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DELUGE GRANDER

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Deluge Grander picture
Deluge Grander biography
Formed in 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

It was after CEREBUS EFFECT's third release, Acts Of Deception that Dan Britton (keyboards, vocals and some guitars) approached Patrick Gaffney (drums) and suggested they form a new group together. Dan had been working on material of his own and wanted this new group to record this music he had composed and even play it live. They were joined by guitarist Dave Berggren who added to the repertoire and later on by Brett d'Anon who plays bass.

Their first album August In The Urals was released in September 2006 through the new label EMKOG. In this album they are joined by several guest musicians: Jeff Suzdal plays saxophones on the first track; Adnarim Dadelos performs the vocal on the last track; a special appearance is Brett d'Anon's uncle Frank d' Anon which is a mutli instrumentalist and on the album he plays on xylophone, trumpet, flute & keyboards on the first and last tracks and also contributed to the writing process.

This first release presents a softer sound than that of Cerebus Effect. Cerebus was labeled Canterbury Metal due to its eclectic style which employed use of elements from various musical genres such as the two mentioned above and the obvious fusion/jazz-rock basis. That same basis is also found on Deluge Grander, only this band has stripped itself from the metallic sounds and instead now incorporates a more symphonic rock based approach. Yes; you can even hear mellotron sounding keyboards on several tracks. The Canterburian sound has not been neglected as well and it is too revisited on certain occasions throughout the album. With all this said, the fusion basis of this band appears to be the strongest and most dominant sound here.
This release is a stroke of fresh air in the progressive rock "camp".

The flawless mixture that Deluge Grander presents is not only enjoyable to listen to, but also carries you away with its enthusiasm. Their music, while influenced by older bands of the aforementioned genres, is nevertheless a pleasure to hear and does not feel in any way like a rehash of the same thing; but rather creating an original sound that is the culmination of what is best from each style. Deluge Grander is from the Baltimore/DC area in the USA.

==Assaf Vestin (avestin)==

See also: BIRDS AND BUILDINGS

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DELUGE GRANDER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DELUGE GRANDER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 171 ratings
August in the Urals
2006
3.82 | 132 ratings
The Form Of The Good
2009
3.71 | 97 ratings
Heliotians
2014
3.80 | 108 ratings
Oceanarium
2017
3.32 | 19 ratings
Lunarians
2020

DELUGE GRANDER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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DELUGE GRANDER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Oceanarium by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.80 | 108 ratings

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Oceanarium
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by Muskrat

3 stars With Oceanarium, Dan Britton continues the Deluge Grander experience in a style all his own: one-of-a-kind progressive rock. The compositions are still as rich, complicated, perfectly interpreted and teeming with brilliant ideas. Unlike August In The Ural, Oceanarium has few highlights, or fantastic ramp-ups, but the tracks are balanced and homogeneous. The guitar, mainly interpreted by Dan, is more present than on the previous albums while Patrick Gaffney (drums) is rather confined to the accompaniment. Brett d'Anon (bass), remains amazing and equal to himself. Despite the presence of many musicians (brass, woodwinds and strings), the majority of the time is taken up by the band itself (keyboards, guitar, bass, drums), which was not the case on The Form Of The Good . Favorite track: the admirable progression of "Finding a Shipwreck in a Valley in an Ocean".

As usual, a unique and incomparable experience. An album that would have deserved a very rewarding note. Unfortunately, I consider the persistence of the cleverly rotten mixing and production to be an insult to my ears! As if we have salad in our ears...

 The Form Of The Good by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.82 | 132 ratings

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The Form Of The Good
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by Muskrat

3 stars The least suitable album name in the history of progressive rock? It looks to me. Because the form of this second effort of Deluge Grander, is far from good. Even light years away. The mix that persists in putting everything on the same level makes the experience monotonous, muddled, and boring bordering on painful.

