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LUNATIC SOUL

Crossover Prog • Poland


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Lunatic Soul picture
Lunatic Soul biography
Founded 2008 in Warsaw, Poland

The LUNATIC SOUL is a solo studio project from RIVERSIDE's bass guitarist and vocalist Mariusz DUDA featuring RIVERSIDE's keyboard player Michał ŁAPAJ on the Hammond organ with Maciej SZELENBAUM playing keyboards, piano, flutes, harmonica and qujang, Wawrzyniec DRAMOWICZ from INDUKTI on drums and QUIDAM's Maciej MELLER utilising the e-bow on an unspecified stringed instrument.

While far removed from RIVERSIDE's Progressive Metal it is not difficult to see comparisons and similarities to the parent band in the music contained on the eponymous debut album - not least of all because of DUDA's distinctive clean vocals, the occasional guttural growl and, despite the lack of electric guitars, the pounding acoustic guitar riffs that appear on some of the tracks. However, this is not the lighter, unplugged side of DUDA, it is a dark brooding mix of eclectic sounds with ethnic instruments and influences evoking eastern/oriental themes, psychedlic-era PINK FLOYD-like rhythms, swirling and ethereal keyboards reminiscent of early PORCUPINE TREE tied together by songs that are surprisingly accessible and melodic.

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LUNATIC SOUL discography


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LUNATIC SOUL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 395 ratings
Lunatic Soul
2008
3.85 | 376 ratings
Lunatic Soul II
2010
3.77 | 253 ratings
Impressions
2011
4.01 | 401 ratings
Walking On A Flashlight Beam
2014
3.86 | 245 ratings
Fractured
2017
3.69 | 91 ratings
Under The Fragmented Sky
2018
4.26 | 64 ratings
Through Shaded Woods
2020

LUNATIC SOUL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LUNATIC SOUL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

LUNATIC SOUL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LUNATIC SOUL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Cold
2014
3.25 | 4 ratings
Anymore
2017
2.67 | 3 ratings
Moving On
2017
3.67 | 3 ratings
A Thousand Shards of Heaven
2017
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Art of Repairing
2018
2.67 | 3 ratings
Untamed
2018

LUNATIC SOUL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Through Shaded Woods by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.26 | 64 ratings

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Through Shaded Woods
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars LUNATIC SOUL, side-project of the singer-bassist from Riverside has been exploring soft, soaring tones with synths backing since 2008; this 7th album transports us to a Scandinavian or Irish folk universe come to lend a hand; no electro here rough which he plays alone, looking to the past-future; an intimate, cold, icy music where tribal sounds finally release a little warmth, feelings and intrusive images able to make you travel alone through the use of own eidolias. "Navvie" with Irish folk sounds and accordion, bass, Mariusz's voice linear, haunting, basic, bewitching, acoustic atmo, appetizer. "The Passage" for a repetitive acoustic track, a monophasic suite that sets in motion halfway, a metallic riff that becomes embedded, we suddenly find ourselves at a banquet (more than 6 and more!) Where the 'we dance drunk on a weathered tree that serves as a table, a title not to be underestimated. "Through Shaded Woods" for the progressive Rajna-style vibe with binary sounds and that tortured voice, reverberating jarring distortion that makes you shiver, a sound of old times with traditional instruments; the voice is recovering with a normal stroke, ending with rustling of footsteps in the leaves. "Oblivion" with Dead Can Dance hovering here! Ritual drum, orchestra, troubadour rhyme that is nothing sensational except for this bucolic air and this enchanting voice of Mariusz. "Summoning Dance" which immediately reminds me of the sound of Anathema in their scintillating acoustic tunes; dream, purity, joy, crescendo with the contribution of the piano, acoustic guitars, electric bass and synths filling the fresh air of the undergrowth, everything to make bare feet dance in trance on the humus from the forest. "The Fountain" ending melody that could appear on a Riverside album, sad song about returning hope, crystal-clear piano, twilight orchestration and the astonishing beauty that goes with it, there we touch on the introspective ambient. 40 minutes that make you want to grab the luxury version with 3 bonuses, let's go: "Vyraj" for an instrumental title, folk trance, binary, stereotypical, bewitching taking up this hypnotic guitar frame; the voice is only whispered here, the synth in the background. "Hylophobia" on the shortest track and a dynamic riff well in the style of Riverside, you have to wait for the middle to return to these sounds from the cold. "Transition II" for the track you have to listen to; a trip here on Riverside, dub, on Mike Oldfield with that lush xylophone stint; then metallic percussions, an extension of "He Av En" from the previous album, intertwined sections which mix to merge and give by musical alchemy an incredible piece; further on, an atmosphere of an S-F movie soundtrack, you might think you could hear Tangerine Dream or Max Richter, it's beautiful to the baby's cry of wonder; 37 minutes more for a double chronicle of fact.

