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Drifting Sun


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Drifting Sun Forsaken Innocence album cover
4.14 | 168 ratings | 14 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. King of the Country (11:36)
2. Insidious (8:08)
3. Dementium (9:10)
4. New Dawn (6:48)
5. Forsaken Innocence (Part 1) (10:51)
6. Forsaken Innocence (Part 2) (14:52)
7. Time to Go (2:28)
8. Hand on Heart (bonus track) (4:48) *

Total Time 68:41

* only on Digital & Vinyl editions

Line-up / Musicians

- Pat Sanders / keyboards
- Mathieu Spaeter / guitars
- John 'Jargon' Kosmidis / vocals, keyboards (6)
- John Jowitt / bass
- Jimmy Pallagrosi / drums

- Eric Bouillette / violin (1,5), guitars (7)
- Ben Bell / Hammond solo (3)
- Gareth Cole / guitars (4)

Releases information

Format: Vinyl (Limited edition of 200 copies), CD, Digital

Release dates: October 27, 2021 (Digital), November 15, 2021 (CD, Vinyl)

Vinyl and Digital editions contain a bonus track

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to mbzr48 & projeKct for the last updates
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DRIFTING SUN Forsaken Innocence ratings distribution

(168 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

DRIFTING SUN Forsaken Innocence reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars DRIFTING SUN is an interesting band that's drifted around for quite a while now. Ironically formed in England but consists of Frenchmen and Americans who happened to meet in London and channel their musical mojo into a collective cauldron of creativity. The band has actually had two renditions, the original short stink in the 90s and then after a long hiatus returned in 2015 and has been on the nonstop neo-prog express ever since. After a two year break DRIFTING SUN has returned with its seventh studio album FORSAKEN INNOCENCE which proves to be one of the band's best efforts yet.

While the lineup of DRIFTING SUN has "drifted" over the years, keyboardist and leader Pat Sanders has consistently reinvented the band with each rotating cast of musicians and with FORSAKEN INNOCENCE finds the current lineup of John Kosmidis (vocals, keyboards), Mathieu Spaeter (guitars), John Jowitt of Rain on bass, ZIO's Jimmy Pallagrosi on drums and a special appearance from Gandalf Fist's Ben Bell who provides a Hammond keyboard solo on "Dementium." Add to that a couple extra guest musicians adding more guitars and violin and FORSAKEN INNOCENCE turns out to be a true treat of a musical experience.

FORSAKEN INNOCENCE truly delivers everything that's great lurking about in the neo-prog universe. While it's a given that this is the more pop hook friendly section of the prog universe, sometimes neo-prog can be too cheesy for its own good or just not melodically pleasing which is the whole point! Sanders crafts his melodic piano rolls into fully fueled compositions that offer the mellower side of the subgenre in the vein of albums like Marillion's "Misplaced Childhood" that craft soft sensual balladry styled hooks with emotive lyrical delivers. The album opens with the feisty "King Of The Country" which offers some of the 21st century neo-prog tendencies of adding heavy rock guitar riffs however while many neo-prog bands tend to offer an all or nothing approach to this inclusion, DRIFTING SUN picks and chooses its tones, timbres and compositional fortitude wisely thus making this a diverse sounding album.

For the entire album's hour plus run, each track is fortified with strong catchy hooks and almost folky fueled musical scales that offer a bit of traditional sounds that are buried within the easily accessibility of the tunes. Alternating between emotive piano runs and heavier rock passages, DRIFTING SUN does a stellar job in mixing the expected neo-prog attributes of heavy multi-layered keyboard contrapuntal melodies with both sweeping atmospheric guitar soloing as well power chord chugs. The highlights include the opening "King Of The Country" as well as the 2-part title track that together swallows up nearly 25 minutes of the album's running time. The lengthy double whammy effortlessly transitions from countless emotive slower parts to thundering semi-metal bombast with swarms of synth layers and knotty progressive rock time signature workouts.