This being said, let's talk about the substance. Because this one is worthy of interest. Compared to "August in the Ural", "The Form of the Good" marks a turning point for the group. The compositions are homogeneous, instrumental and complex (limit free). The inspiration is closer to neo-classical rather than rock. The composition abandons the bass and the drums to rely on a rich classical instrumentation (brass, woodwinds and strings). My favorite tracks: Common Era Caveman and Aggrandizement.

An album that may be good, but difficult to judge because listening is so unpleasant. Will there one day be remixes offering a production worthy of the name? We can dream.

 Lunarians by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.32 | 19 ratings

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Lunarians
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by Muskrat

2 stars Oh no. There, I no longer walk! More rotten sound. When will Dan Britton decide to come up with a mixing and recording worthy of the name? Will this ignominy definitely be Deluge Grander's hallmark? Damn. There again we have excellent compositions, top-class performers, I even note a pleasant return of the vocals. But this is again a monster waste. My disappointment is immense, especially since we will end up believing that it is a choice. Indeed, even the most unknown groups (therefore with necessarily less resources) offer better.

I'm not asking this artist to do something Steven Wilson-style fluff, but hey: there is room! I am disappointed, disappointed, disappointed ...

 August in the Urals by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.03 | 171 ratings

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August in the Urals
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by Muskrat

5 stars Baptism by fire.

The album opens with a real bash. Absolutely necessary to enter the musical world of Dan Britton! From the start, he offers us music shrouded in mystery, romantic and dense. The compositions are rich and loaded (like Relayer of Yes), the vocals are bizarre and distant, the chords are powerful. But what I appreciate the most are the numerous and perfect transitions, and the crescendo climbs. Simply magical, I get goosebumps every time I listen to it. The musicians are talented. Britton excels as much on keyboards (especially on piano) but also on guitar, as in the title piece. The bass / drum rhythm section is very energetic (what a bass solo in Inaugural Bash! Worthy of the great Chris Squire). And the finale of August In The Oural? Grandiose! I love this taste of coming back to it that makes me listen again, and listen again. Like a drug.

Strangely, I find that this first album is the best mixed of all of Dan's production (Deluge Grander + B&B). Symphonic prog? Hmm, I would have said rather an eclectic prog, sometimes flourishing with the Zeuhl movement. In any case, this kind of music is reserved for listeners who wish to listen attentively to the musicians, and who pay particular attention to complicated compositions. Something without concession. It wouldn't occur to me to try to listen to this record while reading a book, impossible!

August In The Ural is a remedy for boredom and a masterpiece of progressive rock music.

 August in the Urals by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.03 | 171 ratings

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August in the Urals
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by Squire Jaco

4 stars Remnants of the Baltimore-based jazz-fusiony band Cerebus Effect head up this wonderful new prog band with the abstruse name of Deluge Grander. I don't know if it was the subliminal influence of the cover art and album name, but this album frequently had a sound reminiscent of something Russian or foreign.

It looks like the leader of this group (and primary composer) is keyboardist and sometimes guitarist Dan Britton. He is very talented, and it is certainly his employment of a rather large arsenal of keyboards throughout the album that lends this music to be tagged mostly "symphonic prog". Patrick Gaffney's jazz-oriented drumming is very inventive and exciting, and I suspect it is his influence that pulls the band into some fusion excursions. Notable also is the ever-present guitar playing of Dave Berggren, and some decent bass playing by Brett d'Anon.

The album opener is the remarkable "Inaugural Bash", and at 27 minutes in length, it somehow manages to hold one's interest with quite a stew of styles and instruments, including xylophone and trumpet in parts. I thought the last five or six minutes could have offered a bit more climax and resolution to the rest of the piece, but still an overall great composition. Each subsequent song is shorter than the one before it, with distinctive styles and rhythms. There's even a Spanish style to the 7-minute last track "The Solitude of Miranda", the short vocal section of which is sung backwards by a woman listed as Adnarim (Miranda spelled backwards, just in case you missed it).

