of likeminded musicians. Although the strings remain ultimately pulled by Koivu, Corvus Stone may be seen as a meeting place and dialogue for some of progressive rock's underground heroes. In a sense, it's refreshing to hear an album that's come together with such enthusiasm and sincerity. Indeed, the talent of those involved makes Corvus Stone's self-titled debut an enjoyable piece of composition- oriented instrumental rock, although the fluid, as-it-comes way the album came together keeps the album's pieces from coming together as a fully satisfying whole.

Although Colin Tench is the musician I am most properly familiar with (for his work in the symph prog act Bunchakeze), some of these musicians I have been at least aware of. For one, Pasi Koivu has a longrunning association with the classic band Black Widow as their archivist, and I have more recently heard the work of guest vocalist Blake Carpenter, with his solo project The Minstrel's Ghost. Last, but surely not least, the charmingly ubiquitous Sonia Mota lends her talent with visual art to the project, giving the record an appropriately diverse and dense album cover. Although I have not been introduced to the others (through their music or otherwise), it's clear that Corvus Stone consists of a remarkably consistent and skilled ensemble of musicians so involved because they enjoy what they do. It's as if the intention of Corvus Stone is to take in all of the best things from these artists, and forge something exciting out of it. Fortunately, this open dialogue results in some great musicianship across the board. With so many ideas inbound however, "Corvus Stone" often feels unfocused and even aimless.

At twenty one tracks and almost eighty minutes long, it's clear that Corvus Stone are not worried about being succinct in their music. Their largely instrumental work is divided either into bite-sized idea sketches, or drawn out jams that recall Pink Floyd. Although a handful of songs are able to escape the clutches of either fault, there's very little balance here. Pasi Koivu is evidently a strong composer as some of the album's better tracks attest; the record's shooting star "Ice King" is effective, concise and haunting. "October Sad Song" is a little more jam-oriented, but never forgets to throw in a firm hook or two. Unfortunately, too many of these songs seem to end before they begin. Most of Pasi's compositional ideas hold their weight on their own, but they are never explored to their potential. An intriguing idea that could have been fleshed out into a full song is often left as a two minute sketch, giving "Corvus Stone" the feeling of a compilation album, or a work in progress. On the other hand, the eight minute title track and eleven minute "Cinema" feel too longwinded. Colin's omnipresent lead guitar is soulful and a joy to the ear, but there's the nagging feeling that the ideas and musicianship would have been much better served with a more consistent approach to the compositions.

Considering the album has (presumably) come together via the transference of files between countries and personal computers, the production here is remarkably solid and consistent. Colin Tench's Floydian guitar style remains the album's highlight, although the presence Blake Carpenter's warm vocal style usually tends to indicate the album's best tunes. There is some great talent at work in Corvus Stone, and many of the musical concepts therein are promising. For all of its enthusiasm and skill however, the album's messy flow and utter lack of structure keeps Corvus from achieving their potential this time around.

This debut has me thinking of a child's playroom. There is colour, joy, and vitality here, but the the floor is dirty and things are scattered everywhere. Of course, as children grow up, they tend to adopt a greater focus. If Corvus Stone are able to realize the potential that's plainly evident here, there could be a very impressive album in their midst. Until then, I'm left feeling somewhat underwhelmed.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#879144) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Moderator / Psych / Avant / Neo Teams
4 stars Ok it's just the time for getting immersed in "JussiPussi" and celebrate the weird world created by three talented killas.

Many thanks I've got a physical one from Pasi KOIVU and Colin TENCH (thanks mates) and enjoyed listening to nearly 80-minute (!) 21 (!) tracks again and again ... several inspired sharp-edged short track cynics are upon here. The beginning of the first track "The Curtain Rises" reminds me something horrible like Exorcist or so, filled with Pasi's ghostly key dread and Colin / Petri's muddy, ethnic percussive guitar traps ... enough for me to have an expectation for this whole album. And yes of course, always shivering with an unclear extreme terror of "Scary Movie" ... make me comfortable with such a freezer burning lol.

Basically some pop-ish tracks (like a fantastic ballad "You're So Wrong", with enthusiastic voices by Blake CARPENTER) are in this album, whilst every song (whether catchy or not) has definitely something cynical as tactics of eclectic eccentricity with their strong suggestion ... "Ice King", released as a single shot, sounds not only like a comfortable psychedelic ambience but also like a ginger-cookie-ish surprising modification. I've found lots of crystallized gems here and there. And let me say sure thing this album be constructed around one of their masterpieces titled "JussiPussi".

"JussiPussi", composed by Stef FLAMING (joining this stuff as a guitarist / vocalist), is a weird but superb track with mysterious air and definite strong RIO flavour drenched in heaviness and ethnicity. Petri's deep, strict bass rhythm, Colin's very 'eavy very 'umble guitar quake, and Pasi's quirky but hearty keyboard monster ... all can be pretty harmonized and matured together. That's a real entertainment of music, and you can understand to watch a videoclip produced by Stef, that notifies you kinda pleasure of a mixture of audio & visual. The most important thing upon this track should be every Corvus Stoner has quite enjoyed in playing / producing, and this fact can kick our b*** away into the hell. Hell yeah.

Another masterpiece, their titled track is a perfect drone psychedelia, that we have listened to in Pasi's albums. Sounds like Colin or Petri throw a massive battle with their strong "rock" elements and loud sound bullets, against Pasi's loose keyboard works and sounds ... what an interesting manner their composition and sound structure are. We can find a bunch of adventurous essence in their creation, that may sound like a crossover between pop and prog just when listening to this whole one. And one more, "Cinema" is their dramatic cinema-ish theatre over 10 minutes ... really a fantastic tragic show with their crying lemonade like owl's eyes.

