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VEIL

Drifting Sun

Neo-Prog


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Drifting Sun Veil album cover
4.27 | 41 ratings | 4 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 2024

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Veiled (2:00)
2. Frailty (12:05)
3. Eros and Psyche (5:12)
4. The Thing (7:49)
5. 2-Minute Waltz (2:00)
6. Through the Veil (5:45)
7. The Old Man (5:44)
8. Cirkus (6:34)

Total Time 47:09

Line-up / Musicians

- John 'Jargon' Kosmidis / vocals
- Ralph Cardall / guitars, mandolin
- Pat Sanders / keyboards
- Jon Jowitt / bass
- Fudge Smith / drums & percussion

With:
- Suzi James / violin (2,4,8)
- Costas Molvalis / choir (2)
- Katerina Tepelena / choir (2)
- MIchalis Latousakis / choir (2)
- Spyros Petratos / choir (2)
- Ben Bell / choir (4)
- Charlie Bramald / choir (4)
- Chris York / choir (4)

Releases information

Mixed and mastered by Leonidas Petropoulos

Cover: Phil Jolly
Label: Self
Format: CD, Digital
March 18, 2024

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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DRIFTING SUN Veil ratings distribution


4.27
(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
37%
Good, but non-essential (34%)
34%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

DRIFTING SUN Veil reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It becomes quite daunting when the entire discography over the years of a band are all major winners, with nary a thought of any weaker one among the lot. Such is the case with my long love affair with Drifting Sun going back to 2015 when I discovered the band's "Trip the Light Fantastic" album. Since those heady early days, my online friendship with Pat Sanders (in both English and French, may I add) has been easily one of my cherished ones, on par with the one I enjoy with my esteemed Lazland. I must also admit for the record, that both the 2016 "Safe Asylum" and the follow up in 2017 "Twilight" have stolen my heart and still resonate deeply in a multitude of unexplainable ways. Both subsequent albums, the adventurous "Planet Junkie" and the sprawling "Forsaken Innocence" are essential, extremely well received critically and acclaimed by the vast progressive fanbase. This is not surprising at all, in view of the solid talent that was on display! So, the dark clouds of the pandemic have petered out, giving all the time needed to set up the next chapter, as Pat reveals "VEIL" to the eager general public. With returning veterans John 'Jargon' Kosmidis on vocals as well as the celebrated bassist John Jowitt, Drifting Sun has added ex-Pendragon drummer Fudge Smith, guitarist Ralph Cardall (aka the Grump) replacing Mathieu Spaeter, as well as Suzi James (Fearful Symmetry and T.A.P.) on violin, and 7 chorists to fill out the line-up.

"Veiled" is a striking keyboard display with strings and choir, in a very classical mode that serves as a brief introduction for the impressive epic "Frailty", a dozen minutes of inspired bliss that wastes little time in marshalling all the muscular elements of the rhythm section, John and Fudge thundering along, keeping apace with the streaking guitar lines and Pat's sizzling synthesizer and splashy organ prowess, most especially his increasingly inspired piano playing. Jargon stays true to his Greek roots by theatrically seizing the microphone and telling his marathon tale of a doomed affair, a classic human tragedy. A top-notch track that really sets the tone for the things to come, a powerful choir finishing off the arrangement with clever bombast.

That masterful piano establishes the stunning "Eros & Psyche", a duet with Jargon's touching voice, simplicity incarnate. The serene atmosphere is maintained until the transition to a more powerful elevation and the full exploration of the initial melody. Swirling electric guitar raises the delirium to celestial heights, 'catching the whirlwind of life' and closing 'those old and withered eyes of mine'.

Mystical moments among the frozen lakes, darkened moods recalling Odin and Valhalla as we travel towards "The Thing", the glacial choir clashes with the sorrowful lead voice, as Ralph unleashes a few Thor's hammer solos, full of screeching agony and windswept rage. A spectacularly atmospheric piece that would make a Pict, Norman, or Viking proud.

A "2 Minute Waltz" piano etude settles the mood for the next barrage, and it bears repeating that Pat's decision to showcase his ivory talent is well worth the applause. Leading into the appropriately flamboyant "Through the Veil", the main melody is world class, the never surrender vocal delivery is off the charts, as the underlying arrangement is full of bravado, transition, and complex variations, as highlighted by the furious rhythmic maelstrom displayed by Jowitt and Smith, who sound like they have played together for decades. Darn professionals!

The unambiguous attraction of "The Old Man" is self-evident, as the delicate melody is like a balm of comfort, immediately effective and instantly addictive. With poignant lyrics such as 'the old man weeping on the floor, knows his time has come, he stands still bruised and broken hearted, when the hour strikes, one more taste of bygone days', how can anyone be left indifferent, blasť, or bored? The 'frailty' of this slice of magnificence was presented as a pre-release video and it hit me then very hard as I pass beyond the golden years into the final countdown. Ralph peels off an extended and utterly wicked solo, right on the heels of a fluttering synth. My favourite track here and easily, one of DS's crowning achievements. I gulp in genuine admiration.