Some reviewers have complained about the vocals on this album. Aside from some Zappa-like alien vocals for about 15 seconds on track one, and the ten-second vocal on "...Miranda", vocals mainly appear on tracks 2 and 3. They really are not bad, and add to the uniqueness of the band's sound. Britton's deep-throated vocals are mike'd kind of far away, and mixed somewhat low, so even if you didn't like them, they wouldn't be too distracting. But I rather like them - they tend to be almost narrative, though the lyrics themselves must not be terribly important since they are not reproduced in the liner notes anyplace. Nevertheless, it's the MUSIC (not the lyrics) that dominate and impress on this album anyway!

There's really an awful lot going on in this 71-minute album. The busy-ness of the music probably could have benefited from slightly enhanced production, but really the mix is not too bad. I do believe that the overall sound and style of Deluge Grander is distinctive and accomplished enough to garner a good listen; there aren't the overt similarities to other bands (though you will be reminded occasionally of Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Anglagard and others), nor many prog cliches, so you get a pretty original experience with this cd. (Who else puts the "Oh-EE-Oh" march from "The Wizard of Oz" into a prog song ["A Squirrel"]!? ) There is also a lot of original artwork throughout the liner notes - plenty to enjoy here!

 Oceanarium by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.80 | 108 ratings

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Oceanarium
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars I admit that this is the first Dan Britton's thing that I have listened to after the excellent single shot "ALL OVER EVERYWHERE". The first thing that I have noticed is the particular production. It's similar to that of AOE. It's professional but it's like some frequencies are cut. I can't explain as I'm not technical enough. What is clear is that this is how the artist likes it, so take it or leave it.

The album is fully instrumental, with four of the 8 tracks longer than 10 minutes. The players are skillful, I have noticed very good bass parts, but the album strength stays in the compositions. Complex, never repetitive, jumping from one genre to another but always seamlessly, without sudden changes which usually mean just that two different things have been tied together. It's really "Symphonic".

So, commenting a single track doesn't make much sense, as they contain many different things. I find the beginning of the second track "Drifting Inner Skyline Space" paerticularily interesting for its subtle darkness without being dissonant and its transition to something different. In this track the unusual production works very well.

Also the use of intruments like oboe, which temporarily replace the bass on the first track, the bass clarinet on track 3 and the violin on tracks 4 and 5 deserve a mention. They aren't the only guests, by the way.

The high quantity of instruments not very usual in the rock world, is a consequence of the complexity of the compositions. So it's an album that can't be put in background. It's not difficult nor challenging, but requires attention also in order to fully appreciate the excellent arrangements.

My personal favorite is "Marooned and Torn Asunder".

I have read on Bandcamp that this should be a sort of "extract" from a 7 albums "instrumental concept" which will maybe be completed during the next years. The first of the serie is Heliotians.

 Heliotians by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.71 | 97 ratings

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Heliotians
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars By the time Dan Britton got around to his third DELUGE GRANDER album HELIOTIANS, he had also been heavily involved in his other complex prog project Birds To Behemoth which allowed him the luxury to explore beyond the parameters set out on the first two albums "August In The Urals" and "The Form Of The Good." HELIOTIANS turned out to be a completely different beast in a couple of ways. Firstly, it was released only on vinyl form with the artwork of the Van Gogh-esque sun and swirling atmosphere completely hand-painted by Britton and his wife along with handwritten lyrics, therefore the experience of the album was to be just as much about the impressive packaging as it was about the music. Only 365 albums were made thus making this very much a collector's edition. Secondly, this album was recorded exclusively on an analog tape recorder without the use of computers giving it a more authentic retro sound from the eras of yore. This is also a concept album about a hollow Earth with an acrylic paint cover that is quite stunning in both simplicity and color dynamics which was designed to reflect the themes involved in the lyrical content.

