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Drifting Sun


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Drifting Sun Twilight album cover
3.90 | 122 ratings | 6 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Twilight (The Other Side of Life) (9:25)
2. Wings of Hope (5:13)
3. Mystery of Lies (5:46)
4. Soldiers (7:23)
5. Summer Skies (10:49)
6. Remedy (5:19)
7. Outside (5:24)
8. Remain (8:11)

Total Time 57:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Falconer / vocals
- Mathieu Spaeter / guitars
- Pat Sanders / keyboards
- Manu Michael / bass
- Will Jones / drums

Releases information

CD Self-released ‎- DS005 (2017, UK)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DRIFTING SUN Twilight ratings distribution

(122 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

DRIFTING SUN Twilight reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Last Winter was a tough one for me, being on my own for the first time in my life after the separation. So I thought of this brilliant idea of going through my Neo-Prog albums that are 4 stars and up hoping this would give me a lift. Well it didn't work but I sure enjoyed the experience. One album that really stood out for me though was "Safe Asylum" by this band DRIFTING SUN. So yes I was really looking forward to spending some time with their latest this past week. Well spin number one was a disappointment but they often are, trouble was that this just never got better even after 8 spins. I would even go as far to say that the first four tracks from "Safe Asylum" are better than my favourite song on "Twilight". Even the singer didn't quite sound the same to my ears but the bottom line for me is that this just isn't nearly as good as the previous record. I did play "Safe Asylum" tonight for comparison sake.

"Twilight(The Other Side Of Life)" opens with synths as the vocals join in followed by a fairly heavy soundscape. The tempo picks up before 1 1/2 minutes with fast paced vocals. It settles 2 minutes in with organ, guitar, drums and more but it's still fairly heavy. Synths only to follow like the intro then a calm with synths and laid back vocals. A relaxed guitar solo before 4 minutes then the vocals return. It kicks in again and there's some nice vocal arrangements when it calms down again. A beautiful guitar solo before 6 minutes followed by passionate vocals.

"Soldiers" opens with acoustic guitar before relaxed vocals, drums, bass and synths take over. It picks up after 1 1/2 minutes but the focus is on the vocals. A calm with piano only after 3 minutes then the bass joins in followed by vocals around 4 minutes. It kicks in again before 5 minutes with the guitar out front. Spoken words 6 1/2 minutes in as it settles right down. "Wings Of Hope" opens with piano as fragile vocals join in. It kicks in after 2 1/2 minutes with prominent bass, drums and synths with guitar to follow. Passionate vocals a minute later then the tempo picks up.

"Summer Skies" is the longest tune on here as almost 11 minutes and this is my favourite by far, it's not close. Like the previous album this one just has some great melodies and emotion. A feel good track all the way. Atmosphere to start as the bass joins in then drums. Guitar is next then vocals just before a minute. The keys and vocals really move me here. So much emotion. It's building. I like the vocal melodies with vocals 3 minutes in. A change follows as it turns emotional as those vocals really impress. I like how themes are repeated as well. The vocalist gets a little carried away before 5 1/2 minutes like he's on American Idol or something. Kind of funny. An instrumental section follows that goes on and on before the vocals return after 8 minutes and there's that gorgeous melody again before 9 minutes. Nice.

"Mystery Of Lies" has some guitar noodling to start in atmosphere. it kicks into gear with vocals just before 2 minutes. I like this. Acoustic guitar and high pitched vocals only after 2 1/2 minutes then it kicks in again as contrasts continue. "Remedy" opens with piano and drums as the guitar grinds away slowly. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes and they do get emotional before 3 1/2 minutes. They stop a minute later as the music becomes more urgent sounding.

"Outside" has an orchestral start before it calms right down with atmosphere and keys. Reserved vocals and acoustic guitar a minute in. Keys then strings return as well. It kicks in hard just before 2 minutes with heavy drums then the tempo picks up with fast paced vocals. I'm not into this. Piano only before 4 minutes then it builds with drums, vocals and more.

"Remain" kicks into a full sound rather quickly. Spoken words just before 2 minutes as the instrumental sound stays constant. Vocals are back 2 1/2 minutes in and I like the sound a minute later with piano and drums before the guitar starts to solo. Synths replace the guitar around 4 1/2 minutes. A calm with vocals before 6 minutes but the sound does get fuller.

A pretty good album but no more than 3 stars for me. I'm looking forward though to some of their earlier albums if I can track them down.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars

Back in a different life, when I was still working the night shift in a supermarket, and living in an ex-council house in the UK, I used to run a fanzine called Feedback. These were the days before the internet, and as I was one of the few outlets for prog reviews, I used to receive a lot of material from different bands and labels. One of these labels was Musea, and one day they sent me the debut album by Drifting Sun. I said some nice things about them, and I was sent the sophomore release at the end of the Nineties, and then, nothing. Keyboard player Pat Sanders had always been the main man in Drifting Sun, and after some years away he eventually decided to return to the music industry and to resurrect the band name with a brand-new line-up. The third album was released in 2015 (what's sixteen years between friends?), the fourth followed just a year later, and now we are here with the fifth. I haven't heard the intervening albums, but one day out of the blue Pat contacted me again (one advantage of keeping the same email address forever), and asked if I would be interested in hearing what they sounded like today, and now here I am playing Drifting Sun more than 20 years after our paths first crossed.

