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WALKING ON A FLASHLIGHT BEAM

Lunatic Soul

Crossover Prog


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Lunatic Soul Walking On A Flashlight Beam album cover
4.02 | 343 ratings | 10 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Shutting Out The Sun (8:40)
2. Cold (6:58)
3. Gutter (8:42)
4. Stars Sellotaped (1:34)
5. The Fear Within (7:10)
6. Treehouse (5:31)
7. Pygmalion's Ladder (12:02)
8. Sky Drawn in Crayon (4:58)
9. Walking on a Flashlight Beam (8:11)

Total Time 63:46

Bonus DVD from 2014 Poland SE:
1. In Between - Documentary (25:00)
2. Teaser 1
3. Teaser 2

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Mariusz Duda / vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards, ukulele, percussion, producer

With:
- Wawrzyniec Dramowicz / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Travis Smith

2xLP Kscope ‎- KSCOPE863 (2014, Europe)

CD Kscope ‎- kscope300 (2014, Europe)
CD + DVD Mystic Production ‎- MYSTCD 272 (2014, Poland) DVD includes "In Between" Documentary directed by Tomasz Pulsakowski plus Teasers

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Lunatic Soul: Walking on a Flashlight Beam (digipack) [CD]+[DVD]Lunatic Soul: Walking on a Flashlight Beam (digipack) [CD]+[DVD]
Mystic Production
Audio CD$35.13

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LUNATIC SOUL Walking On A Flashlight Beam ratings distribution


4.02
(343 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
34%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
39%
Good, but non-essential (20%)
20%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

LUNATIC SOUL Walking On A Flashlight Beam reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Second Life Syndrome
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I'll come right out and say that Lunatic Soul's new album "Walking on a Flashlight Beam" was my most anticipated album of 2014. Why? Well, Mariusz Duda (of Riverside fame) has created such a brilliantly natural sound in his side project that it has become one of my favorites, not to mention my family's, as well. We simply can't get enough of the acoustic, airy atmospheres combined with the dark, throbbing feelings that swing between transcendence and despair. Lunatic Soul's first three albums are masterpieces of emotion and epiphany, and so any follow-up would have to be something special. Duda, however, has delivered in the most unexpected, brilliant ways possible.

"Walking on a Flashlight Beam" (WOAFB) is an experience that is as much about lyrics and feelings as it is about music. You need the whole picture in order to understand it truly. Duda has been very forthcoming with theme for this album, as it seems to be rather personal. This album is about those people that prefer to shut themselves in their rooms/homes in order to immerse themselves in the creations of others: films, books, music, games, etc. I think it strays between this setting, however, and the same type of person that shuts themselves up, preferring to create art in private.

Like I said, this theme is important to the music. WOAFB is full of bleak tension, cold sublimation, and beautiful simplicity. Duda was inclined to create this album with a wide variety of ethnic instruments, tones, and sounds; from cold trance beats contrasted against radiant acoustic guitar to world music influences combined with a new addition to the sound palette of Lunatic Soul: a subtle, heavily distorted electric guitar that crafts some charging, tumbling grooves. Duda has really expanded the sound of his pet project, and it impressed me to no end to hear the vast variety of sounds that were able to come together into a unified, cohesive mix. Sometimes it feels like Duda has gone post-rock, such as in the opener "Shutting out the Sun". Sometimes Duda simply sings a beautifully wrought melody, as in the spectacular "Treehouse" or one of my favorites, "Gutter" (the chorus will be in your head for weeks). Yet, sometimes Duda just wants to lay down an incredible bass-driven instrumental section, as in the winding, complex "Pygmalion's Ladder".

Every track really feels just right. "Cold" feels, well, cold. It feels bare and desolate, with a simple melodic line added to enhance the stark feelings present. Duda is so good at expressing emotion in his music. Yet, this album has really impressed upon me how good he is at creating instrumental sections, as this album is full of them. The supremely subtle title track is an amazing example of this, as Duda builds and builds layers and layers of melody, harmony, tone, and effects. In the end, this album is so concentrated and makes so much sense from track to track that I can barely pick a favorite.