The HELIOTIANS period was a fertile time for the band as they initially wrote a few more 10 to 20 minutes pieces but opted to hold back on a few that would appear on "Oceanarium" and a yet unreleased album in the future. The album was designed to be more atmospheric, more relaxing and less demanding of a listen as the previous winners of the complexity Olympics. In the process of the recording the band was joined by guitarist Cliff Phelps who replaced Dave Berggren midstream. The new lineup resulted in the album being recorded Phelps' home analog studio which also resulted in a completely different style and sound compared to Britton's other projects. In addition to the guitar, synth, bass and drum instrumentation, HELIOTIANS includes a haunting cello, various flutes and a hammered dulcimer. The album truly stands alone in the sea of complexity as HELIOTIANS truly focuses on lyric driven melodies but don't think for a second they have gone mainstream. This cranks out the complexities in full form, just not the OMG super stratosphere types.

The concept revolves around the Earth as an empty shell with a sun in the middle and other worlds existing between the surface and the core about 10-20 miles below the outer surface. Unlike most DELUGE GRANDER albums, this one isn't exclusively or mostly instrumental but rather features an alternating male / female lyrical delivery by Cliff Phelps, Dan Britton and Megan Wheatley. This not only gives the album a quite different feel but also seems to contain the meandering instrumental liberties present on previous albums although this is still very complex symphonically driven progressive rock that utilizes all the time signature deviations, dynamically diverse elements and sprawling compositions with "Ulterior" lasting over 14 minutes and "Reverse Solarity" hitting the 21 and a half minute mark. Only tiny little "Saruned" is a regular track size at barely over 5 minutes. The 40 minute album hosts but a mere 3 tracks.

The pace of HELIOTIANS is fairly tame compared to either earlier DELUGE GRANDER albums or any Birds And Buildings albums. While the quirkiness and charm of Brittons piano based melodies are in full display, they are somewhat tamed and normalized with the addition of a storyline being narrated in sung form. This is a warm and organic sounding album as the sound production resonates with the subject matter of an Earthly connection albeit a fictional subterranean complex of cities beneath the surface. HELIOTIANS does indeed achieve its goal of providing a more relaxing listening experience as opposed to the jittery and angular albums that preceded, however i personally find the vocals to be the weak link on this one as they are fairly monotonous in tone. While Megan Wheatley dishes out some divine femininity with her diva contributions, Cliff Phelps on the other hand sounds a little robotic as he plods through the storyline and when all is said and done, it is the vocal contributions on this album that prevent me from enjoying it as much as the instrumental albums.

This is mostly because the dynamics of the music demand a more dynamic range of vocal expressions and something just feels amiss. Musically speaking, this is quite the enjoyable musical drifting through the Inner Earth, but for some reason i just can't achieve the overall pleasure factor. For those who prefer a lighter and fluffier version of DELUGE GRANDER this one is for you but if you're in it for the over-the-top complexities that Dan Britton explores on his musical project then this one won't quite scratch that itch, however the packaging is off the charts impressive. This is another great installment in the DELUGE GRANDER canon even if it's on the bottom of my personal list.

 Oceanarium by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.80 | 108 ratings

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Oceanarium
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the second time I get a Deluge Grandeur CD, and I must admit that Dan Britton & co deliver a better CD than The Form Of The Good (2009). Problem is: their songwriting is still unfocused and without personality. It is obvious that Britton has the right influences and tries hard to deliver a 79 minute symphonic prog extravaganza: the musicians he chose are all brilliant ones, and he throws in just about every possible instrument on this album: trumpet, cello, violin, harmonica, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone, oboe, flute, trombone, even guitar! Not to mention his vast array of vintage sounding keyboards, plus bass and drums. All wrapped up with an adequate production (in this subject he seems fond of low tech recording facilities, like he was intending to sound exactly like it was made in a 70´s studio!). Still he can´t come up with songs.

Don´t get me wrong, there are several good melodies on this CD, but no cohesive whole whatsoever. In fact most tracks sound like a collection of ideas that sometimes work well together, but frequently don´t. His most obvious influence here is Mike Oldfield (around the time of his Hergest Ridge album, to be more precise), although there are several others too, like ELP, Gentle Giant, Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd. Britton does not seem to pick up a good melody and develop it into a song that has a beginning, a middle part and a conclusion. A real shame. The closer he gets to it is the last tune, Water To Glass - The Ultimate solution, which held my attention for most of its 12 minutes, but still is nothing that memorable.

