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The Sea Within biography
Founded in London in 2017

The Sea Within are an art-rock group formed by Roine STOLT (Transatlantic, The Flower Kings), Daniel Gildenl÷w (Pain of Salvation), Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, Karmakanic, The Tangent), Tom Brislin (Renaissance, Spiraling, Yes Symphonic, Deborah Harry) & Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, Steven Wilson, UK, Joe Satriani)

Roine Stolt comments on how the project came together: "I think all it started as a suggestion from the record company - putting together a new band, starting fresh, seeing if collective writing could spawn a unique style. Call it a supergroup if you want - I think we can handle that."

The members entered Livingston Studios in London to begin recording the basic tracks, and found an instant chemistry in the way they worked together. "Going into the studio in London was taking a great risk as we had not been in the same room together beforehand." Roine continues: "We had just sent demos around and didn't really know if we could make great music together, but we managed to track almost 2 hours of new music, a mix of collective ideas. We also had a lot of great 'off-time', sharing laughs and stories in local pubs, that part is important."

Roine says: "There are elements of prog, pop, art-rock and many cinematic elements. I suppose the music comes from within our collective memories of all that we love as far as sounds, visions and poetry. We hope that discovering the music will be a journey for the open-minded fan - something as fresh and uncertain and unfolding as it is for us."

The Sea Within's first live date was at Night of the Prog Festival 2018 at Loreley, Germany on the weekend of 13-15th July 2018 alongside Camel, Big Big Train, & Riverside & more.

Jonas Reingold - Bass
Tom Brislin - Keyboards, Vocals
Marco Minneman - Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Guitar
Daniel Gildenlow - Vocals & add. Guitar
Roine Stolt - Guitars, Vocals, add. Keyboards

Bio from Inside Out Records band page

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3.75 | 114 ratings
The Sea Within

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 The Sea Within by SEA WITHIN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.75 | 114 ratings

The Sea Within
The Sea Within Eclectic Prog

Review by Idaho

3 stars The only release from this supergroup, a 2-disc album, one only has to look at the main songwriters to know what this will sound like. Stolt and Reingold, both of the The Flower Kings, do the majority of the songwriting. Fans of The Flower Kings will likely be happy with this. Fans of, say, Daniel Gildenl÷w, the mastermind behind Pain of Salvation, will be less happy, although they'll likely enjoy most of Disc 2. Yes, Gildenl÷w sings on most songs, and he does have a good voice. But the best songs here are the ones he helped write.

It's true that Gildenl÷w was (very briefly) a member of The Flower Kings, and so this is, in a way, a bit of a reunion album of the 2003 Flower Kings. More Yes than Pain of Salvation, I'd place this solidly in the symphonic prog camp. There's almost no progressive metal influence here--none on Disc 1 and just a little on Disc 2.

Disc one isn't anything special. The songs aren't particularly bad but other than a few nice moments it's not compelling music. Perhaps symphonic prog fans would disagree. Disc 2 has some nice songs, and those redeem the album. Three of those four songs on Disc 2 are written, in part, by Gildenl÷w, and the one that isn't sounds like it could have been, with more emotion and better vocals than anything on Disc 1. Highlights here include "Where Are You Going," which sounds a bit like a soft Pain of Salvation song. "Time" continues in the same vein, with a tiny hint of progressive metal shining through. "Denise" is pretty much a soft Pain of Salvation song.

I'm not certain all versions of this contain Disc 2--so if you're buying this, verify it comes with both discs. Had Disc 2 been released separately as an EP I would be probably rate it 4.0 or 4.5 stars. But Disc 2 is extremely short, Disc 1 is long, and this is, at best, a 3.5 star album.