Anyway, their album sleeve painted by Sonia MOTA is another killa. The booklet is her artistic "hearty heart", love it ... give one more star for her addictive red carpet.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to DamoXt7942 (BETA) | Report this review (#879222) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Like others have mentioned this is a difficult album to review. It's a sprawling 80 minute affair and as such it certainly has it's ups and downs. The only band member I am familiar with is Colin Tench the guitarist from BUN CHAKEZE, and this is for the most part an organ / guitar driven album. Great art work by the way including the pictures in the liner notes.

"The Curtain Rises" is a great song title for an opening number. It's a short instrumental with deep sounds along with synths and strummed guitar over top. "October Sad Song" reminds me of POPOL VUH for some reason until the guitar comes in soaring. I really like this track. Guitar and piano standout on this instrumental. Synths come and go as well. "Highway To Emptiness" is a bright and bouncy instrumental. The organ pulses as the drums and guitar help out. Not a big fan of this one. "Ice King" opens with atmosphere as reserved vocals join in along with spacey synths and more. It's okay. "I'll Leave It All Behind" is an uptempo instrumental as the organ and other sounds pulse away. Again an average piece in my opinion. "Corvus Stone" is an over 8 minute track that opens in a relaxed manner. The guitar cries out before a minute. A change after 1 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up. It settles back before 6 minutes. "Moron Season" is the best song since "October Sad Song" and it is a vocal song. Some emotion here for a change. It then kicks in with organ a minute in and faster paced vocals follow suit. A guitar reference to "Smoke On The Water" at one point as well.

"Horizon" is a short instrumental that shines. "Intermission" is even shorter at under a minute. It's an intro to "Moustaches In Massachusetts" I believe. The latter is a pretty good guitar driven instrumental with plenty of organ as well. I like it ! "Pilgrims" opens with relaxed guitar and organ. It kicks in before a minute as the drums pound away. A calm after 2 1/2 minutes but it does pick up again. "JussiPussi" is a fun and dynamic track. Crazy stuff. "Iron Pillows" is almost experimental to start then the guitar starts to lead and the organ joins in. More experimentation is mixed in as it plays out. "After Solstice" is another instrumental with the drums and guitar standing out this time. Organ after a minute.

"The Rusty Wolff Attack" named after the drummer who gives us a solo here. "Lost And Found" is a vocal track with drums, guitar and organ leading the way. Good song ! "Scary Movie" has sampled haunted voices as it were then the music turns heavy. Not for long but it will come and go. Lots of atmosphere on this one too. "Cinema" is the longest song at just under 11 minutes. Nice bass after 4 minutes as the music sort of twists and turns throughout this instrumental. I'm reminded of PORCUPINE TREE after 8 minutes and I love the guitar that joins in. "Your So Wrong" is a vocal track. Man this is good. "Ice King (Instrumental)" is just that while the album ends with the 30 second "Ten Inch Lisa".

Well this did get better after my first listen. I didn't even like it after that long first spin but after a week of playing this I feel I got to know it pretty good. Unfortunately the high peaks are few and far between for me but man I love those passages and songs. Still there's not enough here to offer up that fourth star. Good album though.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#886874) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 03, 2013

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is a sprawling album lasting just a shade short of 80 minutes by an international collective of very talented musicians. If you had to provide a word to best describe it, I think that ambitious would probably best fit the bill.

There really is a bit of everything in here, as other reviewers have noted correctly. From Purple influenced classic rock, to jazz, to blues, to pure symphonic prog, it can, in truth, be a very bumpy ride on the first couple of listens, and I have, therefore, taken quite a bit of time before sitting down at my keyboard to review this.

Let us, then, deal with the main positive feature which shines from this album, and that is the superb musicianship and production. The keyboards of Koivu, the guitars of Tench, and the bass and multi instruments of Lindstrom are, to a fault, exceptional, and I have also been deeply impressed by the complex drumming exhibited by Robert Wolff. In addition, a highlight of this is also the contribution on vocals made by Blake Carpenter, who released earlier this year the sublime The Minstrels Ghost, on which Tench contributed. I should also, by the way, make special mention of the excellent artwork on the cd by Sonia Mota.

This album is a labour of love, of that there is no doubt. There are passages which are simply sublime, with the ten minute Cinema being my personal favourite. This features some deeply moving and evocative guitar work, both electric and acoustic, with a very complex keyboard solo much in the mould of classic Wakeman from an era long ago.

So, there are many positives here. The negative, to me, is that it is perhaps just a little too ambitious in the way the band try to bring together so many different styles and influences into one long piece, so that it is, even after a number of listens, somewhat incoherent as an album. It certainly, to my mind, would have benefited from being a good ten to twenty minutes shorter, and is, certainly, not the sort of album you are going to play continuously on a regular basis, not unless, of course, you have far too much time on your hands. Rather, I feel I will find myself dipping in and out when I play this. For example, I have the beautiful You're So Wrong almost permanently on my iPad playlist, with its lovely vocals interplaying with a dreamy backdrop by the band.

So, to rating this. I, for one, will be interested to see how this project develops, because there is so much great promise herein, and, having communicated with some of the protagonists, can say they are as lovely a bunch of artists you could possibly hope to have.

I see this, therefore, as being a stepping stone to great things in the future, a marker laid down, if you will. It is, to these ears, a very good album, so three stars (3.5 if we had such a rating).

My thanks to Colin Tench for sending me the cd to review.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#888226) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 05, 2013

Review by Roland113
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars When looking at the top albums of the year on The Prog Archives, I noticed "Corvus Stone" as a common choice among my fellow collaborators. As it turns out, Corvus Stone was formed through the power of the internet and it's ability to bring people together. I was intrigued and found it on Spotify.