This might be my album of the year. Don't be surprised if it is. I know I sound like a Duda fanboy (which I kinda am), but this album reaches the heights of the last three, and then expands on them. Incredibly catchy, wonderfully complex, and darkly eclectic, "Walking on a Flashlight Beam" is a journey into a confined consciousness of creativity, privacy, and enigmatic genius. Duda has once again proven his capabilities.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team
2 stars I was quite surprised at the palpable excitement I felt as I opened this album. I am equally surprised at my dramatic feelings of disappointment as I listened--as each song failed to meet my simple expectations: that Lunatic Soul's fourth album continue to show the signs of growth as the previous three had adequately done. Mariuz Duda's excellent and gifted voice isn't even put to good use until the third song!

1. "Shutting Out The Sun" (8:39) A lot of scratchy old-sounding samples and sounds drawn out offer an overly long development. The final 20 seconds are the best part! (7/10)

2. "Cold" (6:58) again I am disappointed with all of the old samples--including the rhythm box beat. Sounds like an early Kraftwerk song taken over by Alan Parsons Project. (7/10)

3. "Gutter" (8:42) the baseline bass riff is nice though it feels borrowed from a RIVERSIDE song. Awesome work in the fifth minute! And finally we get to hear the full power and talent of Mariuz Duda's voice! And I love the late entry of the keyboard wash at the 7:00 mark. (Why must Mariuz wait to the end of the songs to amp things up?!) (9/10)

4. "Stars Sellotaped" (1:34) is a very cute little spacey "outtake." More of this! (9/10)

5. "The Fear Within" (7:10) is an instrumental based on a simple and repetitive weave of a variety of tuned percussives--glockenspiel, wind chimes, Blue Man Group PVC tubes, to name a few. The stringed instrument that enters at the beginning of the third minute and, a little later, the "distant" industrial synth kind of disrupt the initial feel and mood bringing in an unsettling feel--which may be appropriate considering the song's title. The final two minutes follow the now-established "distant" industrial synth as an picked acoustic guitar plays over the top and, gradually, takes over--until the song's final minute, in which some very eerie synth washes, warbles, wooshes and whispers fill the void. (7/10)

6. "Treehouse" (5:31) begins with an electric piano's very simple chord progression. Mariuz' treated voice begins singing what feels like a fairly straightforward pop song. Straight time rock drum and bass beat joins in. The song often feels like it's beginning to unravel but then it seems to come back together again. Nothing very exciting or ear-catching happens for the first 3:10. Then a quite space with simple acoustic guitar strummed chord progression backs Mariuz dreamy voice--until the rock format returns at the four minute mark. (7/10)

7. "Pygmalion's Ladder" (12:02) opes with an ominous (promising!) guitar arpeggio progression--which is all too soon ruined by some cheap Middle Eastern "horn" (or fuzzed guitar) sound. By 1:30 the backbeat has become more like a classic Tangerine Dream keyboard-led sequence. Were the intermittent appearance by the annoying "horn" sound and it's equally grating melody removed from this song it might be pretty decent! In the fourth minute the foundation falls back to bass and arpeggiated guitar as a good (if typical) Mariuz vocal enters. The "chorus" at the 4:45 mark is a bit of a step down and then it's followed by an odd bridge of alternating synth (choral) chords and a disappointing fuzz guitar solo. Another shift at 6:18 while the Mike Oldfield-like muted fuzz guitar continues to solo. The eight minute shifts again into even more Oldfield-sounding territory. The section beginning around 8:14 is heavier and packs the kind of power and drama that one expects (and wants) from a Duda project. A beautiful little interlude of delicate sounds (arpeggiated acoustic guitar and kalimba) sets up a crashing entry into the near-end crescendo. Though this song is in constant forward development with very little thematic recapitulation, it just fails to ever really "get there." (8/10)

8. "Sky Drawn in Crayon" (4:59) is a ethereal vocal sung over finger-picked acoustic guitar and some various and sundry incidentals--playground children noises, midi-keyboard melodies, cyber-computer click/pop noises. This one never really gets anywhere. (7/10)