Primitive, ritual dances, composed in his childhood home invaded by forests, this album is a trap with these single-string and monophasic atmospheres which are loaded with reverberations; Safe from his ancestral torments Mariusz was able to deliver basic, archaic, Celtic, ambient music where melancholy torpor creates a musical oxymoron on fire and shadow, life and death, a memory on the moving film "L 'Isle ". a reminder of the sounds of Dead Can Dance and Peter Gabriel or even Heilung or Clannad in which Enya worked there for a while. Mariusz loves monotonous rhythmic repetitive sounds and shows it by transcending them, giving them an afterlife.

 Through Shaded Woods by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.26 | 64 ratings

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Through Shaded Woods
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The folk side of master songwriter and singer Mariuz Duda.

1. "Navvie" (4:03) powerful and deeply engaging in a FAUN kind of way. My favorite song on the album. (9.5/10)

2. "The Passage" (8:57) dull and boring. (17/20)

3. "Through Shaded Woods" (5:51) a little too repetitive and drawn out (8.75/10)

4. "Oblivion" (5:03) That voice! Great use of zither, synths, and hand percussives. A top three song from me. (9/10)

5. "Summoning Dance" (9:52) nice start but, as is often the case with Mariuz Duda's Lunatic Soul songs, it fails to deviate from the foundation, only adding pretty and interesting incidentals here and there. Nice vocal melody and performance(s)--especially in the choruses. (There is an uncredited female voice singing background harmonies in the choruses). I like the use of piano, mandolin, and synths. When it goes slightly house/disco in the sixth minute, it's an interesting distraction, but then it goes rock with the fuzzy electric guitars and THIN LIZZY-like multiple guitar riffing. At the 8-minute mark there is a gap of stillness before returning to a full soundscape of all that has occurred before while synth strings lead over the top. (17.5/20)

6. "The Fountain" (6:04) a beautiful and very different song, vocal. Reminds me a little of a modern version of the 1970s band BREAD--or of something from Andrew Lloyd-Weber's Phantom of the Opera. (9/10)

Total Time 39:50

First disc: 4.5 stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection. Special Ltd Edition Bonus CD: 1. "Vyraj" (5:32) a lively pagan folk romper in the vein of many of the more recent circle dances of FAUN. Mostly instrumental but some nice shifts in the soundscape along the way. (9/10)

2. "Hylophobia" (3:20) the heavier, almost rockin' side of mariuz cannot be denied (he's done it for far too long with Riverside). Add the folk percussion instruments and you have an aggressive almost folk music similar to that of Ivar Bhørnson and Einar Selvik on their 2018 Viking folk masterpiece, Hugsjá. (A little more drum reliant than Ivar and Einar's work.) (8.5/10)