The CD starts out wonderfully with a worldly sound building the tension through a series of effects and noodling weaving a soundscape that had me eager and ready for more. I would love to say that the rest of the album lived up to initial soundscape.

Both Pasi Koivu's keyboards and Colin Tench's guitars sound fantastic and they get a lot of time to shine on the mostly instrumental CD. This is both a good and a bad thing. While they're both phenomenal musicians, they did not start the project with a drummer or vocalist. This makes the album sound mostly like a showpiece / jam album. The majority of songs are relatively simple chord progressions with extended jams over lack luster drum programming.

One of the highlights of the album gives an exciting picture of what is to come, "Ice King" features vocalist Blake Carpenter, a late addition to the band. Mr. Carpenter's voice is a wonderful fit to the spacey atmosphere that they create, again hearkening back to the ambient soundscape that led the album off. The addition of drummer, Robert Wolff, to the band, unfortunately came too late to save the album from the doldrums of the drum machine.

Another highlight is the production, for an album that was recorded all around the world, the production sounds amazing.

I truly look forward to their next release, the addition of vocals and live drums to the majority of the band will represent a huge leap forward. In addition, additional musicians should help add some diversity to the song writing process. Honestly, this is a good debut album and shows a huge promise of things to come.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Roland113 (BETA) | Report this review (#890268) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Certainly one of the more high profile albums of the year, the debut album from Corvus Stone is an extremely impressive mix of colourful instrumental workouts, charming vocal pieces and a multitude of styles all thrown in the progressive rock blender. Comprised of members from Minstrels Ghost, BunChakeze, and numerous other progressive projects, the album frequently displays the skills and imagination of a talented bunch of musicians over a sprawling 79 minute musical landscape with so many twists and turns that's it sure to leave some listeners exhausted! Plenty of vintage synths, epic guitar solos, hazy psychedelia, spacey adventures and a bridging of 70's prog excess with modern production qualities.

Focusing on the instrumental pieces first `The Curtain Rises' sounds like the introduction to a grand and sweeping proggy western movie, then `October Sad Song' floats through on a cloud of Rick Wright/`Dark Side'-styled synths/piano and extended bluesy electric guitar soloing - really lovely piece, I truly dig that bass soloing at about the 2:45 minute mark too! Crunchy stomping hard rock and quirky synth interplay on the driving and upbeat `Highway To Nowhere' that reminds me a lot of the recent Carpe Nota album - no bad thing that. Shame about the abrupt ending though, it could have just gone on and on! `I'll Leave It All Behind' is a frantic and energetic 70's Hammond/guitar run with some very positive themes and melodies.

`Horizon' is a sunny and commercial 70's sounding AOR rocker, while `Intermission/Moustaches' starts as an atmospheric acoustic piece before flying into wailing Santana-band guitar fire urgency. The terrific `Pilgrims' runs through a wide range of 70's vintage prog rock workouts along the lines of Genesis and ELP, and `Jussipussi' (ahem!) is a comical maddening psychedelic showtune/cartoon soundtrack that highlights the band's sense of humour. `After Solstice' is a grand and melodic romantic prog run in true Camel style, `Rusty Wolf Attack' a nicely placed drum solo, `Scary Movie' a wild heavy grinder with some sleazy strutting and brooding atmospherics. `The Ice King (instrumental)' has lovely floating eeriness, while the albums wraps on a lovely but brief Spanish guitar number.

As for the vocal pieces, `The Ice King' is an immersive and mysterious synth/guitar piece along the lines of Ayreon, and I loved the reflective intro to `Moron Season' with charmingly accented vocals, before it diverts into a quirky and ragged fuzzy rocker - reminds me a little of Scandinavian band Five Fifteen! `Lost and Found' is a haunting romantic prog piece in the tradition of the Alan Parsons Project that could have been developed even further, such is a quality of the vocals and melody. `You're So Wrong' reminds me a lot of Floyd's hazy `Fat Old Sun' with the gentle acoustic guitar, piano and warm humming synths. I'm not sure which member sings what, but the vocals are all superb in each of these tracks. Plenty of prog albums have been crippled by inadequate vocals, so that's certainly not the case here.

Special mention must go to the band's self titled track, `Corvus Stone'. They slow things down for a drifting and ambient intro with warm synth backgrounds before raccous ELP organ, swirling electronics and middle eastern-themed electric guitars that weave around the piece. Many parts of it are probably a better example of Ozric Tentacles inspired music than that actual band has managed in recent years (as much as I still love them). Lovely piano and violin during the somber change of direction in the finale. Other extended instrumental workouts like the shifting tempos and swirling electronics of `Iron Pillows', and the ambitious soundtrack-like `Cinema' with it's sprightly acoustic runs, shimmering synths and Old West ambience are also worthy of particular praise.

OK, so it's far too long, and the endless changes in direction and styles can be a little jarring and disorientating, but I'm pretty quick to defend this due to the sheer variety and musical talent of the band members. I should mention that although containing too many tracks, not one of these pieces is actually bad! I personally would have preferred it be entirely instrumental rather than having the odd vocal piece that comes comes out of nowhere thrown in, perhaps it might have been better released as two separate albums, one for vocal pieces and one fully instrumental? I love drifting away on a musical instrumental journey, but don't like that abruptly halted by some sudden misplaced vocals/lyrics.

But the reason I enjoy the album so much is that most of it is simply just FUN! There's a real sense of joy in the playing, and plenty of little humorous fragments worked into the arrangements. This is an album that I've constantly kept in the car and, if I'm feeling a little uninspired or flat, listening to it makes me smile and really raises my spirits! The vibrant and colourful cover artwork from Sonia Mota could not be more eye-catching, and it perfectly captures the colours of the music. Double gatefold this baby on vinyl LP now, Corvus fellas!