9. "Walking on a Flashlight Beam" (8:11) is a(nother) dull song until the Robert Smith/Cure guitar riffs of the last two and a half minutes. (8/10)

The antiquated sound samples used here feel so out-dated and simple and could have been so much more sophisticated. Plus, Mariuz' Lunatic Soul project seems hello-bent on taking the ANATHEMA Post Rock approach: taking simple melodies and rhythms for foundations and then slowly--sometimes painstakingly slowly--building over and around them. Unlike Anathema, however, Lunatic Soul's songs never seem to get anywhere--each song ends with me asking, "What was the point? What was the message? What was the intention?" As much as I like music like this that develops slowly, using space and time to convey a message with delicate timing, I'm beginning to think that Lunatic Soul lacks the vision to make lasting statements with their songs. Maybe they're tired. I cannot remember the last time I was so disappointed with an album I so highly anticipated.

2.5 stars. Definitely an album I feel deserves the "for collectors only" label.

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars Lunatic Soul could be consider the soft side of Riverside with his ex-member. The pace is slower, the keyboards are upfront and the guitars not as dominant. The music is very atmospheric with some exotic sounds. We heard in previous albums tribal drums and others instruments of ancient world. The world's music passages has been a trademark of Lunatic Soul in the past, but it's less obvious in this latest release. The singing is often use as a chant or a incantation that brings the melody to a high level of emotion. It's easy to drift away with this music, like some kind of trance. The quality is the same as Riverside, the voice and the song structures have strong similarities, despite the light side of the sound and the slow tempo. There is some more disturbing atmosphere mixed with some serene passages. Some will have trouble enjoying some of the keyboards and samples effects display here, but as long as the compositions have quality, that what's matter. Welcome to the solitude journey and imaginary world of Mariuzsz Duda.
Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is the fourth album from Poland's LUNATIC SOUL, the project of RIVERSIDE bassist and singer Mariusz Duda. As with the previous three albums we get the drummer from INDUKTI Wawrzyniec Dramowicz who happens to be the only other musician on this release. This recording is not connected to the previous three as far as the concept goes as this one is inspired by the life of an artist who escapes reality and chooses seclusion in order to create. This album has far more vocals in it when compared to the previous three which I like considering Duda is one of my favourite male singers. In fact this is easily my favourite LUNATIC SOUL album so far. I was reminded somewhat of the early melancholic and psychedelic period of PORCUPINE TREE and even Wilson's project with Akerfeldt(OPETH) called STORM CORROSION. This is headphone music just like the previous three records by LUNATIC SOUL.

"Shutting Out The Sun" is such an interesting listen early on with that dark atmosphere as various sounds come and go. This is dark and experimental and it's starting to build as a beat arrives along with some beautiful acoustic guitar. Gorgeous electric guitar follows after 5 minutes followed by reserved vocals a minute later. The vocals stop then it kicks into gear 7 1/2 minutes in to the end. Love the spacey synths too. "Cold" opens with atmosphere and static and it's dark. Percussion comes in then acoustic guitar and drums as it builds. Spacey vocals join in as well. Normal vocals and an urgent rhythm follow. A calm arrives before 3 1/2 minutes and again I love the spacey synths then it kicks back in. This is so good as themes are repeated. "Gutter" again features a lot of melancholy and atmosphere as vocals, a beat and guitar lead the way. The vocals are more passionate on the chorus reminding me of RIVERSIDE. I like the vocal melodies in this one before 3 1/2 minutes and check out the huge bass before 6 minutes! Nice. "Stars Sellotaped" is a short piece as we get the sound of a door closing and being locked a spacey synths take over. Mellotron-like sounds end it.

