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Seconds Before Landing

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Seconds Before Landing The Great Deception album cover
3.56 | 34 ratings | 4 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. What Could It Be? (2:24)
2. "Welcome, To The Future" (5:55)
3. Solitary Man (6:17)
4. Instructions (4:18)
5. Alice Springs (4:14)
6. Innocent (6:02)
7. They're All Around You (5:23)
8. I'm All Alone (4:58)
9. Elmendorf (6:15)
10. Down On Me (6:13)
11. Right Before Your Eyes (4:51)
12. My Time To Go (5:18)
13. Mikey Get Your Accordion (5:32)
14. Message In A Field (0:40)

Total time 68:20

Line-up / Musicians

- John Crispino / drums, percussion, vocals, keyboards, effects
- Trey Gunn / Warr guitar
- Tim Bogert / bass
- Maurice Witkowski / guitars, Ebow
- Steve Schuffert / guitars
- J.D. Garrison / bass
- Guy Bar Tor / bass
- Asaf Rodeh / guitars
- Kati O'Toole / vocals
- Vanessa Campagna / vocals
- Carrie Marie Jackson / vocals
- Lior / trumpet
- Jamie Peck / piano
- Michele Cricco / guitars

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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SECONDS BEFORE LANDING The Great Deception ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(69%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SECONDS BEFORE LANDING The Great Deception reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US project SECONDS BEFORE LANDING is the creative vehicle of composer and musician John Crispino. He commenced work on this venture in 2011 and for the next two years worked to finalize his musical ideas into the album "The Great Deception": A concept album with a dystopian storyline, set at a point not too long in our future.

Seconds Before Landing has been marketed as a band exploring ambient progressive rock, a description that dos summarize quite a lot about what's going on I guess. In terms of sound I often caught myself thinking about Trey Gunn's Quodia project from a few years back when I listened to this one. Not that similar in sound really, but some musical details and the overall mood is to some extent comparable.

The majority of the compositions on this disc revolves around bass details. Toned down circulating bass motifs more often than not, and of a groove oriented variety first and foremost. Gentle and mostly plucked, often resonating instrument details supplements this basic melodic framework, with various layers of futuristic inspired sounds placed on top. Occasionally we're treated to a harder edged guitar motif or a more majestic synth motif too, but most of all we're dealing with careful, gentle and indeed ambient constructions. The main element that transports these songs out into more energetic territories are lead vocals and rhythms with more of an intense delivery, which doesn't happen that often really, and longing guitar soloing Pink Floyd style, which is a key feature frequently employed throughout.

Otherwise spoken word samples from or inspired by 1950's radio commercials are used to tie the different songs together and as an identity enhancing feature, some spoken words sequences are also used in the songs as such, supplementing the mostly spoken male voice and female lead and backing vocals. All of this set in a mix with a dark and bleak yet warm and organic sound, a superb mixing and producing job that really does elevate the listener experience quite a bit. Most impressive to me were the radio friendly, catchy and groove-laden affair They're All Around You, with the extremely enticing bass motif central in Right Before Your Eyes elevating also this one to a higher plane of interest.

A certain taste for bleak, dystopian inspired moods and atmospheres is something of a prerequisite to be able to enjoy Seconds Before Landing's debut album "The Great Deception". A proposed key audience as defined from a musical point of view should probably be those who have a soft spot for the more ambient oriented excursions of Trey Gunn, and especially those among them who also enjoy the accessible side of bands such as Pink Floyd in general and guitar soloing Gilmour style in particular.

Review by maani
4 stars First, let me say that, setting aside a quibble or two, this is almost certainly my favorite album of 2013. And that has less to do with any specific personnel, "song" or individual aspect of the album than it does with the fact that the old adage "they just don't write'em like that anymore" does NOT apply here. This is a "progressive" album in every sense of that term, and is somehow able to both evoke the heyday of a particular genre of progressive rock (i.e., have a certain "timeless" quality to it) and to be both timely and relevant in the present.

The primary writer here is John Crispino, about whom little seems to be known except that he is a "composer and musician." (He plays drums, keyboards, and percussion, and provides most of the vocals.) He is joined by a distinguished group of musicians, most notably Trey Gunn (King Crimson) and Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus).

The effects-laden album -- which is a somewhat loose concept album about a dystopian future -- is quite dark and grim most of the time, evoking some of the darker aspects of Pink Floyd and King Crimson. Indeed, if I had to describe the overall "effect" of the album in one sentence, I would say that it was the bastard child of Pink Floyd (particularly parts of The Wall, The Final Cut, Momentary Lapse of Reason, and Division Bell) and King Crimson (particularly parts of In the Court of the Crimson King, Construktion of Light and Power to Believe), with a dash of Porcupine Tree, and an overall "atmosphere" of Alan Parsons. [N.B. It is astounding to me that of all the possible influences on this album that have been noted in dozens of articles, not one of them mentions Parsons -- yet it is HIS overall approach to concept albums (as well as writing and production) that jumped out at me almost constantly.]

In fact, the "associations" here are quite remarkable. Parsons, of course, engineered Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother, and its genre-definitive Dark Side of the Moon. The engineer on The Great Deception is Andy Jackson, who assisted on The Wall and The Final Cut, and was primary engineer on Momentary Lapse of Reason and Division Bell. And Trey Gunn provided bass guitar on Construktion of Light and "Warr" guitar on Power to Believe. [N.B. All of this makes me wonder (without taking anything away from Mr. Crispino) how much influence both Mr. Gunn and Mr. Jackson had on the WRITING here, and not simply the guitar playing or engineering.]