2012 turned out to be a another fine year for progressive rock, and this album was certainly one of the more attention grabbing releases. It sets the bar high for a debut album (the beautiful production really gives it a kick too), and it shows a band with so much potential and talent that should be very proud of what they've achieved here. So perhaps a little more cohesion and not so much quantity, and we'll be on to even more of a winner. As it is, though, `Corvus Stone' stands as a supremely enjoyable and inventive release, and makes the band one to watch for the future.

An easy four stars!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Aussie-Byrd-Brother (BETA) | Report this review (#891740) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The buzz.

If one record made noise and rose a debate, it's that one. Some liked it a lot, some didn't understood what it was about. Thanks to Facebook, this trio collected material and served to us an all-you-can-eat buffet of varied taste. Is it coherent?

No. Not really. But that's what makes it enticing! The styles are varied, going from Joe Satriani / Steve Vai to the Flower Kings, to ELP to themes of video games (like Final Fantasy IV); at least to me it sounded like that! Some songs would need more tweaking or could be more catchy, but so did Balletto di Bronzo right? You don't need an immediate opinion on everything, sometimes you have to take your time. And some records like Balletto di Bronzo are gems to some and trials to others.

I didn't heard such a flea market of sounds ever, but it's the whole point of a virtual band. The spontaneity, the unpredictable twists and turns, the lovable short melodies in almost every song and yes, the annoying ones (JussiPussi).

It's a record to savor at small sips, track by track. 3 differents guys from 3 different countries who don't know each other, who won't cooperate face to face, we understand it could've been a disaster, but against all odds, it gelled!

Weird and haunting. A test.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#893227) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 13, 2013

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Let's start with what somebody consider to be a defect of this album: it's various. It has a song format, no concept and the sequence of the various tracks seems quite randomic. I don't think it's a thing bad enough to make my rating decrease.

The first thing that I've noticed is the sound of the second and the third track. With the headphones on and with a volume high enough they acquire a "live" sound. Listening to them makes me think to what we were used to call happenings at the end of the 60s, and effectively I hear a link to the Californian psychedelia.

But with the 4th track, "Ice King", everything suddenly changes. There's still some psychedelia but the atmosphere is totally different. The middle-eastern mood reminds to the early Floyd (and to Rick Wright) as well as to the Camel of Mirage.

Back on stage with the excellent "I'll Leave It Behind". A track that I think would work very well live, based mainly on keyboards with excellent efforts of guitar, bass and drums. It's an instrumental which I find very close to Niacin, and this is an indicator of how skilled the band members are.

The title track has a Gilmourish start, but the keyboards sound like Wright or Vangelis are behind. This is probably the proggiest track of the album and another which I can imagine played on stage, even when in the second part it slows down and becomes quite ambient.

"Moron Season" is, if I'm not wrong, the first track with lyrics. A very nice melodic song, initially, which after one minute becomes something totally different, with the instrumental part reminding me to Niacin or to Ozric Tentacles and the singing in heavy prog style. Nice idea the few famous chord from Smoke on the Water in the final.

"Horizon" sounds very west coast for less than two minutes and is followed by a short interlude of acoustic guitar, then it comes a funky track in Santana style, just to become floydian again with the following track, but with a touch of acid blues in the intro. Then a rock canon comes in. "Pilgrims" has so many changes that can be considered a minisuite.

"JussiPussi" was maybe an attempt of avantgarde track in the composer's intention but results to be the weakest track of the album. Weak but not awful.

"Iron Pillows" begins in a similar way but it turns soon into a psych-blues. Really not bad for who likes psychedelia. "After Solstice" is not very different (impressive guitar, anyway).

Speaking of live sound, the stage is where a drum solo results more appropriate. Especially if followed by two minutes of symphonic prog of Crimsonian (Lake) memory. What follows is dark and reminds me to something I can't define. The guitar rocks but the base is undefinable. An interesting track which has maybe a little Hendrixian taste.

After "Scary Movie", "Cinema" is appropriate. The longest album's track has a country-rock flavor but can make me think to Procol Harum, too. A very good old-fashioned ballad.

To close the album another version of The Ice King is completed by a short coda: Ten Inch Lisa, which is made of 30 lovely seconds of classical and 12 strings guitar.

This sudden closure contributes in making me think that the track sequence could have been better. However this album contains a lot of good things and its being so disontinuous and various can be a plus instead of a handicap. Grab your copy and enjoy it.

Headphones on, please.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#893512) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 14, 2013

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars I will admit that I understand why some here are not impressed with this album. Many of the tracks sound more like rough outlines for jamming than actual finished compositions. But the jamming is outstanding. Colin Tench is a chameleon of the guitar. He glides easily through any stile, from southern rock, psychedelic whirls, light avant-garde, and even some full fledged prog. Pasi Koivu plays some mean keyboard. When he hits the Hammond he recreates the classic 60's and 70's sound and updates it with ferocious licks. And bassist Petri Lemmy Lindstr÷m is a joy to this bassman's ears.

Compositionally the band is all over the map, which to me is not at all a bad thing. Koivu is responsible for the majority of the pieces, and seems comfortable working in a number of styles. Highway To Emptiness and Moron Season strongly remind me of Phil Manzanera's 801. October Sad Song and You're So Wrong bring Traffic to mind. The self titled Corvus Stone begins like an homage to Frank Zappa's Black Napkins, but evolves into a unZappa-like electro space jam.

