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Proud Peasant

Symphonic Prog

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Proud Peasant Flight album cover
4.00 | 32 ratings | 1 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Prisoner (12:28)
2. Awakenings (19:33)
3. The Precipice (13:20)

Total Time 45:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Xander Rapstine / guitars
- David Hobizal / drums
- Jay Allen / keyboards
- Kyle Robarge / bass
- Mark Poitras / keyboards, guitars

Thanks to tszirmay for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PROUD PEASANT Flight ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PROUD PEASANT Flight reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Austin, Texas is rightly revered as the "live music capital of the world" , a panoramic musical scene that has always promoted ideas, innovations and mostly, a place to hone one's craft in a slew of live settings. Xander Rapstine got tired of the saturated pop/rock rut he was mired in , so he moved to build a quintet of like-minded proggers and satisfy his inner urges by molding a lovely debut album , built out of 3 long epics in the fine mold extolled by KC, GG, Genesis and Oldfield. The band started playing live in June 2014, providing audiences with "the soundtrack to sublime dreams . . . and wicked nightmares". Darn, ya all, this is thrillin' stuff, dudes! Guitarist and composer Xander Rapstine leads this merry crew into a world of symphonic prog exuberance, blending classical music, soundtrack score, as well as some Mexican style folklore (mariachi trumpets), with winks at bands like Gryphon, Gentle Giant, Gnidrolog, King Crimson, well, you get the picture! Keyboardist Jay Allen slings a wide variety of analog synths, piano and organ, while bassist Kyle Robarge masters the low end and shoving master drummer David Hobizal along. Various guests provide an eclectic assortment of surplus orchestral ornamentation (tuba, clarinet violin, trumpet, flute, timpani, French horn, cello and trombone). There is also some heavenly choir work that shows up at different times, giving the arrangements even more depth.

An album with only three long and juicy tracks (count 'em!), with the sole intent to mystify, enthrall and invigorate the moribund (I have heard it all before) prog listener. Each track is broken down in sub-sections, in typical suite form. "The Prisoner" (12.28) sets the cocky peasant in motion, a slow burn acoustic guitar intro, laden with various effects but bolstered by some truly dazzling playing. This early melody opens the door (literally) for some solid drum, bass and synthesizer twirls, exuding a slight medieval/baroque groove that would wink at stuff like the Morrigan, Colin Masson, the aforementioned Gryphon or its distant cousin the Enid and a dash of Canterbury. The Hispanic /Mariachi section is utterly and absolutely genial, nattily incorporated without sounding cheesy, something previously only Phil Manzanera did very well, so sombreros are doffed in salute, senores! Rapstine later repeats the rather complex opening guitar theme and proceeds with some incessant crystalline guitar chops that show both intensity and fire, while Hobizal marshals the military snare with precision. A tremendous piece of glittering symphonic prog.

The whopping 19 minute and 34 second epic "Awakenings" is not related to the Robin Williams/Robert de Niro film classic though, in all fairness, there is a similar sense of hidden wonderment in the music, just like with the movie's storyline. Church organ in a bucolic setting suddenly explodes into a maelstrom of stop and go pieces, stretching the extremes from sweet to howling on the turn of a dime, grandiose synthesizer melodies are propelled by some rabid guitar slashes. A gentle flute relaxes the mind with devoted loveliness, spiraling like some rivulets in a stony stream, a perfect segue into quirky guitar mathematics, odd synth noises, a long studious brass section that is unafraid to do a little New Orleans/vaudeville/ragtime (a sense of humor?) and finally, colossal choir work that left me quite dazed and confused by its sheer eloquence. Totally unpredictable, explosive and utterly creative. One word = epic.

"The Precipice" clocks in at 13.20 and performs its closing duties better than a Texas Ranger relief pitcher, knocking down the side with heat, guile and heart. The band gets a stormier attitude going, not content to mellow out but quite to the contrary, kick it up a notch! Drummer David Hobizal shows off some clever beats throughout, helping the raunchy guitar express itself convincingly. Flute, choir and electric piano deliver some contrast, rolling along like progressive tumbleweed. Bright and yet full of bravado! This has to be one of the most impressive debut album in the symphonic category in quite a while. The bombastic finale will settle any doubts one may have, as its sheer grandiose brilliance that parallels Steve Hackett's finale on "Shadow of the Hierophant". Yeah, I know, Wow!

A majestic ride, a 'thrillin' hot diggetty-dog' debut from Austin, Texas! Ya gotta love it! Best US release in a long time.

4.5 gratified farmers

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