Oceanarium has its moments, and it is definitely a step forward when compared to The Form Of The Good, but not much. I´m still hoping that someday Grandeur Deluge will be able to write songs as good as their talents on playing their instruments.

Rating; 5 star performances, 2 star compositions: 3 stars overall. Barely.

 The Form Of The Good by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.82 | 132 ratings

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The Form Of The Good
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars After getting his feet wet on his debut album "August In The Urals" after leaving Cerebrus Effect, Dan Britton took another few years to craft another batch of complex compositions that take the symphonic prog realm to new unthinkable heights. Just as on the debut album DELUGE GRANDER dishes out a new stranger batch of progressive rock tunes on the second album THE FORM OF THE GOOD that seem to borrow as much from Western classical artists as it does from the symphonic prog greats. Once again, the album is mostly instrumental with a loose sort of concept that tells a story about humanity through music and art instead of lyrical content. The concept is also depicted on the album cover of how people disagree and end up taking their journeys in opposite directions but eventually come full circle and arrive at the same destination. Once again, this nebulous concept escapes me but is hardly required to enjoy the music. There are five tracks on THE FORM OF THE GOOD that are quite distinct with the longest stretching over the nineteen minute mark.

Starting things off is the bizarre little "Before The Common Era," which is the shortest and easiest track to digest. It is the least meandering of the bunch and incorporates some gorgeous Gregorian chanting accompanied by an easy catchy piano riff with lots of samples of violins that add an extra layer of melancholy. The symphonic effects are in full display with brilliant sweeps of keyboards. The chants remain somewhat subdued under the symphonic elements which adds a rather murky and mysterious sort of tune but one that sets a tone and allows the listener to calibrate to the overall mood before diving into the larger complexities that follow.

"The Tree Factory" is the second longest track which takes its cue from the debut release and shows how DELUGE GRANDER has grown as a band and how Britton has indulged his wildest prog fantasies and nurtured them into extreme pomp and awe. The secret to understanding these longer tracks such as this one is to understand that what may seem like lengthy meandering and aimless noodling is actually more like a progressive medley of sampling different classical albums that range from Penderecki to Varèse and beyond and then set to symphonic progressive rock instrumentation. Generally speaking, segments are allowed to develop melodies before changing things up to another seemingly completely different motif. Some of these segments stay soft and play the symphonic card in full regalia and other segments just simply rock out with heavy guitar, bouncy bass and drum bombast and even include sizzling lead guitar solos. Tracks like this display the mind of a music nerd and how these types think in music where one idea simply cedes to another.

"Common Era Caveman" is somewhat of a breather between the two behemoths of the album and a lot easier on the ears. Composed of a mere two chords, this one has a busy bass line played on the electric piano with the skillful drumming prowess of Patrick Gaffney showing how he can keep up with the most unorthodox of time signature deviations. While being a simple composition in many ways, the progressive features are let off the leash with heavy jazzy brass embellishments and jittery time sigs jolting in different directions. Dave Berggren also dishes out some of the heaviest guitar riffs on this track which makes this one more of the rocker and as a change subduing the keyboards to subordination however the ambience and atmospheric additions give this one a true eerie feeling while the heavier parts bounce along.

"Aggrandizement" is the monster track of the album that dips over the nineteen minute mark and runs the gamut of prog workouts. While starting out with a rather exotic Middle-Eastern sort of flair, it shifts fairly quickly to the symphonic elements that wend and wind it through a series of changes that include time signature shake ups, dynamic and tempo deviations and the multitude of classically tinged melodies that meander aimlessly through the never-ending tunnel of music. This is the type of complexity that proggy dreams are made of as all progressive elements are fully employed and although once segments are completed and rarely return for reprises, are still quite the satisfying albeit adventurous listening experience. This track included lyrics when played at Progday in Chapel Hill, NC and at Orion in Baltimore in 2009. The lyrics were implemented to try to make the live experience a little more audience interactive as this kind of stuff can be a little abstract. The lyrical accoutrements were included on the Progday performance in the film "Romantic Warriors." It's amazing to me that i can sit through this one and never get bored wondering how long it lasts. On the contrary i'm consistently amazed how many ideas are packed into this one. More than most albums by lesser talents.