All in all, DRIFTING SUN has crafted an outstanding roller coaster ride of a neo-prog album with ridiculously competent musicianship testing the limits of the subgenre's accepted boundaries. The band seamlessly transitions from soft lush airy pastoral segments to raucous rock and metal at the drop of a hat. The lengthier tracks where the band is allowed to improvise over the beautifully crafted melodies are where this band shines but even John Kosmidis' vocals bring a dark undertone to the whole thing and much like the album cover art sounds like a dark depressing album that is illuminated by the colorful melodies and brilliant craftsmanship. Definitely not a cheesy neo-prog album by any means. More adventurous and daring than anything Arena, IQ or Pendragon have done. Most like Magenta at its finest feisty moments. A true surprise for sure and i hope this particular lineup sticks around to craft a followup. This will certainly be in my top 10 prog list for 2021.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Funny coincidence (as if that childish concept even exists at all) that among my favorite current prog bands, namely Mostly Autumn and Drifting Sun, both decided to raise their craft by introducing topflight recruits to the group. Mostly Autumn hired Henry Rogers, a superlative drum guru who immediately impacted the latest 2021 release Graveyard Star, while my 'bon ami' Pat Sanders cleverly brought in (though I must say I guessed right on my first try, much to Pat's chagrin!) the illustrious John Jowitt, a bass maestro who has played with a horde of top prog groups (Aaah, look it up!). I liken him to the UK's version of Tony Levin, in that not only are they much in demand whilst mastering their instrument but are both a pure joy to watch play, so effusive is their level of passion. Plus, they are both bald as a cue ball.

Having followed avidly DS' progression over the years (dare I say decades), it is abundantly clear that Pat is a most gifted talent (and a damn fine human being) both on the keyboards as well as composing punchy prog ditties, but very few know that he is pretty tepid at selling his house (internal joke) ! (Laughter followed by applause). He is also very astute at choosing lead vocalists (with a little help from a friend) but simply loved Jargon's recent solo album and asked him (very politely) if the Greek microphone man would join his latest project. Obviously, the respect was mutual, as the vocals are off the charts with an almost Peter Murphy-like sheen on "Forsaken Innocence". French drummer Jimmy Pallagrosi adds his thunderclap style to the proceedings, in perfect harmony with Jowitt's booming bass lines. Past collaborator Matthieu Spaeter just keeps lighting it up with wicked guitar interventions, but truth must be told that Pat's mastery of the piano and synth are pure heaven for the ears, displaying not only technical wizardry but the emotional /romantic style he displays is way up the ivory tower (if you pardon the pun). The production, sound, contrasts, and pacing are all first rate stellar. He was quite modest when he announced: I think this is the best record we have ever done! YUP!

So let me break down the sonic delights: A delightfully whimsical beginning with the mini-epic nearly a dozen minute long 'King of the Country", where the band wastes little time in getting the juices flowing, at times garnished with gentle medieval inserts with a choir battling the whopping onslaughts of raging organ, pumping piano , gritty guitar splashes, all led by Jowitt's dexterity on the four string mofo (darn, he is so good) with the thunder drums bashing away. oh my! A clever melange of pace and speed, as Jargon sings a mournful tune, with a sad violin playing on the heartstrings. But the genius rests in Pat's dipping synth lines, a rekindling of his devout Manfred Mann Moog fixation (clear as a South African sky on all his recordings). A smattering of guitar and there goes Jowitt on a rambunctious cavalcade on his bass (I believe he actually complained to Pat of having made him sweat profusely). Jargon then talks his way towards the finale, ending with the most ornate piano ever.

The creepy "Insidious" is shepherded by the grooving bass once again, with Jargon sounding remarkably like the former Bauhaus man, as Pat slides his curving synths in and out the back door of the arrangement, pinging guitar flicks, plaintive vocalizing give this all an ethereal feel, until the spell is broken by bulldozer riffs, cannonading drum fills as the main chorus revisits the stage. Compelling music of the finest vintage.