3. "Transition II" (27:45) opens with the very familiar breathy synth sounds from the opeing of Marius' 2010 epic "Transitions" from Lunatic Soul's second album, II. Added intstruments and sounds show early on that Mariuz is definitely developing this version quite differently than the original. At the four-minute mark the addition of a fuzzy guitar to the layers signals a completely new direction and, within the minute, we have moved completely into the territory made familiar by MIKE OLDFIELD. Is this further confirmation that Mariuz has caught the Mike Oldfield Syndrome in which an artist gets lured into the pattern of going back and redoing, remixing, or refreshing old songs/ideas? The section here from the seven-minute mark sounds exactly like something from the mind (and discography) of Mike Oldfield. At 12:30 we begin to move out of Mike Oldfield territory as two guitars, bass and synth wash enter a more New Age soundscape. (I know one of Mariuz' heroes is Vangelis.) In the eighteenth minute, then, we move over into the more relaxing, bluesy side of the 21st Century New Age psychedelia--like a cross of old Pink Floyd with At 20:50 Mariuz starts a whole new song with vocalise, and a catchy multi-chord progression strummed by his electric guitar. This is cool. This is a difficult song to rate because of its multiple themes and palette choices. In the 26th minute, Mellotron like vocal banks introduce a kind of Gregorian-chant version of the original sound scape complete with a long decaying synth finish. (47.5/55)

Total Time 36:37

With bonus material = B+/four stars; still an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection--especially if you are A) a lover of Mariuz Duda's voice and B) you like the pagan folk vibe á la FAUN and WARDRUNA.

 Through Shaded Woods by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.26 | 64 ratings

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Through Shaded Woods
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by javajeff

4 stars Through Shaded Woods does not sound like other Lunatic Soul releases, but it is still a solo project for Mariusz Duda for his superb vocals, and all instruments, effects, and sounds. The first thing that stands out is the aural candy. Yes it sounds great, like previous efforts. However, it is less of an electronic sounding album with more of a folk or world vibe. The compositions are still sparse, and build up in all the right places. With all the layers in each track, it is easy to discover things with each listen. Mariusz likes to add sounds that are new and refreshing, and there are some choices that are odd at first until it becomes evident how it is layered in with other instruments. Through Shaded Woods is one of the better Lunatic Soul releases, and a must for fans of any other album in the catalog. Highly recommended.
 Through Shaded Woods by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.26 | 64 ratings

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Through Shaded Woods
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars There is nothing else quite like the thrill of entering into the world of Lunatic Soul. Well, it's less of a thrill, and more of a sacred joy, or at least that is how it feels sometimes. Lunatic Soul is back with a new album, called "Through Shaded Woods", and I imagine that it will be remembered as one of the best. The album releases on November 13th through Kscope.

Lunatic Soul is the original solo output for Mariusz Duda of Riverside. I still remember first hearing the LS debut and falling instantly in love with this very different side of his musical expression. Over the years, the project has explored folk, post-prog, electronic, and Gothic ideas, gathering all of these concepts into one mysterious and hazy experience. Indeed, there is a romance and a hidden sentiment in every single album that rouses my love for enigma, spirituality, and gravity. In fact, the lyrics and storyline for this project are so complex and yet so powerfully emotive that I still haven't attempted to write a spotlight for any of them. This project is both painstakingly human as well as blissfully otherworldly, and I cherish that.

With "Through Shaded Woods", Mariusz has returned somewhat to the sound of the first two records. Now, I say "somewhat" because this record doesn't just explore vague folkish ideas, aka Dead Can Dance, but employs that darkness to explore Scandinavian folk music very specifically with all the evocation and wonder that it deserves. Mariusz is a big fan of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and so you will hear that mountainous sound throughout the album, but also the green of hushed forests and fantastical creatures. I especially love the moments where Mariusz pays tribute to the Dragon Shouts from Skyrim with utter class and melody.

As usual, no electric guitars are present on this album, though Mariusz does manipulate his trusty bass to sound like distorted electric guitar at a few points. This album is heavy in that regard, though still retaining the spacious, murky whiteness of Lunatic Soul II. Indeed, this album is most at home with itself with tumultuous percussion, raging bass, and unnervingly peaceful atmospheres creating layers of beauty and light, darkness and sadness, faith and courage.

