Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Oblivion Sun

Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Oblivion Sun The High Places album cover
3.69 | 64 ratings | 3 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Deckard (6.35)
2. March Of The Mushroom Men (3.38)
3. Everything (2.39)
4. Dead Sea Squirrels (6.35)
5. The High Places
- a. My Eyes (6:10)
- b. Awakening (1:59)
- c. Flowers (2:31)
- d. The Rules (5:40)
- e. The Cage (3:53)
- f. Our Eyes (2:07)

Total time: 41:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Stanley Whitaker / vocals, guitars
- Frank Wyatt / keyboards, saxophones
- David Hughes / bass guitar
- Bill B. Brasso / drums

Releases information

Released by Prophase Music on January 29 2013.

Thanks to Ursa Minor for the addition
and to rivertree for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy OBLIVION SUN The High Places Music

More places to buy OBLIVION SUN music online

OBLIVION SUN The High Places ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

OBLIVION SUN The High Places reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Oblivion Sun (aka Happy the Man Mk II) has a new album out called The High Places, an innuendo laced title that recalls the Crafty Hands moniker from HtM! Yeah, the music is certainly in the exploratory mode pioneered by these American stalwarts, led by the intricate guitar playing of Stanley Whitaker, a rather original player both in style and tone as well as his HtM cohort, the industrious keyboard/saxman Frank Wyatt. The duo is aided in their quest by bass David Hughes and drummer Bill Brasso.

Whitaker's style always seemed to me at least a rather furtive combination of Holdsworth and Latimer, a soloist capable of sonic extravagances as well as gorgeous lyrical lines, chock full of emotion. This is ideally expressed by the first two pieces, the colorfully obtuse 'Deckard' and the majestic 'March of the Mushrooms'. Both are highly musical and very entertaining. But they like to mix it up a tad by including a brief vocal ballad 'Everything' (not my cup of tea) and then a highlight heavier tune full of playful fury , comically entitled 'Dead Sea Squirrels' that just is so totally pleasing, a space-rock extravaganza with a harsh drum beat, buzzing guitars and slithering synth doodles. Imagine Hawkwind meets Return to Forever! Yeah, very fun as well as funny! I love this tune!

But the centerpiece is without question the 22 minute 'The High Places' suite , a 6 part opus of deranged and yet inspired progressive rock that has all the aromas, scents and flavors one can hope for. There is so much going on within various themes, starting off with alternating vocals, piano renderings, in an almost Canterbury-esque expanse of the stupendous part one 'My Eyes'. This is what we mean by progressive, a veteran band of musicians taking basic rock structures, infusing it with jazz colorations, some bluesy flutters, a severe dose of delirium (wah-wah guitar pedal to the forefront) and some breezy vocalizings.

The short 'Awakening' keeps this rolling along, Whitaker's axe in the forefront, oozing and aaahing along unperturbed. 'Flowers' is another mini-interlude, keeping the pace alive and well. This time, it's the piano leading the charge with bass and drums in tow, the intensity level slowly growing in stature and expanse. Wyatt explodes with a super synth solo, full of lush deviance. Boom, Heaven is here! 'The Rules' is another 'high place' (sic) on this album, a seductive and smoky vocal that weaves superbly within a suave melody that captivates the attention and inspires some intense dreaming. Very pleasant indeed. It fades immediately into its companion piece, 'The Cage' that is simply the breakout explosion from the previous piece, complete with a sensational guitar solo, more erudite singing and forward propulsion. The finale ends with enthused piano playing that defies the norm. These 2 tracks are superb and absolutely first class! The 2 minute 'Our Eyes' qualifies as the explosive 'adieu', a brooding coalescence of sound and purity and offering some more exasperated vocals within a symphonic realm.

All in all a satisfying release that is a very pleasant listen, nowhere near the craziness and sonic brilliance of fellow Yanks and way more experimental Herd of Instinct, perhaps due to the heavy influence of the vocals that are good and certainly heartfelt but stylistically weak. I think I still prefer their debut album, which took me a while to warm to (I slipped into the car stereo for a week). It's also a short work clocking in at a hair over 40 minutes, a trait I generally dislike severely. Perhaps a little more structure and a tad more experimentation could have vaulted this sophomore package into a higher place (sic) . Worthy of hunting down but not a vital inclusion in one's discography unless you are a Whitaker fan boy''.

3.5 acmes

Review by Second Life Syndrome
5 stars I was pleasantly surprised by this gem of a band. They will be playing on the Bring the Prog Back tour with Sound of Contact, and it's clear as to why. The band seems to have their own sound, although I can detect Camel and Pink Floyd in there. This combo seems to be a foundation upon which they then add some humor, strong song writing, and gorgeous melodies.

At first, I thought it might be an instrumental album. The first two tracks have no lyrics at all, but when "Everything" begins to play, we are treated to an outstanding singer whom has a golden voice and smooth delivery. I think I may have gasped. It is true, though, that the majority of this album is instrumental. The final song, a six track piece, features the singer dispersed throughout, but the band seems most comfortable when reverting to an instrumental style that features strong personality and a maturity beyond the band's years.

I mentioned earlier that the band has chops when writing songs. I say this because the band seems to be able to handle instrumental tracks just as well as the catchy lyric-driven tracks. They have talent here, and also a playfulness that reminds the listener that the band doesn't take itself too seriously. With that said, the band does present a serious theme here, regardless of the track titles. The albums seems to discuss man's high places that are respected above all else, though they are really cages and blinders to seeing the beauty and wonder all around us. I find this topic relevant both socially and personally, so I appreciated it quite a bit. I'm excited to see what this band can cook up in the future. They have a mature style and a thoughtful approach that is balanced by a slightly goofy attitude that I admire. This album itself is a solid 4 stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Oblivion Sun is an American band from Maryland which has been being since 2006 and done two studio records and "The High Places" is the second of those featuring Stanley Whitaker(vocals, guitars), Frank Wyatt(keyboards and saxophones), David Hughes(bass) and Bill B Brasso(drums). Like many ... (read more)

Report this review (#1064942) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of OBLIVION SUN "The High Places"

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


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).

Forum user
Forum password

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

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.