Of course, few bands were as able to evoke "dystopianism" as Pink Floyd (particularly with The Wall and The Final Cut). And although those dystopias were in the "past," the near-future dystopia evoked here owes much to those albums.

Approximately half the tracks on the album have actual "lyrics," while the other half have either spoken-word vocals and/or "recorded" voices. Re the former, Mr. Crispino sings all but one of the songs, and has a pleasant voice that is (mostly) expressive of the particular song. Re the latter, we get both male and female spoken and/or recorded voices, the latter being mostly of the type heard in some Pink Floyd tracks (think "Run Like Hell" or "The Trial" from The Wall). The female recorded voice is used to excellent effect in a few places, where its oh-so-calm voice is betrayed by what she is actually saying (mostly castigation and threats).

The music tends toward heavy bass lines (including a few truly infectious rhythms), with most tracks featuring a guitar solo at some point. These solos, mostly by Mr. Gunn (using a variety of electronic effects) are evocative of (in order of percentage) David Gilmour, Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, and John Frusciante, and are all quite good, and always appropriate for the track.

One of the more?interesting aspects of the album is the inclusion of mini-ads for a variety of products, which appear between the tracks (a dozen in all). These ads (which may or may not be for real products) evoke ads of the 40s and 50s. On first listen, I found these ads somewhat jarring. Even now, I can only think of two reasons for their inclusion. One is to simply break the "grimness" of the overall album. The other is to evoke a sense of "normalcy" amid the dark, dystopian atmosphere (which would also explain why it would be ads from the 40s and 50s). In either case, I am not certain they needed to appear between EVERY two track on the entire album; half that number (or even less) would have sufficed. (This is one of my quibbles.) For the record, these ads include hats, cigars, foodstuffs, "iron" and "vitamins," and a variety of bathroom products (hair cream, nose drops, pimple cream, shampoo et al).

My quibbles? The inclusion of the ads (or, at least, so many of them); the "opening-guitar solo-closing" structure of almost every track; and the inclusion of the song, "Mikey Get Your Accordian." While it is a truly lovely, even haunting, song, I am at an even greater loss as to its presence on the album than I am about the ads.

Yet, all that said, The Great Deception exhibits an excellent channeling of its influences, and superb musicianship, production and "atmospheres," and is a fabulous achievement in progressive rock. I can hardly wait for the next album.

[N.B. Although not quite a "masterpiece," I would give this album an extra half star if I could.]

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Pittsburgh-based musician, composer and vocalist John Crispino is the only man behind this project, launched around 2011, when he started writing a concept story about a man, living in a future world, dominated by hate, corruption and war.As he handled the drums and keyboard effects on the album, he invited several artists to participate like King Crimson's Warr guitarist Trey Gunn and Vanilla Fudge's bassist Tim Bogert.The list of guests is quite long (about 10 more names), including performances on piano, guitars, bass, trumpet and vocals.The album ''The great deception'' was released digitally in March 2013.

Being a sci-fi concept work, ''The great deception'' demanded a set of appropriate musical soundscapes to pass through as well as a strong lyrical background for the listener to properly follow the storyline.This effort apparently was based on a standard contemporary PINK FLOYD-PORCUPINE TREE mixture of heavy, spacious and modern textures, which offers a palette of slow Heavy Rock, ambiental moods and electronic spices.But the addition of futuristic elements, like loops, vocal and instrumental distortions and pre-recorded vocal messages was considered as needed by Crispino.Let's set things straight by saying that this rather far from a Progressive Rock work in the way that we know it.No complex themes, sudden tempo switches or instrumental excess.''The great deception'' is a vocal-heavy modern Space/Electronic Rock album with some cosmic and heavier overtones, pretty easy-going in terms of structure and strongly relying on the combination of sampled and natural sounds and the display of intense atmospherics.Having chosen a path of lyrical inventiveness (which at moments reminds me of DAVID BOWIE's unique coziness), Crispino has made a drawback regarding his first attempt's instrumental depth.Some powerful rhythms, spacious ambiences and laid-back tunes are still charming, but the selection of a mass of digital soundscapes along with the rather straightforward approach on songwriting are not my cup of tea.Not to mention that some vocal parts still sound pretty dull and poppy.Of course the artist's concept background is more significant than what anybody wants to hear from an album for himself, but the result is close to instrumentally too thin and even monotonous, buried by the endless hypnotic, downtempo parts.

An attempt on hypnotic Electronic Rock with sparse heavier echoes and lots of futuristics sounds on vocals and instruments.When the lyrical department becomes more attractive than the music itself, then something is propably going wrong.At some point, rcommended only to fans of PINK FLOYD or STEVEN WILSON's side projects...2.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Albums opens with a dense rhythm accompanied by news reels and interviews connected to the Roswell incident. This sci-fi mystery pretty much sets the stage for the content of this album. 'The Great Deception' obviously deals with the prospect of alien presence on our planet, and the authoriti ... (read more)

Report this review (#1194888) | Posted by HAL | Monday, June 16, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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