I deliberately haven't gone back and played the first two albums, although they are still here on my shelves, as I felt that would probably be unfair and I should treat them as a new act. Immediately, what did surprise me were the harmonies and sheer professionalism that pervades this release. It certainly doesn't remind me of what they used to be like, as there is a lot more thought and attention to detail in the arrangements, which are full of space and room for everyone to move and breathe. Although they are different in many ways to Big Big Train, they are the band that they remind me of the most, both in terms of musical construct and how they have moved such a very long way from their roots. ProgArchives list these guys as neo-prog, and at one time that would have been the case, but they have moved far more into the Crossover sub-genre now, and if they were put forward for inclusion now I am sure that is where they would be placed.

They have been heavily influenced by Hogarth-era Marillion, but have managed to stay away from the twee and contribute something that is both interesting and easy to listen to. This is prog that invites the listener in. True, it could never be played just in the background as it might disappear, but when wanting to play music in the evening to sit and relax to then this is almost perfect in many ways. With three albums in three years it is safe to say that Drifting Sun are very much back, and I for one am very glad they are

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One of the better sounding/produced Neo Prog albums of the year.

1. "Twilight (The Other Side Of Life)" (9:25) some refreshing and creative constructs and vocals using familiar sounds in the instrumental tapestry. Lead singer Peter Falconer has an okay voice which takes some getting used to, but I must give him credit for his courage and creativity. (8.5/10)

2. "Wings Of Hope" (5:13) piano intro sounds quite a bit like the previous song's melodies and chord construction. I like the variation in vocals as rendered by the engineering. It turns out the delicate, flighty opening is only an intro as a blues-rockin' song bursts out in the third minute. Again, I like the multi-voiced vocal constructions. (8.5/10)

3. "Mystery Of Lies" (5:46) spoken muted voice and sustained lead electric guitar single notes open this one before the full band enters at the end of the first minute. The following nylon string-supported soft vocal is rather sudden and incongruous. Piano-base and choir-like vocals pop in for a moment before we return to the previous guitar-and-voice theme. Odd song. I'm not sure it works. (8/10)

4. "Soldiers" (7:23) the vocals and melody in the opening section don't work on this one. Too simple, despite the lyrical intent. The light, sophisticated multi-voiced "choral" work in the middle is awesome--which is then followed by a "heavy" section replete with disappointing standardized Neo Prog sounds and that were popular in the early 1990s (COLLAGE). (8/10)

5. "Summer Skies" (10:49) Great vocal performance over 1990s keyboards (again, the Polish Neo Proggers COLLAGE or SATELLITE come to mind). Still, this one is fresh enough to make it one of my top three. Even when it amps up for the choruses it still has an engaging sound and feel. Piano interlude is pretty though nothing special--better served when the multiple delicate voices join in. Yea, I can even disregard the dated keyboards for this one. (9/10)

6. "Remedy" (5:19) feels like a continuation, musically, of the previous song, though it's vocal stylings and melodies are different. (8.5/10)

7. "Outside" (5:24) this one could come from a 80s/90s metal/hair band: vocals, power chords, solo electric guitar, and song construction all sound and feel like it. (7.5/10)

8. "Remain "(8:11) another song that feels like the continuation of the precious three opens with a spoken "Twilight" passage All of this fits into that aforementioned metal/hair band early 90s genre/period/sound. Nice keyboard solo over an odd kick drum sound. Finale with calypso drums sound? Weird. (8/10)

3.5 stars; rated up for being a decent and often clever and creative Neo Prog contribution to prog world.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I have been following Drifting Sun's recently prolific career, buoyed by some tantalizing releases that shook sturdily and shocked pleasantly the Neo-prog genre , a style that is probably the most improved among the various progressive rock sub genres. With 2016' masterful Safe Asylum release, this much-maligned band has reached the highest levels, even though previous albums Trip the Light Fantastic (2015) and On the Rebound (thank you, Pat!) , a 1998 original that was remastered and tweaked in 2016 were also clear winners! Progressively progressive, honed and well-oiled, the band is led by keyboardist Pat Sanders, whose piano skills in particular have now taken the spotlight. The rhythm section is concrete solid with bassist Manu Michael and drum stick man Will Jones. Vocalist Peter Falconer mans the microphone with a suave and compelling style that fits the music to a tee. New guitarist Matthieu Spaeter shines nicely on his debut with the band , laying down some inspired licks and crafty sounds. Twilight shows the band in a darker, more imaginative setting, with a stronger lyrical focus than ever before. The vocals have always been way above average but here , they really take the cake! Eight spell-binding tracks divided equally into two parts, named ''Twilight'' and ''the Other Side of Life''. A well-balanced and thoroughly entertaining set list of delirious prog music.