That same charming piano segues on "Dementium", another chunky track loaded to the gills with power, precision, and sheer musical insanity. Obviously, the forced bunker lifestyle made many of us, artists included, dwell on the loneliness, the feeling of restless disorientation and at times, fearful trepidation of what comes next. These sentiments are evoked with Jargon's pained delivery, at times angry on the verge of growling in fury, the echoing choir work bouncing off the rubber walls of the routine, the bass pummelling forward, emulated by the choppiest keyboards ever played, courtesy of Ben Bell's rambling organ. By the end of this paranoia inducing track, I was exhausted! I noticed spiders too when cooped up in my darkened, candle-lit room, seeing silhouettes everywhere, unsure if it was a web or perhaps something malevolent. Forsaking Innocence, indeed. Bloody marvelous track, merde alors!

"New Dawn" serves as a respite after all that confusion, featuring a full-blown bass guitar excursion from the basso profundo, gorgeous guitar licks from Gareth Cole all caressed by hushed yet achingly sorrowful vocals, adorning beautiful melodies heightened by some more piano genius, this is a masterful moment in the Drifting Sun catalog. I was brought to tears, again.

Okay, no more pussyfooting around (as once stated by Fripp, or was it Eno?), let's get serious here! The two-part "Forsaken Innocence" suite takes over to raise the bar way beyond the sluggish Neo-Prog title thoughtlessly handed by the Prog Conoscenti. This is no soppy melodic prog, I beg to differ! The sheer musical complexity is astonishing, again with John's obese bass (or is it obass bese?) plowing ahead, letting Pat make his synth whistle like a gentle breeze, his extended showcase solo is elevated by a Spaeter burst full of tortuous agony and lightning- fast dexterity, a sweet violin outro closes part 1. Breather? Mais non! Part 2 explodes out the gates like a F1 race car, with burning bass tires, cam toms booming, screeching synths, all taking laps at a frenetic pace, as the organ power steering hugs the road ahead. Suddenly, as the fury temporarily dies down and cruise control sets in, a sublime melody rises, grandiose and serene, overtly symphonic in style and romantic in nature. Just plain spectacular modern prog music, intensely played, full of bravado and overt confidence. The piano main melody is crushingly charming, repeated for effect, as well as chaperoned by electric guitar and bass sustenance. Magnificence incarnate, this suite is Everest!

The crystalline reverie "Time to Go" is up next: first reaction? Where? Now I remember what this reminds me of David Minasian's 2020 and superb album "The Sound Dreams", a piano, acoustic guitar and voice triumvirate that really hits the spot. Short, sweet and delightfully bucolic, crowned with a melody that emotes.

Drifting Sun offers up a Bonus Track "Hand on Heart "to finish in overdrive, a 5-minute outburst that sums up nicely all the attributes this group can muster. Energy, beauty, drive, gusto and sizzle. It now becomes clear that Pat pays immense attention to melody and the hooks that can reel in the listener. He also understands atmosphere, technique and creativity. At no time does this record sound even slightly "filled" or "stuffy", it is constantly flowing, pushing inexorably forward. Together with this current line-up, I am sure this will wind up at the very top of 2021's lists for most, if not all, prog aficionados out there. It is THAT good! Keep on driftin' , son!

5 desolate naivetÚs

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Drifting Sun keyboardist/composer Pat Sanders has surrounded himself with yet another new lineup--in fact, four new members, including prog veteran John Jowitt, a bassist who gained fame from his work with the bands Jadis, IQ, Arena, Frost*, Ark, Mystery, Blind Ego, Caamora, Clive Nolan, Steve Thorne, and last year's Rain debut release, as well as veteran vocalist John Kosmidis, professionally known as "Jargon", who might be familiar to those listeners acquainted with Greek prog bands like Verbal Delirium, Ciccada, Methexis, and 2020's superb solo venture, The Fading Thought. Then there's drummer Jimmy Pallagrosi, who comes to the project by way of bands like ZIO and KSIZ, as well as stints with Karnataka and Frank Carducci, while guitarist Mathieu Spaeter also comes from KSIZ and Carducci, as well as having worked with Antony Kalugin on several recent Karfagen projects.