There are two things I need to mention about the music here. First, this might be the best vocal performance of Mariusz's career thus far. He certainly has one of my favorite voices ever, but I just feel something more colorful, more melodic, and more harmonious in his vocals on this album. His voice is truly a beacon of light here, and I have to admit that I've been deeply impressed by his diction and articulation. Most people wouldn't notice that, I know, but there are moments when Mariusz pronounces each and every sound in a word with such effortless precision and clarity that my love for language grows just a little.

Secondly, while this album may rely on thundering percussion, voluptuous bass, and serene keys at times, the real star of the show is Mariusz's acoustic guitar. He weaves folk melodies with such care and fleeting exactitude on almost every song, playing with illustrious skill and festive feeling. Honestly, it makes me want to dance sometimes, which isn't like me. Not since witnessing Steve Hackett's 12-string guitar skills live have I been so mesmerized by acoustic playing.

Lyrically, "Through Shaded Woods" is absolutely wonderful. I honestly haven't figured out Mariusz's map of where each album fits in his timeline, but I can still make out the general feelings here. This album seems to mention the afterlife ferryman's warning in "The Final Truth" from the debut. This warning was that the protagonist had to make a choice: to keep or lose his memories of life. If he chose to keep them, his loved ones would forget him. If he chose to lose his memories, he would be remembered forever. This album seems to take place directly after Lunatic Soul II, then, as that album was the protagonist's entrance into the afterlife. "Through Shaded Woods" sees our friend learning to cope with the things he has seen and felt. He is living his afterlife, more or less, and he seems to be reaching out to his lover in his past life. The lyrics are therefore quite sorrowful and introspective, yet I find them to be confident and daring, too. Our friend is beginning to have faith, something that has eluded him in life. He especially seems to have faith that he will see his love again one day, if only he can let go of her for the moment.

The full version of "Through Shaded Woods" has two discs. The first disc is the main part of the album, coming to six tracks. The second disc has three bonus tracks, which I believe is a necessary part of the album, especially if you are already a fan. We've all heard the two singles, "Navvie" and "The Passage", both of which are excellent. I love the winding mystery of the former, especially Mariusz's smooth vocals. The latter is like a progressive epic in some ways, despite only be 9 minutes long. I love the various transitions and the heavy portion, but I think the acoustic guitar steals the spotlight.

The rest of the album is just as good. The title track is dark and mysterious for the first half before transitioning into some truly phenomenal vocal lines. I love how his voice interweaves with the keys at the end. "Oblivion" (maybe another ode to Elder Scrolls?) was my favorite after first listen. This track has the Dragon Shouts and a very folkish atmosphere and rhythm. I love how that rhythm remains, unrelenting, for the entire track, and everything else happens along that touchstone. "Summoning Dance" is a ten-minute track that is delicate and truly lovely, not to mention having some of the best lyrics. It has a iron ton of bass in its blood, and the rising acoustic rhythm peaks near the end with some atmospheric keys that remind me of "Walking on a Flashlight Beam".

The final track is called "The Fountain", and it is certainly one of my favorite songs of the year. For one thing, it makes me cry every time I hear it. The song is so full of heartbreak and loss, longing and passion, that I cannot help but empathize. Yet, it is full of confidence and patience, too. This song is mostly just an acoustic ballad, but Mariusz sings magnificently, and the lyrics are so potent. In the second half, a sweeping tide of feelings, keyboards, and piano takes us away to another place, and everything sounds simply perfect.

The second disc does not lack in quality. The first couple songs, "Vyraj" and "Hylophobia" (fear of forests), are pounding, boisterous affairs. You will rollick right along with the folk rhythms; they are definitely fun tracks. Then comes "Transition2", a twenty-seven minute experience. This song feels like a tribute to the entire discography, to the places we've been and the visions we've seen. You will hear familiar snippets of past LS songs, only re-recorded and played and sung differently. The song is mostly new, however, with those snippets just providing structure. Overall, it does indeed remind me of "Transition", which happens to be my favorite LS track for various reasons. This sequel passes through many moods and places, some riveting and tumultuous, and some peaceful and quieting. It is a beautiful song, one that I need to explore even more.