The title track ends the dense layer of movements that makes up THE FORM OF THE GOOD and at a mere 8 minutes and 40 seconds is the second shortest track on the album. Britton says that he was subconsciously mimicking PFM's "L'Isola di Niente" with a grand bombastic intro that ratchets up the symphonic aspects while the staccato guitar riffs add a heft supplied by the great Italian symphonic prog artists of the 70s complete with the Genesis inspired pastural atmospheric developments. Perhaps the mellowest track after the intro, it track shapeshifts as it evolves with droning synth sounds in the background allowing the musical caterpillar crawl of the guitar, bass and percussion to slowly gain in dynamics and tempo. While the album is divided into a gazillion subsections that don't repeat, the album closes with the last 30 seconds from the opening track "Before The Common Era" which closes the long and lengthy loop which is exactly what the concept of the album is about.

THE FORM OF THE GOOD is an ambitious project to say the least taking symphonic progressive rock into completely nerdy arenas and is somewhat the math rock version of that particular subgenre. While heavily steeped in classical music tradition, the jittery time signature deviations and dynamic shifts keep this one a guessing game as to where any particular section of the tracks may be heading. While some may call this aimless and rather pointless as it doesn't have any sort of traditional patterns to latch onto, i find this stuff to be exhilarating since the music is so layered and steeped in complexities that no matter how many times one listens to this it always sounds new in some ways. DELUGE GRANDER may have created a hard nut to crack in terms of nebulous concepts carried out in grandiose musical parades in any particular direction but somehow each segment that connects to the following sounds as if its a mini-suite of some sort that does feel logical even if it sounds like it's unrelated. The whole thing comes off as more intuitively based than stodgily cranked out on paper. The production of the album is impressive as so many subtle sounds dance around the other and create an interesting tapestry effect that makes DELUGE GRANDER sound like absolutely no other progressive band on the scene. Personally i find this kind of stuff a form of intelligent design that is reserved for those moments when i can't get enough complexity in my prog.

 Oceanarium by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.80 | 108 ratings

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Oceanarium
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by Amilisom

4 stars Oceanarium is probably the most inspirational prog album I've heard.

Why, because it's perfect? Actually, because it isn't.

Instrumental prog is precious as it is rare, and as someone aspiring to write it, I tend to get mixed up in overthinking the sections as though they have to be perfect. Oceanarium is free in that regard, and you can hear it in the way Dan Britten moves between the vast ocean of textures and themes (see what I did there!) in almost a cavalier kind of way. The joy is in the journey.

You like mellotrons? You'll have 'em. Random wind instrument inclusions? Plenty of it. Interesting sound textures? At least one every twenty seconds. Long songs? Definitely. What about time signatures like 9/4?

The funny thing about 9/4 is I feel like I often don't hear it in other prog songs, whether that's because of my limited scope or because it's less common than things like 7/4 or 15/8. "The Blunt Sun and Hardened Moon" (awesome title) starts with 9/4 and goes into some really cool grooves. It shows up in a few other places too, one being "Marooned and Torn Asunder." (another awesome title)

Another thing is the sound quality. It'll turn many people away for sure, but when you get used to it it actually adds to the dreamy ocean-ness that the music is sort of about. Plus it feels attainable.

My reason for not giving this five stars, despite my praise, is the music feels a little empty. On a good day I may love this album, but on a bad day I have to avoid it as it'll lead me to start feeling lost and depressed. Sorry, Dan.

Unrelated to the music: I really like the art in the CD booklet, and the track titles are awesome.

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

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