The best tracks, to me, are the more experimental pieces. On Pilgrims, Tench has a sound similar to David Torn, which is appropriate as the piece leads into JussiPussi, which in a slight way sounds like something John Zorn (with whom Torn sometimes plays) might have written. The progginess peaks with a suite of tracks that begins with an unnecessary drum solo (TheRusty Wolff Attack) that moves into a Floydian piece (Lost And Found, where Koivu's synths imitate Richard Wright at his best), and then into Scary Movie, which at times seems to be quoting King Crimson's Deception Of The Thrush (as well as a brief passage from Fleetwod Mac/Peter Green's Oh Yeah) and the wonderful Cinema.

So don't take the appearance of simplicity of the album as a flaw. The musicians are so good here that they raise the album to near masterpiece levels. I highly recommend it for the soundtrack of a long drive (that's how I learned to appreciate it).

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#894132) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review by lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Corvus Stone, a musical concept that stems from the meeting of three talented musicians in three different countries. The current musical project is very hard to review due to its length (1h20 mn !) and its variety of musical genres (southern rock, pop, jazz-funk, psychedelic pop, ethnic music, ambient...). The following review will be performed on a track by track basis. The album starts off in a middle-eastern mood with zither, acoustic guitar and percussions. It follows with two upbeat tracks with echoes of southern rock and very fine melodies thanks to tasty piano and keyboards. "Ice King" is a laidback tune with nice theremin layers. It is here performed with vocals, but is repeated in an instrumental version towards the end of the album. Next track is more surprising, "moron season" is indeed in a jazz-funk tone, excellent B3 hammond playing and you really have the impression that you are back in the golden era of Blaxploitation. The title track is intriguing with vintage keyboards hailing to the electronic experimentations of Czeslaw Niemen in the mid-seventies with Aerolit, some meditative guitars conclude the track. Next is a track that starts off like a mellow tune with distant vocals, but soon evolves towards another jazz-funk tune with more daring vocals alternating between right and left side of speakers. B3 Hammond on fire with southern rock style guitar in this track ! Also, one will notice a wink to Deep Purple with a short solo from "smoke on the water". "Horizon" is a cheerful track with various keyboard sounds, among which one like vibraphone played on bells. Once more, southern rock is not far in the guitar solos. An acoustic guitar interlude follows with "intermission", and is soon followed by a psychedelic-pop tune with a play on words in the title. Keyboard/guitar interplay provides this time again great results. "Pilgrims" has a laidback ambient introduction and develops into a dynamic instrumental piece full of great moments showcasing B3 Hammond virtuosity and southern rock riffings. "Jussi Pussi" is an experimental track, avant-garde rock interspersed with circus music. It could be regarded as a transition between the first part of the album and the second part. This second part begins with my favourite track on this otherwise fabulous album, "Iron pillows", very lush arrangements, aerial guitar and once more very tasty keyboards / organ. A real delight for the ears and a good lesson of instrumental progressive rock. "After solstice" has its main theme sounding like a progressive rock version of Shadows, Colin Tench in the shoes of Hank Marvin ! It is followed by a drum solo (Wolff is the name of the drummer, hence the title of the track), highlighting the skills of the drummer, akin to the ones of Marco Minnemann or Simon Phillips ! This drumming is a good introduction to the next track, with its bolero "colors". Afterwards, "Scary movie", as suggested by its title, has a more haunting and intriguing atmosphere. A wink to Led Zeppelin can be witnessed in a short solo from a song that I unfortunately don't recall the title. "Cinema" is the next track, a long song, following in the same line as "scary movie" when it comes to the haunting atmosphere, thanks to the harpsichord-like introduction. The, soon the musicians wander in gypsy jazz and ambient-jazz-world territories. A touch of southern rock can be heard in electric guitar solos and warm kayboard layers arrive towards the end of the tune together with Vai-esque guitar solos. "You're so wrong" is a nice pop tune with Randy Newman-like vocals, and guitar by Black Widows guitarist ! The instrumental version of previously mentioned "Ice King" follows and the album is concluded in an acoustic mood with "10 inch Lisa". The guitar is versatile all along the album, with influences ranging from southern rock to Frank Zappa and alumni Steve Vai through Steve Morse and David Gilmour for the aerial solos. This album is also a must-have for any keyboard lover, as the range of sounds is very wide. Virtuosity is combined with melody and makes for a very enjoyable album, you even crave for more after 80 mn ! A few words about the artwork, as Sonia Mota, the lovely person who created the front cover and the inner images, is part of the band. The front cover with the crow holding a camembert in its beak and the predominance of red and black colors may have a link with french literature (respectively La Fontaine and Stendhal). Also, similarly to Iron Maiden's 'somewhere in time', some song titles are associated with the artwork (the signs with titles 3, 4, 8, 10, 11 / the cinema theater with titles 17 & 18). However, there seems to be a contrast between the overall dark cover (a crow, a celtic cross, the ruins of a church, dusk) and the music (you could expect a stoner/doom band). The signs on the pole pointing towards various directions and the contrast between the modern cinema theater and the ruins are a good illustration of the band's versatility. In a nutshell, a very good discovery, that I owe to the illustrator of the pictures, the talented Sonia Mota, who deserved to be thanked 5 times (!) in the liner notes. An album that easily deserves 5 stars. Open-minded people will find a lot to appreciate in this music played with heart. The musicians played what they like, and we like what they play.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to lucas (BETA) | Report this review (#905216) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 02, 2013

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Once again we have a proof that music has not a particular nationality, it is a worldwide element that gathers us together and makes us fly and feel better. A new result of this premise is the band named Corvus Stone, led by Colin Tench, and complemented by some other great musicians from different parts of the world, who created and released in 2012 a self-titled album in which we can appreciate a carousel of sounds, musical genres and concepts. The album has 21 songs and a total time of 80 minutes (yes, a long one).