"The Fear Within" has these spooky sounds that come and go. Percussion-like sounds build as a guitar melody joins in and it also builds. Spacey synths join in and this has such a cool sound to it. A change 4 1/2 minutes in as it brightens with beautiful sounds. Another change 6 minutes in as it turns haunting and spacey. "Treehouse" is led by piano and vocals as drums join in then synths. This is down-right catchy, very enjoyable. It turns haunting with a minute to go though. "Pygmalion's Ladder" has a dark rhythm and it's very RIVERSIDE- like as an Eastern sounding guitar joins in. Laid back vocals after 3 minutes. A change after 5 minutes as the vocals stop and the sound becomes more urgent including mellotron-like sounds. The guitar is back then the vocals after 6 1/2 minutes as it settles back. Catchy stuff. A calm before 10 1/2 minutes. Beautiful. "Sky Drawn In Crayon" features acoustic guitar, atmosphere and warm vocals. A lighter sound with children's laughter takes over then back to the dark sound after 3 minutes and vocals follow. "Walking On A Flashlight Beam" has a beat, synths and more as vocals arrive after a minute. Man he can sing.

And man I adore the mood and sound of this album. Another brilliant release for 2014, a year which may be my favourite as far as music goes since the seventies.

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars It's hard to dispute the winning streak that Mariusz Duda has helped accomplish with Riverside, a band which has become sort of a big deal around here. That makes picking up this album from Duda's side project pretty much a no- brainer, especially for fans of Riverside. Walking on a Flashlight Beam fits right in to Riverside's style, at least tonally. It's dark, mysterious, emotional, full of self-loathing lyrics... all the fun stuff we've come to expect from Riverside, but here Duda keeps the vibes slinky, torpid, and threatening. The intensity is scaled back, taking out almost all of the heavy chugging and hard guitar work Riverside fans may expect. Instead, Duda focuses on a slow-burn of electronic keyboard effects, acoustic guitar work, and general sense of mania that rises and falls like ocean swells.

It's classy and sophisticated and highly nuanced, and also immensely bleak. The songs feel thoughtfully crafted with dense layers of keyboard and laid-back rock instrumentation, but you'll probably have a difficult time walking away with anything tangible to remember. Walking on a Flashlight Beam is an album of tones and expression. I can't really knock anything about its production, or in Duda's talent, but listeners who aren't already deep in to Riverside vibe may be left behind; there just isn't enough being brought to the table here, and Duda plays it safe more often than not.

Perhaps its not coincidental then that this album is best when it deviates from the Riverside formula, favoring the ambient and electronic over the Porcupine Tree/Riverside formula of light/heavy/light-repeat. Check this out if you can't get enough Riverside, or are in the mood for some quite good dark ambiance to groove to, but not if you're hoping to find the next essential modern art-rock masterstroke. Recommended with a few caveats.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Latest members reviews

5 stars Lunatic Soul is a famous band of Polish band Riverside band, by its bassist Mariusz DUDA and keyboardist Michał ŁAPAJ composition, but Michał ŁAPAJ just to help DUDA made the first album, behind the album most of the keyboard are maciej szelenbaum , Plus drummer wawrzyniec dramow ... (read more)

Report this review (#1790871) | Posted by mitarai_panda | Thursday, October 5, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Mariusz Duda has a gifted voice for sure, and if that is your only reason for listening, then you will be missing out on some excellent compositions. I just started listening to Lunatic Soul, so I am new to this side project from the Riverside front man. The vocals on Shutting out the Sun & Cold f ... (read more)

Report this review (#1743782) | Posted by javajeff | Saturday, July 15, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Walking On A Flashlight Beam Is The Emotional Equivalent To Taking A Leap Of Faith For A Person To Examine Oneself On A More Deeper And Personal Level. As a music listener, one of the most treasured feelings and goals is to seek and gain an emotional attachment or understanding in the sonic atmo ... (read more)

Report this review (#1442574) | Posted by progbethyname | Sunday, July 19, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 5/5 In a year where very little of the new music has grabbed my attention, the new Lunatic Soul has roared in like a bullet train; "a breath of fresh air" hardly does it justice. This album is huge. Yes, I know that very often that initial rush of lust does not last. We fall prey to hope and ... (read more)

Report this review (#1326888) | Posted by ergaster | Sunday, December 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have a long love story with Lunatic Soul. Being a huge fan of Riverside, i can easily say i love LS even more - for it being the most tender, touching, honest and personal recordings of Mariusz that i've ever heard. I've been following LS story for five years now and i still can't decide what ... (read more)

Report this review (#1300223) | Posted by amapofthepiano | Monday, November 3, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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