"Through Shaded Woods" feels like the grand culmination of everything Lunatic Soul has worked to create. While it focuses on folk sounds, I feel like each and every LS album is important to how this one was created. Mariusz has definitely been busy this year, and he has outdone himself with this moving masterpiece.

Originally posted on theprogmind.com

 Under The Fragmented Sky by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Under The Fragmented Sky
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by thesimilitudeofprog

4 stars Mariusz Duda is without any doubt one of the most prolific and creative forces in progressive music right now. For several years, alongside his band mates in Riverside and through out Lunatic Soul, he has become a leader, about creativity, experimenting with sounds, melodies, soundscapes, and what the musician can do with his bass or keyboards. For me this give his music such a distinctive sound and personality. Pure gold in progressive music in my humble opinion. Under the Fragmented Sky, the 6th Lunatic Soul full album is a continuation to the highly praised Fractured. Mariusz develops the dark atmosphere even further while developing the general concept flowing through its predecessor.

Under the Fragmented Sky was originally going to be a maxi-single, but Duda took the brave decision to give these songs a life of their own by shaping them into a full-length album, completing the journey started in "Fractured".

The listener is greeted with 'He av en', which is a savory appetizer for what's to come. Lunatic Soul's music at its best. Bass lines heavily distorted, in a melody that morphs into rhythms with vocalized harmonies. Slow beat of tambourine, and more melodies overlapping but never covering the other, join all together to create a beautiful soundscape. Trials open the way to the electronic side of Duda's dark compositions and musical atmospheres. Here we're given a lyric line repeated in a robotic way, almost nonstop in different harmonies and ranges. The flowing melody seems to me extracted from any Riverside song but then taken apart and rebuilt with sounds, effects and rhythms. This is classic in Lunatic Soul's experimentation. Towards the second half, the song turns darker with ominous vocal sounds. The keyboard and guitar melodies that any Tangerine Dream fan would love. Sorrow is a short transitional song with acoustic guitar and atmospheric ghost-like sounds, opening the doors for the title track Under the Fragmented Sky. The title-track which takes its name comes from 'A Thousand Shards of Heaven' from Fractured, is a beautiful yet sad song but musically stunning. Lyrically I understand it as the struggle between succumbing to fears and anger or to remain true to oneself despite our losses. I believe this song might be one of the most personal ones for Duda's after all the tragedy and transformation he has gone through over the last couple of years. Many of us can easily identify with this struggle, that's why it moves every fiber of my heart. The song closes returning to the same melody from He av en, but in a different key. Honoring the dark nature of this album, 'Shadows' starts with a very dark atmosphere. The main melody, threading through the song could have been on any Riverside album, but how Duda is able to turn melodies, sounds and effects into such atmospheres is something he is absolutely a genius at. Like Shadows Raising the Night' continues this voyage through dark realms full of shades and colored lights. Here we're offered more color and more complex rhythms aided by cymbal sounds and strings. Mariusz vocalization joins to guide us calling our curiosity to be awakened to find its own path. The Art of Repairing contains off-beat electronic sounds like broken machines. Together they slowly form a rhythm and melodies. Like a machine finding new life thanks to its own errors when masterfully repaired by allowing it just to flow. Progression at its finest. Closing this journey, 'Untamed' is the second and last song with full lyrics on this remarkable album. It has a more positive vibe. This very personal song is more a flag of hope showing us that not all is darkness in this world. It tells us that we all have our strengths within ourselves, no matter how dark the night is, there's always ways to win our fights and defeat our demons. What a way to close this album. Mariusz Duda has done it again. He has given us another masterpiece of progressive experimentation that is full of emotions. Once again musically he gave us the chance to witness an even darker journey through feelings and emotions, but delivering us into light again with our hopes for what's to come.

The future is bright for us.