"The Curtain Rises" is the classic one-minute introductory track, an instrumental one that opens the gates to the musical realm of Corvus Stone. "October Sad Song" shows Tench's abilities with guitars, both acoustic first and later electric, while keyboards and drums make their work as a cool complement. The music is a strange mixture of prog rock with some soft blues hints, it is easy to dig and enjoy. "Highway to emptiness" is a shorter track which again shows the guitar tendency and a cool rhythm that will make you move your head.

The first song that features vocals is "Ice King" which has a different sound, here they implement some kind of scary sound, like a horror movie passage that at the same time brings some hope and future, hope you get me. "I'll leave it all behind" shows the other side of the face, here keyboards take the leadership and the mood becomes happy and joyful, in some way reminds me of Medeski, Martin & Wood. Here I have to say something, the album does not follow a line, it constantly changes so in moments one may perceive it is uneven.

This feeling happened to me in these last two songs that have nothing in common. "Corvus Stone" is one of the longest tracks, it is a rollercoaster of sounds, a salad of textures and nuances. Here I have to confess that in moments the music is lost in space, there are moments where my attention is lost as well because it did not catch me as I would love to, the first three minutes pass so fast and seems that nothing happened, later they begin to play with the sounds, to make pauses and let us know their coordination, but I must say that I expected more from this particular title-track, though I like the last minutes with piano, guitar and a somber sound, it is not that memorable.

"Moron Season" is a nice song, vocals return and the joyful sound appears again with keyboards as leader, with cool bass lines and drums, the humor element is present here, and they even make a brief tribute to Deep Purple here. "Horizon" is a short instrumental track that offers a new passage of rock, blues and prog. The "Intermission" is a 40-second acoustic guitar track, nothing more. And then all of a sudden "Moustaches in Massachusetts" begins, here I am not sure if the production wasn't the best, but when the Intermission begins we can hear a cut and later Moustaches starts. Returning to the song, it is again an instrumental track where keyboards and guitars share leadership, both create cool passages while drums and bass accompany them.

In "Pilgrims" we can appreciate that Corvus Stone likes to be different in every single track, they do not repeat themselves which is a good point, however, there are moments where changes sound forced, in this song we can listen to several forced changes in my opinion, though it is a good track overall. The humor returns with "JussiPussi", it is undeniable they wanted to include the humor in their music, so one can easily enjoy it, I assume. "Iron Pillows" is another carousel of prog rock, with nice colours implemented by keyboards. "After Solstice" is one of my favorite tracks here, I love the cadence of the guitar, it is put in the right moment in the right place, also, keyboards are the best couple here, while drums and bass produce a great complement.

"The Rusty Wolff Attacks" is a drum solo, cool. And it opens the gates to "Lost and Found" which has some kind of funeral drums, accompanied by keys as background and then soft vocals and acoustic guitar, this is another fine composition. "Scary Movie" has some hints of what the title suggest, it is actually one of the most fresh and original tracks of this album, I love the constant drums, the background keys and the raw guitars that appear all of a sudden.

The longest song is "Cinema", the only one that passes the ten-minute mark. Contrary to the other long song, this one does have a nice structure, an appealing sound that catches the listener's attention, I like how it is involving me little by little until I am practically inside the music, with images transmitted in my mind. The bass lines are a great guide. The passage that begins after the fifth minute is beautiful, relaxing, mindblowing, with excellent instrumentation and a delicious sound in general, this might be my favorite passage of the whole album, with exquisite acoustic guitar and a great keyboard background.

The last part of the album is composed by three short songs. First "You're so Wrong" which is a soft rock track, with nice vocals that remind me of some US rock/blues bands from the 70s. Next is an instrumental version of "Ice King", which sounds nice. And the album finishes with "Ten Inch Lisa" which is just a 30-second track of nice acoustic guitar.

Well, I liked this Corvus Stone album, the project is ambitious and with a bright future, but I would like to make a couple of suggestions, the first, that the album is really long, so there are moments where I felt tired and lost interest, and second, those forced changes and uneven passages, it is my appreciation of course, but I feel these two thing damaged a little bit my experience, this is why I will rate the album with 3 stars.

Enjoy it! Thanks Colin for the introduction, congrats for the album, it is a very good one.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#928091) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review by richardh
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I've had this rather nice album for a while now but perhaps held off reviewing it until the music had settled in my mind. Although classed as 'crossover' in general terms this is eclectic instrumental music played by a very talented bunch of musicians. The core line up is: - Pasi Koivu / keyboards - Colin Tench / guitars - Petri Lemmy Lindstr'm / bass, various instruments although 4 others also help out in various other departments.

In total there are 21 tracks and the 79 minutes is 'beefy' even by modern standards. You might reasonably expect some filler but to my ears there is none. Although mostly instrrumental there aren't any tracks that are filled with aimless soloing. There is a vision here and every single peice is a proper composition not something that has just been chucked out. You get a feeling of evolution throughout the album but also its a journey with many sights to take in along the way. Lots of influences are apparent but nothing sticks out a mile. Its pleasantly jazzy at times but the synths help to create atmosphere where necessary.The playing is snappy and energetic and most of all a sense of fun pervades the whole project.

A lot of people have remarked that this lacks a coherence and I can understand that view but debut albums are about discovery not about laying down a definite agenda. Perhaps not a masterpeice but this album is as enjoyable as anything I have heard in the last few years and there is probably more to come. A slam dunk 4 stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#934564) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
3 stars My understanding is that this band came about when the three main musicians, Colin Tench (guitars), Petri Lemmy Lindstr÷m (bass) and Pasi Koivu (keys) found each other through Facebook, and they recorded most of the album before some other members came into the fold, which is one of the reasons why it is mostly instrumental. Before I started writing this review I thought that I would have a perusal of what others have been saying about it on PA. I don't normally look until afterwards as I don't want to be influenced by others, but I was intrigued to understand just how much of a minority I was going to be in. And yep, there are a lot of people who really like this and it is currently #33 in the Top 2012 charts. But, there are also quite a few people who feel the same as me, which is that it is perhaps a little too disjointed and fractured at times for its' own good. I have no idea how the songs were written, but we can go from crossover prog to something that is far more intricate and Zappa-like to sometimes go through fusion and into RIO, which definitely can make it confusing for the listener.