1. "King of the Country" (11:36) with an upbeat QUEEN/DISCIPLINE feel and sound, this fast mover finds the new band hitting on all cylinders, however, there is a weird tension between the choice of instrumentation, pace, and that leads me to ask questions like would a Yes-REO Speedwagon merger work? Does Big Big Train's music really work? Will Matthew Parmenter's solo career ever reach the heights of his Discipline output? Is a chunky Rickenbacker bass a requirement for symphonic/Neo Prog bands? The solos are impressive, as is the overall BBT-like construct and sound palette, but is anything new really being done here? Really? It's just all a little too controlled and contrived, not loose and emotion-filled. (17.25/20)

2. "Insidious" (8:08) a cool song that sounds like The Cure and Kajagoogoo teaming up in the 80s. Sadly, the song is really just basically a 4/4 time, three-chord rocker--a nice set of three chords, but still, a little too simple. I mean, come on, guys! This is prog! Still, it's pretty--especially the soft section in the middle in which Jargon sings wordless vocalise. The way he ramps up his vocal intensity over the final three minutes is good, but it just can't save this otherwise almost dull song. Then to end it with electric piano soloing like a classical musician.... (13/15)

3. "Dementium" (9:10) opens with the same classically-shaped computer generated electric piano from the previous song over which Jargon sings in a low tone over several tracks and a more folk-rock-tinged palette joins in. Once Jargon's singing range moves up an octave or two it's very good--not unlike the rich, sophisticated multi-voiced harmonies of peak era Queen--and, later, like David Bowie! Too bad the music can't match Jargon in terms of emotion. A very impressive song, vocally. Nine minutes of that same two-chord piano arpeggio is too much, however. (17.5/20)

4. "New Dawn" (6:48) opens up sounding like something straight off of a THE FLOWER KINGS album, circa 1995- 2001, but then Jargon's multi-faceted vocal performance elevates this song into a whole different echelon of artistry. This is the first song on the album in which I'm hearing what feels like a sensible, pleasing cohesiveness of all of the elements of instrumental choices to the overall sound palette. (I even like John Jowitt's Jonas Reingold-like fretless.) But, the song rather plods along without ever bursting into something special. (13.25/15)

5. "Forsaken Innocence (Part 1)" (10:51) after a rather long and protracted intro, the song establishes itself as another CURE-like bass-line with driving uptempo rhythm section. Some very nice melodies and chord progressions make it very engaging--even memorable--though they are, once again, quite familiar. For once, the band ramps it up for a crescendo of release in the ninth and tenth minutes. Nice! And the violin is a welcome addition. (18/20)

6. "Forsaken Innocence (Part 2)" (14:52) Quite a dynamic entanglement of instrumental mayhem over the opening 3:45--but it kind of works! Then piano and synth winds and acoustic guitars breathing life into a Mike Oldfield-like section (still instrumental!). At 5:22 we return to some more forceful, Trans Siberian Orchestra-like music. Impressive if a little drawn out. The next section in the seventh and eighth minutes is similar before a nice multi- organ bridge takes us back into the opening theme before a slow down at 9:10 for piano play and, later, a weave to include the synth winds and Arp synth. At 10:45 there is another shift, organs, bass, drums driving us down the highway until we slow down for another pretty, slowed-down piano-led passage over which guitars and synths join in. The weave seems to strip itself down to bare bones at the 12:50 mark but then the rest of the instruments gradually rejoin and fill the soundscape with each run through the melody theme until the piano finish. Nice. I'm surprised, though, that the band chose to devote a whole fifteen minutes to an instrumental! Still, this was, musically, the best jaunt they took me on. (27/30)

7. "Time to Go" (2:28) sounds like Roger Waters singing over an Andrew Gold piano piece. (4/5)

8. Hand on Heart (bonus track) (4:48) *

Total Time 68:41

* only on Digital & Vinyl editions

The addition of vocal powerhouse (and Matthew Parmenter sound-alike) Jargon is a definite step forward in the evolution of this Neo Prog band. And, while the compositions have also increased in complexity, there are still too many twists, turns, and hooks that are so very derivative of old prog and classic rock bands (e.g. Queen, Discipline, Alan Parsons Project, Loverboy, The Cure, The Flower Kings) as well as contemporary band Big Big Train. As a matter of fact, if one were to take out the vocals from these two groups, I think you'd find that a lot of their music sounds quite similar (as if they studied under the same masters).