 Under The Fragmented Sky by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Under The Fragmented Sky
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Released in May 2018, Riverside bassist/frontman Mariusz Duda marks the first decade of his solo project Lunatic Soul with his sixth album under that alias, `Under The Fragmented Sky', and it couldn't be more appropriately titled. It constantly diverts between darker moods with uplifting hopeful passages, and lyrically is wistfully romantic and optimistic to answer the gloomier soundtracks behind it, and despite sharing a lyric from a track off the previous album `Fractured' and mostly originating from the same 2016/17 sessions, `...Sky' stands perfectly well on its own and is hardly mere `leftovers'. With about three quarters of the disc being instrumental, this particular LS disc mixes dark electronica and ambient styles, percussion- heavy brooding, vocal drones and superior balladry, making for another intelligent and varied emotional work from the Polish artist.

`He-av-en' unhurriedly wraps wordless sighing vocal loops around ethereal synth washes, simple percussion taps and chiming guitar strains together for an intriguing opener. `Trials' mixes purring vocal twitching and electronic glitches to take on a hypnotic shimmer that eventually melts into stormy shadowy rumbles, then `Sorrow' is all delicate electric piano tiptoes and an introspective soothing vocal cry from Mariusz. His title-track is an acoustic/electric tune sung passionately with intimate reflection ("Isolation, all my anger, regret...they're gone. I feel stronger...and it stopped the feeling I'm crumbling apart..."), and pretty multi-tracked harmonies, haunting piano and weeping exquisite guitar reaches lift the piece even higher.

`Shadows' reverberates with menacing machine programming that takes on a light-industrial coolness locking in pensive acoustic guitar ringing and slithering bass, an aching eastern-flavoured dustiness infiltrating the piece and into the following `Rinsing the Night', with an eerie blend of clipping pulsing beats and exotic percussion. `The Art of Repairing' is the highlight of the disc, a chilled slink through mellow electronica and head-nodding beats. The closer is then a lovely farewell ballad, and although Duda and Riverside are (still) ignorantly dismissed as Porcupine Tree clones by some, in this instance `Untamed' sounds very much like a Steven Wilson outtake, even down to the alternating electric/acoustic passages and gorgeous piano! Thankfully it's still beautifully sung with genuine warmth conveying the words, and it makes for an embracing and reassuring wrap to the album.

Although a fairly short (but wonderfully vinyl-length!) work at about thirty-seven minutes, and the third and fourth discs `Impressions' and especially `Walking on a Flashlight Beam' are the superior artistic statements under the Lunatic Soul banner so far, `...Sky' is perhaps the most intimate and subdued. Considering the difficult personal circumstances Mariusz has been around the last few years, the solemn reflection with traces of hope and an appreciation for life permeating the disc lift it even higher, helping make `Under The Fragmented Sky' a renewing, evocative and tasteful release from a smart and thoughtful artist.

Three and a half stars, rounded up to four.

 Under The Fragmented Sky by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Under The Fragmented Sky
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars LUNATIC SOUL Under the Fragmented Sky

Mariuz is experimenting with looping and sampling--especially with his voice.

1. "He av En" (4:05) looped vocal tracks with percussives, bass, and guitar. (8/10)

2. "Trials" (5:44) several vocal loops and keyboard and bass riffs over a simple metronomic computer snare track. I like the bass and synth line of the final two minutes--that's when the song finally comes to life. (8.5/10)

3. "Sorrow" (1:30) acoustic nylon string guitar with spacey synth noises and wordless, breathy, upper register vocal. (4/5)

4. "Under the Fragmented Sky" (5:03) Mariuz singing from the beginning with cadence support of the strumming of two (and later three) guitars. Second verse has a second, separate vocal woven within the melody and words of the first. At the end of the second chorus bass, piano, and synths thicken the soundscape while fuzzed guitar plays a slow, melodic solo. Then we return to the opening movement before a break lets in some odd vocalizations and bass line and piano. This plays out till the song's end as voices fade into the background and piano stays up front, alone. (9/10)