There is no doubt that the three of them are wonderful musicians, with Petri providing some incredible fretless bass lines, Pasi having a wonderfully delicate touch, and Colin being an amazing guitarist, no matter what style they are working on, but it doesn't always work. At one point I was reminded of the story Rick Wakeman told of him telling every member of his band that they were going to start with a different song the next night, so when they all started playing it wasn't exactly what was expected. Each of them was a professional but none of them were working together and that was the feeling I had here, but on only some of the songs, and that is why I found this an incredibly frustrating album to listen to.

It is very long for a single CD, a fraction under 80 minutes, and there are times when this is nothing short of sheer genius, but there are others when the listener just shakes his head and asks what one earth is going on. I have to confess that I smiled when I heard the snippet of "Smoke On The Water: inside "Moron Season", and again when "Oh Well" turned up inside "Scary Movie", and the latter is one of the standout songs on the album for me as it could easily have come from the masters of horror prog themselves, the mighty Goblin. The more I played this album the more I liked it, but consequently also the more I felt that there were some things wrong with it. I mean, a drum solo on a studio album in 2012? Come on, we weren't that fond of them in the Seventies (unless you were John Henry Bonham of course).

I had a long hard think about the grading I gave to this album, as there are many times when it is at least 4*, and others when I can only give it 2* at best, so 3* is probably fair. But, if I put this onto my ipod and only played the songs I liked then it would be 4/5. So, this is one when it really does pay to listen to it before purchase so give it some plays on Bandcamp and then either download or pick up the CD that contains a 16 page booklet.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#1086553) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 07, 2013

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
3 stars This multi-national group came together almost by accident, starting from a chance meetings on Facebook. The music is written by the Finnish keyboardist Pasi Koivu, who is on PA also as a solo artist. The British guitarist Colin Tench is known from Ocean 5 (among others), and like the album of that group - or project - , also this one has the nice cover art by Sonia Mota. Very barbeque-flavoured cover, but the music has many spices as well. It's mostly instrumental, adventurous, playful and joyful, sometimes like jazzy rock'n'roll; musicians are audibly enjoying themselves. 21 tracks is a lot, and it comes as no surprise that not all of them are very thoroughly thought. The nature of the compositions is sometimes close to a happy jam session. Here and there it's flirting eclectically with various music genres from country rock to avant-garde, etc, without ever getting very difficult listening.

'Ice King' is an atmospheric vocal song, sung gloomily by Blake Carpenter. 'Corvus Stone' is a long intrumental and among the highlights with a progressive tendency and beautiful, melodic playing. And so is 'Cinema' (10:50). 'Moron Season' is another vocal song, starting like a tender Camel ballad but soon turning into a fast and tight track. The riff from 'Smoke on the Water' appears for a moment, and the album has several such little surprises. It's up to the listener how valuable they are.

'Pilgrims' is a slow track... no, it isn't. Hmm, this sums up the major problem with this album. It is too full of everything, restless to build on various moods without a hurry. There's not much of cohesion, like several reviewers before me have already pointed out. In the end, I can't exactly say how much I'm impressed. Halfway the album I'm actually losing my concentration. The playing and production are both excellent and there are myriads of fine musical ideas, but sadly they mostly result as very short and artistically a bit pointless and half-baked tracks. Surely some further self-criticism and thinking of the album continuity would have improved it. More of Corvus Stone music is already being made (they felt that the CD maximum length of 80 minutes is way too little), and I'm looking forward to hear it. Hopefully they have a little more patience to really work things out next time.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#1111660) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 10, 2014

Review by Angelo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars It took a while...

...before I got around to writing a review for this album. A bit over 14 months ago, I got a copy through valued ProgArchives member Kati, who did the art work for the album. Across these 14 months, I've played the album a number of times - at home, in my car, even at night in a tent in Slovenia. Every time, I heard something new, in this interesting melting pot of music. Some folk like things, some Marillion, Pink Floyd, but also the occasional 1970's Deep Purple or Free riff.

Wonderful, but at the same time requiring you to really listen in order to be able to enjoy it - there is so much going on, and not everything is as easy to grasp casually. The album is a so varied that it gets hard to describe everything - so I'll refrain from that. Instead, let me point out that the musicians who joined project leader Colin Tench on this album are amongst the best on their respective instruments, that the compositions are truly prog worthy and I only `realised on the third spin that the album was not fully instrumental.

All in all, a prog journey worth taking, best experienced on a warm summer night, in front of a tent in Slovenia.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Angelo (BETA) | Report this review (#1138938) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Latest members reviews

5 stars Hands down one of the best albums I have heard in years. Instant love tracks for me were Moustaches in Massachussetts, Scary Movie, Lost and found and Corvus Stone. After having this for months now, I realised that the apparent easy listening tracks are actually brilliant. Many progressive albums ... (read more)

Report this review (#1191912) | Posted by Lute | Friday, June 13, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The best is yet to come, I hope. Corvus Stone first, 2012, release "Corvus Stone", has a lot of good things going for it and the "normal" ones against. Good things like extraordinary and disciplined performances, against self-indulgence (a drum solo, really?). Good "rooted influences", that are ... (read more)