 The Sea Within by SEA WITHIN, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.75 | 114 ratings

The Sea Within
The Sea Within Eclectic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars With a line-up that includes a diverse group of musicians such as Daniel Gildenl÷w (Pain of Salvation), Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, Steven Wilson band), Tom Brislin (Renaissance, Yes' Symphonic tour) and two full-time Flower Kings in Roine Stolt (also of Kaipa, Transatlantic) and Jonas Reingold (also The Tangent, Karmakanic), how could new supergroup be anything but fascinating and full of variety?! That's a good mix of artists working in both modern and vintage sounding types of prog-rock collected together here, and it's that mentality that unsurprisingly spills over into The Sea Within's 2018 self-titled debut album. Prog-snobs be warned - the LP is not exactly a `prog' album as such, instead it's an eclectic collection of arty and colourful rock pieces with strong pop melodies that incorporates a wild range of styles that constantly branch off in interesting directions, but the tune and song is always the priority.

`Ashes Of Dawn' is a raucous and dramatic opener, full of heavy churning guitars and humming keyboards navigating up-and-back tempo spurts powered by skittering drumming, and guest Rob Townsend of former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett's recent works steps in for a short Gong-like sax blast in the middle - never call this album predictable! Daniel Gildenl÷w purrs with his always expressive silken vocal and rocking swagger, and the words throughout the track and entire disc are frequently surreal and cryptic (yet never `fantastical' as found on many prog works). The gloomy piano-led verses of `They Know My Name' hold a light unease that's contrasted with a stirring defiant chorus, and `The Void' is a muscular ballad, which probably sounds like a contradiction! Breathless thrashing rocker `An Eye For An Eye For An Eye' has a runaway momentum, but the highlight is a gorgeous jazzy piano solo in the middle from Tom that sparkles with finesse (and damned if little traces of Roine's guitar soloing at just after the six minute mark don't fleetingly remind of Stolt's hero Prince!).

While it's odd that Casey Mcpherson of Neal Morse-related side-project Flying Colors steps in for lead vocals for the first time at over the half-way point of the album, he brings an emotional raspy drawl to the deceptively sweltering funkiness lurking throughout `Goodbye', and there's a lovely dreamy repeating chorus that hints of Stolt's spiritual mindset and positivity (and the vibrant instrumental second half from the whole group is exceptional). Then (finally?!), `Sea Without' is the sole pure instrumental of the disc, and at just over a mere two minutes this teasing little sliver will likely have prog fans crying into their pillows for more, but you get a tasty little interlude of regal organ, announcing drumming and whirring synths that is actually the moment of the album that comes closest to a Flower Kings-like symphonic piece!

`Broken Cord' is the obligatory `epic' of the disc, a near-fifteen minute multi-part extended piece that opens as a Beatles-esque tune with inviting group harmonies, and the gloriously sun-kissed `Come hell or high water...' poppy chorus will lodge itself in your brain for days! It moves through tougher dramatic bursts with cool rumbling bass from Jonas making his presence known (is there seriously a better prog bass player active today?), some unhurried passages of ethereal guitar wisps, ringing chimes and gentle synth washes call to mind the classic Yes albums (and fans of that group will enjoy knowing that Jon Anderson is hiding somewhere in the background vocals of this piece!), and skilfully implemented reprises of both vocal and instrumental themes help bring a winning cohesion. Casey then takes the lead once more for closer `The Hiding Of Truth', a final warm ballad send-off with plentiful gentle piano and soft group harmonies over a restrained instrumental backing that slowly rises with an optimistic air.

Don't dismiss this album on a single listen, as it takes several spins to reveal just how many exciting details and compactly skilled instrumental touches are woven into even the more pedestrian spots of the disc. Admittedly those wanting a full-blown prog extravaganza are likely going to be hugely underwhelmed by The Sea Within, but others who appreciate diverse rock/pop albums that still retain intelligence and a smart musical backing that takes even the more straight-forward moments to higher grounds will likely find much to appreciate here. `The Sea Within' gets the band of the same name off to a very fine start, so let's hope we get to dive in (groan!) to this promising and talented group again in the near future!

Three and a half stars.

(and be sure to get one of the expanded two-disc editions that adds some worthwhile bonus tracks)

Thanks to Nogbad_The_Bad for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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