5. "Shadows" (4:31) heavy, spacey, atmospheric, synths and tuned percussives play at both ends of the audio spectrum before more of the same and bass join in to add some more filler to the middle ranges. Guitar joins in at the beginning of the second minute. There is an industrial, minimalist feel to this instrumental music. The sections cycle around in an A-B-A-C sequence with horn-like synth in the second "verse" section and twangy guitars filling the spacious final section. (7.5/10)

6. "Rinsing the Night" (3:56) acoustic guitars feel indie-folk, even southern folk-bluegrass. Household and synthesized percussives and bass join in in the second minute. Vocalise and other lines are one-by-one mixed into the weave. Picked acoustic guitar takes the lead in the final minute before returning to within the weave for the end. (8/10)

7. "The Art of Repairing" (7:54) keyboard activated vocal and industrial noise samples open this song, forming a bit of a Laurie Anderson-like weave. In the second minute, keys, cymbols, and multiple synths join in, changing the dynamics and feel. Once things settle down, a KRAFTWERK-like rhythm base has been established over which multiple vocal samples are activated, alternated, interwoven, and rotated. All of the sounds rotated into this piece (except the vocal samples) seem as if updated versions of old electronica sounds. I wonder if Mariuz has ever heard the albums by Jean-Michel Jarre and Claire Hammill, Zoolook from 1984 and Voices from 1986, respectively. They far accomplish more than what he's trying to do on this album. (8/10)

8. "Untamed" (3:24) opening like SEAL's "Crazy," this one evolves into a more straightforward prog pop song. A good song. More like this, please. (8.5/10)

3.5 stars; a fair addition to a prog rock lover's music collection--depending on whether or not you wish to put in for some conservative exploration of old technologies.

 Under The Fragmented Sky by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Under The Fragmented Sky
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by proghaven

4 stars Yesterday I was lucky to familiarize myself with two 2018 releases of very different duration. Beloved Antichrist by Therion is 3 hours of total playing time, and when I listened to it I couldn't wait when it comes to an end, and regretted that its duration was not 35 minutes or so. On the contrary, Under the Fragmented Sky by Lunatic Soul is just 35 minutes of total playing time! - and I regretted that it was not... no, perhaps 3 hours would be an excess, but 70-80 minutes would be fine. I listened to the album and wished it continued. The music was so comfortable and sounded like a slow thought, sad but not pessimistic. A sort of spiritual trip beyond reality that should end happily. Some moments reminded me a few dreamy passages from Architectural Metaphor's Creature Of The Velvet Void. Though in my terms Walking On A Flashlight Beam still remains Lunatic Soul's best release, I enjoyed Under the Fragmented Sky very much. Highly recommended.
 Lunatic Soul by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.04 | 395 ratings

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Lunatic Soul
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Lunatic Soul is a Polish musical project that features two Riverside members: singer/bass player Mariusz Duda and keyboardplayer Michal Lapaj (he plays in two songs with his Hammond organ). Because of Mariusz his melancholical moods and fascination for madness I didn't expect 'In Dulci Jubilo-like songs'. Especially not because he is the only one who plays in all songs, he has written all lyrics and he turns out to be a multi-instrumentalist with a very important role on this album. After this debut CD Lunatic Soul released another five studio-albums, their latest effort is from this year (2018) and entitled Under the Fragmented Sky.

The music on this debut CD is not similar to Riverside, that's a plus for Lunatic Soul. Only a few songs are in the vein of the typical Heavy Prog Riverside sound like the titletrack, Where The Darkness Is Deeper (hypnotising with orcehstral keyboards) and Drift (dreamy with warm vocals and sensitive electric guitar). But in general Lunatic Soul sounds more subdued and more atmospheric, from sultry and dreamy to hypnotizing. I would like to describe Mariusz his vocals as 'impressionistic' the way he colours the compositions (pretty dark in my opinion). His strongest contributions are in the second, very compelling part of the titletrack (expressive with lush Hammond support) and the strongly build-up The Final Truth (from a dreamy first part to a bombastic finale with emotional vocals). In a few songs you can enjoy ethnic instruments like the kalimba ('thumb-piano') in the titletrack and the 'quzheng' (Koto) in the Far Eastern sounding Waiting For The Dawn.