Report this review (#1089464) | Posted by admireArt | Friday, December 13, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars CORVUS STONE The Curtain Rises on a bright opening to a recording takes you into a bazaar in another country, uplifting instrumental that only lasts 1 minute 33 seconds but lets you know that you have started listening to Corvus Stone. OCTOBER SAD SONG a wonderful instrumental track that is fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1084156) | Posted by Tony Cragg | Sunday, December 01, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Found a short version of Cinema on the new progstravaganza album and was reminded to buy the album at last. I already saw the Purple Stone video, tho that is not one of the tracks on here. This album is just stunning! It bears no relationship to most of what is released os progressive these days. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1019364) | Posted by Silenceoffer | Thursday, August 15, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I heard the ice King and was amazed. I Never heard of this band before I heard that on youtube and now I wonder if there is any limit to what music there is nowadays. Frost, Comedy of errors, Kotobel. All new to me. The great thing with all of these and more, is that there is always something th ... (read more)

Report this review (#965783) | Posted by Scottyboy | Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 'Corvus Stone'. Wow. What a difficult album to review. Not only because of its sheer length (1 hour and 20 minutes), but because it can't really be labeled in any genre. Is it prog? Yes. Is it jazz? Yes. Pop? Check. Rock? Check. Blues? Also check. While there isn't really a sense of co ... (read more)

Report this review (#936771) | Posted by AndresGuazzelli | Friday, March 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Only now and then does a new CD live up to expectations. You get the pre-release hype and a few teasers that build you up for the big letdown. However, I had high hopes when I got my Corvus Stone in the mail. Having already heard a couple of the tunes and being familiar with other work of the m ... (read more)

Report this review (#911435) | Posted by Roland W. Craig | Friday, February 08, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have had the download of this album for some time and now have the actual CD. I can't believe that this is a debut of anyone. I see that the members are involved in many other bands at the same time but nobody well known. I have been worn out reading reviews and so will just say what is importan ... (read more)

Report this review (#893716) | Posted by Debateabill | Monday, January 14, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars First of all what is up with the number of tracks. I don't understand why these guys don't take the time to make a few well developed songs out of the fragments recorded on this release. There is good stuff here and it seems to me that if they took the time to pull this stuff into a couple of r ... (read more)

Report this review (#890906) | Posted by TechnicallySpeaking | Thursday, January 10, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Eclectic? Yes, Vibrant? Yes, Mainstream? No. There are more musical ideas and styles on here than some bands manage in their whole career. A dizzying ride through elements of Canterbury scene, Krautrock, Psych and garage, jazz and rock. A mixture which may leave some listeners confused and di ... (read more)

Report this review (#879366) | Posted by ninestonesclose | Thursday, December 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars First I say that this album is not like others that I buy in many years. I read the reviews here and find it interesting. I like many kinds music and very much to mix them. Can a record have too many styles? For some who review this, yes. For me, I hear not too many styles but very much movement ... (read more)

Report this review (#876689) | Posted by Berliner | Sunday, December 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album surpised me. It has 2 of the same members as Minstrel's Ghost has. The album is out at the same time. That has got to be rare? It should at least sound very much the same. It couldn't sound more different! This one has almost 1000 tracks on it and is so full of variation, it's untr ... (read more)

Report this review (#871603) | Posted by Tatiana Ferreira | Tuesday, December 04, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Corvus Stone - which features members of BunChakeze, Progeland and Raven, have released their debut self-titled album. One song from the album was recently featured on a charity album dedicated to relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Although the actual band Corvus Stone is a re ... (read more)

Report this review (#869998) | Posted by cyberfloat | Sunday, December 02, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars How to start with a review of Corvus Stone? I really wanted to write one, but this is not a cd which you can describe in two words. I also won't review each song individually, as there are 21 on the cd. The title of their CD is called after their band name: Corvus Stone. If you look at the artwor ... (read more)

Report this review (#866787) | Posted by Yolanda | Monday, November 26, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Bluesy prog rock from an international conglomeration of talented instrumentalists that often displays individual skills more than group coompositional skill. There are, however, enough polished, complicated songs to warrant consideration of high marks, but not quite enough for me. This is a collect ... (read more)

Report this review (#863985) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Tuesday, November 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I heard a little of this on aural moon radio and thought I was hearing a blast from the past. I listen to all types of music but my real love is for progressive "rock". The probelm these days is not the lack of new music in that genre, it is the narrow field that each album seems to abide in. Deep P ... (read more)

Report this review (#860325) | Posted by Frippnut | Friday, November 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For all of you are unfamiliar with me.... I am NOT a professional reviewer of music. Just a humble musician and fan. It would also be unfair to the readers here if I didn't point out that I am very fond of many of the people involved in this project. Disclaimers aside. If you haven't had ... (read more)

Report this review (#853536) | Posted by Scott Brownstone | Thursday, November 08, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Now I am not any type of writer music engineer type or anything remotely close. I am on the other hand a fan. I will do my best to make my opinion heard and let others pick apart my review or "like" it..?So with that lets begin with Corvus Stone debut release . Colin Tench,Petri Lindstr÷m an ... (read more)

Report this review (#853086) | Posted by progrocks2112 | Wednesday, November 07, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Corvus Stone's self titled Album Corvus Stone I am writing this review as a music enthusiast, one who particularly enjoys and tends to focus on great instrumentals, mostly progressive music from the magic 70's to date; therefore I wish to share with you the listening experience this album has bro ... (read more)

Report this review (#849799) | Posted by Kati | Saturday, November 03, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I purchased this album after hearing a couple of tracks on internet radio. I must also admit that I know some of the people involved in making this album but I will attempt to be as honest as I can with this review. The first thing to say is that it's a long album. Not a double CD album but as lo ... (read more)

Report this review (#849796) | Posted by FatOldSun | Saturday, November 03, 2012 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of CORVUS STONE "Corvus Stone"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.70 seconds