The finale "Cirkus", as befits the title, is a tortuous cavalcade of emotions depicting the absurdity of life: 'desire, foul sin clad in insanity', or 'time fades away, we live and you die, in the blinking of an eye'. Disjointed organ harassed by a damaging bass, carnival sonorities that transmit a sense of playful discord through the quavering vocals, the choir in full echo mode, rapid fire choppy rhythmic upheavals, all combining to exhibit all the contradictions of the human experience, including the good, the bad and the ugly. When Jargon exalts 'minds burning we know what we must do, plunge to depths of heaven or hell' and the choir expels the air in their lungs, only the sudden stop of the piano announces the silence of eternity.

The Covid isolation has provided him perhaps unwanted opportunity to introspect, and he has had more than enough time to reflect on the human condition during this solitary period (as many thinkers and artists have), finding inspiration in both word and sound. Easily a top candidate for 2024 honours.

5 Hidden Crab Salads (internal joke)

Review by siLLy puPPy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
5 stars Although DRIFTING SUN is celebrating its fourth decade in 2024 as a band having formed in Chesham, England way back in 1994, founder and remaining member Pat Sanders didn't really get the band started until it reformed and started releasing albums again in 2015 with "Trip The Light Fantastic." Since then DRIFTING SUN has been quite productive and not only has the band released six albums in less than ten years but has in the process become incrementally a better band with each passing release as well as becoming one of the most revered neo-prog bands of the modern era. Following the excellent "Forsaken Innocence" from 2021, the band is back with its 8th overall release - VEIL.

With an ever rotating cast of musicians and backing singers, VEIL finds Pat Sanders back in the driver's seat performing another keyboard dominated slice of stellar prog. Also returning is ex-IQ bassist Jon Jowitt as well as vocalist John "Jargon" Kosmidis who took the last album to an entirely new level of prog perfection. New to the team is guitarist / mandolin player Ralph Cardall of Thedeepstate and ex-Pendragon drummer Fudge Smith. The new lineup is joined by Suzi James from Fearful Symmatry and T.A.P. who performs violin on a few tracks as well as seven choir members who pop up randomly on this eight track album that spans the playing time of just over 47 minutes.

Despite a new lineup the band sounds like a team of seasoned pros on VEIL and demonstrates how to make the proper neo-prog album for the 2020s. Graced with a diverse listing of tracks, this album is a wild ride that implements all the expected keyboard heft with flashy synthesizer runs and layered atmospheres but goes so much further in exploring textures, timbres and dynamics. Starting out with a short two-minute instrumental with the time signature of a waltz, "Veiled" delivers a piano-based orchestral with dramatic a dramatic choir and a slow build up to the album's longest cut, "Frailty" which takes on the role of a mini album's worth of ideas in its own right with its many movements that tackle soft melodic passages with the grittier heft of guitar based rock.

The album continues with one killer strong track after another with all kinds of pleasing developments. Melodic hooks without any cheesiness and dynamics that range from pacifying piano rolls to raucous guitar solos add the spice. The highlights include? well everything! ~ however some interesting moments include the moments of virtuosity which neo-prog doesn't usually excel in. This includes the guitar shredding antics on "Eros And Psyche" and Sanders demonstrating his virtuoso piano rolls on the phenomenally precise "2-Minute Waltz." Another personal favorite is the closing "Cirkus" with its circus music rhythms and Kosmidis' vocal style that reminds me a bit of Anekdoten. The use of keyboards, guitars, choirs and varying percussion makes this entire album a gem of a listening experience.

Honestly i wasn't too impressed when i sampled the tracks available before the album's release but when i hear the album in its entirety i'm completely blown away! DRIFTING SUN really is the hottest ticket in the neo-prog section of the prog universe delivering a fresh new stylistic approach that doesn't rely on past masters for its inspiration. Sanders demonstrates his musical genius on so many levels on this one. I was fearing "Forsaken Innocence" would be a one-off fluke of brilliance but i am happy to be totally wrong on that note. VEIL is every bit as original and compelling as its predecessor and a welcome surprise in the first quarter of 2024. This band is on fire! I sure hope they can keep this intensity and perfection up for a few more albums because this is really the stuff melodic prog dreams are made of.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 'Veiled' begins rural, theatrical, with a Mecano tune yes 'Hijo de la luna' it's beautiful, nostalgic, cracklings and a crystalline piano arpeggio, the orchestral keyboard; we see the dancer in the bottle.'Frailty' entry into the album and the direct slap; two symphonic minutes reminding me of t ... (read more)

Report this review (#3033663) | Posted by alainPP | Thursday, March 28, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars NEO-PROG PLUS! Well, to be honest, this is my first musical encounter with the highly acclaimed Drifting Sun, while they have released already 8 studio-albums, 7 rated between 3.83 and 4.16 here on PA, between 1996 and 2024 .... oops! During my first listening session I got more and more exci ... (read more)

Report this review (#3032678) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Monday, March 25, 2024 | Review Permanlink

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