The title track sets the mood, with a rollicking beat, massed choir vocals and a sizzling guitar foray, that carves out an electric and mind-searing melody. The piano scintillates as the scalding guitar rides along the impassioned vocal. The Spaeter axe solos are bright, melodious and tight. ''See the Dawn Beyond'' in choir form is quite the revelation, an almost Gentle Giant-like moment within a conventional neo-prog epic! Pat does a little Manfred Mann on his synth, as bending notes and searing lines decorate the arrangement. It ''gives me peace''!

''Wings of Hope'' accentuates the melodic direction , balancing the simply beautiful with bombastic revelation , a voice and a piano in rapt union, with the entire band ultimately kicking into the fray. The guitar lead is complex and tortuous, the arrangement settling on brilliant harmonies , an intricate slice of impressive progressive rock, played with undeniable passion and effortless technique. Tremendous track.

The pleading ''Mystery of Lies'' keeps the sizzle glowing, a swirling maelstrom of musicality, ebbing and flowing with imagination. Falconer really shines on the microphone, sweetly delicate one moment, before exploding into raging exaltation. The acoustic guitar has a slight medieval tone, which gives the mood a sense of infinity.

Seeking even more glory, the bittersweet ''Soldiers'' showcases an almost Gentle Giant vibe, what with the vocal polyharmonics and the stop and go rhythmic pulse. The mournful piano does another sensational appearance, blending nicely with both the bass and the acoustic guitar, as Falconer soars high and beyond as ''the sun and the moon collide''. Spaeter flips his wrists , bending, rifling and scratching impeccably. Another nugget of genius.

All this only serves as a prologue to the epic and emotional ''Summer Skies'', a wondrous 10 minute composition that encapsulates all the magic of Drifting Sun's style, a convincing vocal crowned by world-class instrumentation. There is no hint of predictability or ennui, just a whopping melody at the very centre of the piece, dripping with intensity and unparalleled flair. When the electric guitar repeatedly reprises the main melody, it really hits you between the ears, just how talented this band is. Falconer hits the highest notes , the piano reverberates eloquently, the grandiose chorus growing, pulsating and overflowing with passion. Mesmerizing!

''Remedy'' maintains the sublime quality, offering another gorgeous melody, the piano once again leading by example, a choppy beat as an escort. The lead axe carves high and mighty, prepping the way for another pleading vocal performance, with a ''let go, let go'' harmony, that is quite the treat. The sombre nature only enhances the pain, a thrilling highlight once again. Wow!

Gloomy and spooky at first, ''Outside'' dishes up swaths of synthesized winds, a crystalline piano that verges on harpsichord and another plaintive voice, before settling into a more muscular vibe, harsh guitars and syncopated drum patterns combining in a complex mixture, spiced by a loopy and slippery guitar foray that would please Allen Holdsworth fans . Cleverly, the ''let go, let go'' harmony returns for a final bow, a sign of attention to detail and a yearning for perfection.

This jaw-dropping release ends with the serpentine ''Remain'', a voice tour de force, shoved along by the manic instrumentation, tossing in some angry narration and a series of wicked solos to boot, one guitar and then Pat letting loose on his synth. With this phenomenal album, Drifting Sun has established itself as a leader in prog rock, way beyond any diminutive neo-prog branding one might want to associate them with. The Twilight has arrived.

4.5 twinkling stars

Review by Warthur
5 stars Drifting Sun are one of a number of neo-prog bands who, having perhaps not gained that much attention during their original runs, have found both renewed audience interest during their recent reformations and, arguably, are even better than they were first time around.

Take Drifting Sun, who started off in the 1990s playing a style reminiscent of what might have happened had Marillion developed their Fish-era sound in a different direction as opposed to graduating to a new sound under Steve Hogarth, with the On the Rebound album perhaps being the best of their original incarnation. However, since the Trip the Life Fantastic album which revived the project, Drifting Sun's time truly seems to have come, with the band releasing more new albums to greater commercial attention and critical acclaim than they ever enjoyed back in the 1990s.

In particular, I have to give applause to Twilight, representing perhaps the first time that the band's 2010s run has produced an album which not merely matches the high bar set by 1998's classic On the Rebound, but exceeds it. With an appropriately haunting atmosphere, the album resembles what might have happened had Clutching At Straws-era Marillion went in a Victorian Gothic direction. More or less every song on the album has a full on shivers-up-your-spine moment.

Compared to its predecessor, Safe Asylum, the album finds the band diallling down on the heavy rock moments in favour of focusing more on haunting, melancholy atmospheres, and it works a charm. With this, Drifting Sun establish themselves as perhaps the most interesting neo-prog act of the present era.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Review # 65. Twilight is the brand new album by Drifting Sun, that was released a few days ago, on the 1st of September 2017. It is the band's 5th studio album, and I dare say that it is their best work so far. I was lucky enough to have the digital version in my hands, almost 2 weeks before th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1779152) | Posted by The Jester | Monday, September 4, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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