B/four stars; an excellent album for any prog lover to test out for themselves.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Scouring the 2021 top 100 list for exciting new prog metal (in vain) I took a chance on this album. I like it a lot and have listened to it 3 times over the last couple of days. Can't say I'm a huge neo-prog fan, but there are a few heavier parts to get the blood pumping. My first reaction was t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2674272) | Posted by babylonstrange | Thursday, January 20, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This new album from Drifting Sun, is, for my money one of the albums of 2021. On this new album Pat Ganger Sanders and co have evolved the traditional Drifting Sun sound, and with some fantastic guest collaborators like Gareth Cole, John Jowitt and Ben Bell, the sound is filled out with the ... (read more)

Report this review (#2671501) | Posted by James R Turner | Wednesday, January 12, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Some would say that because I was a former member of Drifting Sun, that I would be biased in my review of Forsaken Innocence, Drifting Sun's seventh studio album. To be honest, I tend to be extra critical of Pat Sanders' efforts as I know the quality and skill with which he writes and performs. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2652337) | Posted by chrisjmartini | Tuesday, December 14, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I first heard about Drifting Sun a couple of years ago when a friend, Ben Bell, told me he was playing some keyboards on their then new album 'Planet Junkie'. That album turned out to be a very special piece of modern Prog music and I've been looking forward to 'Forsaken Innocence' ever since. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2652290) | Posted by Beatbeast | Tuesday, December 14, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars He who comes late is punished by life or picture this, you'd love to write a review for a fantastic new album and all is very well said already by the previous speakers! So let's try to take a look from another side. Feelings with listening to an album. Hand on heart, nowadays, how many times ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#2652246) | Posted by Larne | Tuesday, December 14, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars DRIFTING SUN has been Pat SANDERS for over 25 years! It's their 5th album (7 if we start from the beginning) with John "JARGON" KOSMIDIS frontman of VERBAL DELIRIUM, little bomb from last year; it's Mathieu SPAETER on guitar, Jimmy PALLAGROSI the barrel animal and the great John JOWITT. Just tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#2649781) | Posted by alainPP | Sunday, December 5, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When I first saw "Forsaken Innocence" on top of the charts for this year, I didn't really think too much of it - Drifting Sun was a band name I had somewhat vaguely heard of and I figured it would be another one of those albums that jumps up at the start and then falls back down as it gets more rati ... (read more)

Report this review (#2636148) | Posted by tempest_77 | Monday, November 22, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Every now and then you come across a band that somehow have passed you by over the years, and then you hear an album by them which frankly stops you dead in your tracks and overwhelms you with its musical brilliance. I have no hesitation in confessing that the latest release by Drifting Sun; For ... (read more)

Report this review (#2607921) | Posted by Squonk19 | Tuesday, October 26, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Due to inexplicable reasons, this record reminds me a lot of early progressive metal (Fates Warning and early Dream Theater). More than Neo-Prog, I find it to be progressive metal oriented. Taking up serious influence from Marillion, Drifting Sun have released what is probably their best record to d ... (read more)

Report this review (#2606213) | Posted by Isaac Peretz | Thursday, October 21, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the best albums of 2021 so far and in my opinion their best to date, I enjoyed their previous album 'Planet Junkie' but this release takes it up to another level. Keyboard player Pat Sanders pulls together another impressive list of collaborators including Matthieu Spaeter, Jargon, Ben Be ... (read more)

Report this review (#2605919) | Posted by AndyMc | Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review # 114: I discover Drifting Sun with the release of Trip the Life Fantastic and I have been following their releases since then. Right now, their only album that is missing from my music collection is their first one, so I dare say that I know their music quite well. First of all, n ... (read more)

Report this review (#2605622) | Posted by The Jester | Tuesday, October 19, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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