I am sure the fans of Mariusz his distinctive vocals will be pleased with the album but you have to be up to the more subdued and atmospheric sound. But I love the way Lunatic Soul use a wide range of interesting instruments, and succeeds to put emotion in their music.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 Fractured by LUNATIC SOUL album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.86 | 245 ratings

BUY
Fractured
Lunatic Soul Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars LUNATIC SOUL the side project of the RIVERSIDE frontman has been around for almost 10 years now, hard to believe. This is album number five and I'm not sure where I would place this one when compared to the rest. My favourite by far is "Walking On A Flashlight Beam" but I'm so intrigued with the first three albums where the vocals were sparse and we had so much atmosphere and electronics. And the subject matter of those three only adds to the enjoyment as we follow this soul who has just died and his journey after that. True headphone albums and the second one "II" is my favourite of those. This latest one called "Fractured" seems to be a therapy album for Duda who had a tragedy in his life recently. Lots of vocals here giving the impression that this is the most commercial sounding recording of this project but this is far from being commercial 99% of the time.

"Blood On The Tightrope" is a great way to start the album and it's just outside of my top three. Sounds like a electronic rhythm to start as the atmosphere builds and the vocals and drums kick in. It's surprisingly aggressive before 2 minutes with vocal melodies then it settles back. Sounds like high pitched synths around 2 1/2 minutes. I like the piano a lot before 4 minutes bringing Kevin Moore to mind. A change 6 1/2 minutes in as a determined rhythm takes over and builds. Excellent track!

"Anymore" opens with beats, electronics and bass, synths too. It's kind of catchy as the vocals arrive. Man I get tired of that repeated line "You don't talk to me anymore" and yes that's the 1% that's commercial on this record. At least the instrumental part of this song is top notch. I like the synths before 3 minutes but I have mixed feeling over this one.

"Crumbling Teeth And The Owl Eyes" opens with keys, percussion and picked guitar as the vocals join in. A pleasant sound here. Some emotion 1 1/2 minutes in with the swelling synths and vocals. A calm with picked guitar 3 minutes in along with some vocal expressions. It kicks in after 4 minutes to a fuller sound. Man this is interesting to listen to after 5 minutes then the vocals return.

"Red Light Escape" starts with atmosphere and beats with vocals. Love when it turns more serious around 1 1/2 minutes then back to the vocals. That serious sound is back as themes are repeated. Sax after 4 1/2 minutes.

"Fractured" is a top three track. Beats and atmosphere as the vocals join in. Drums and bass too as we get this great sound a minute in. Love this one. So much going on 2 1/2 minutes in. So good! Active drumming after 3 1/2 minutes as the vocals become more passionate. It's brief though.

"A Thousand Shards Of Heaven" is my favourite song on here and it clocks in at over 12 minutes. Picked guitar I believe and strings before it settles and vocals join in around a minute. This is ballad-like but man I like it. So much emotion to say the least. Gulp. Love when it starts to pick up after 4 1/2 minutes with vocal melodies. Sax arrives 6 minutes in then back to the vocals before 8 minutes. Emotion once again before 9 1/2 minutes instrumentally. Ripping sax before 11 minutes and a fuller sound. Nice. It then calms down with sax and strings.

"Battlefield" rounds out my final top three. Deep pulsating sounds as the vocals and a beat join in quickly. The synths before 1 1/2 minutes are interesting as the vocals step aside. So much going on then the vocals return. Those synths are back as themes are repeated. Love the sound before 6 1/2 minutes with the vocals, synths and drum work.

"Moving On" ends it as we probably gather from this title that this album is about a broken relationship. Drums to start as vocals and synths join in. It's kind of cool the way this song sounds, it's in my top five with the opener. Sax late.

A beautiful album that is sparse and atmospheric. Easily 4 stars.

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

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