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NINE STONES CLOSE

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Nine Stones Close biography
NINE STONES CLOSE was conceived in 2008 as a solo project by Adrian JONES (Numb, Lie Big) and independently released the first CD, St Lo, in the Netherlands. After heavy airplay on The Rogues' Gallery on The Dividing Line Network he received an outpouring of critical acclaim and visibility which inspired the 2010 follow up Traces. The project grew into a band for Traces when Adrian joined up with Brendan EYRE (Riversea), Marc ATKINSON (Mandalaband, Riversea), and Neil QUARRELL. Geoff Barton even listed Traces in his top 20 albums of 2011 in Classic Rock Presents Prog! One Eye on the Sunrise sees a further evolution of the band with returning members Marc ATKINSON and Brendan EYRE now joined by Peter VINK (Q65/Ayreon/Star One/Finch) and Pieter van HOORN (Knight Area).

The current lineup;
Adrian Jones - Guitars
Brendan Eyre - Keyboards
Marc Atkinson - Vocals
Pieter van Hoorn - Drums
Peter Vink - Bass

Discography
St Lo (2008)
Traces (2010)
ReTraced (2010)
One Eye On The Sunrise (2012)
Barely Breathing (2012)

: : : Adrian Jones, Netherlands : : :

Nine Stones Close official website

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One Eye On The SunriseOne Eye On The Sunrise
PROGROCK RECORDS 2012
Audio CD$9.54
$5.97 (used)
TracesTraces
PROGROCK RECORDS 2011
Audio CD$39.99
$39.95 (used)
Falling To PiecesFalling To Pieces
ProgRock Records
Audio CD$24.29
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NINE STONES CLOSE discography


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

NINE STONES CLOSE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.90 | 11 ratings
St Lo
2008
3.94 | 125 ratings
Traces
2010
3.94 | 176 ratings
One Eye On The Sunrise
2012

NINE STONES CLOSE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NINE STONES CLOSE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NINE STONES CLOSE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NINE STONES CLOSE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
ReTraced
2010
4.61 | 9 ratings
Falling To Pieces EP
2011

NINE STONES CLOSE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 One Eye On The Sunrise by NINE STONES CLOSE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 176 ratings

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One Eye On The Sunrise
Nine Stones Close Neo-Prog

Review by sinslice

3 stars My problem here is with title track. The foregoing seems to be a good prelude to the same. In turn, it is the most progressive part of the album, along with Frozen Moment, by sudden changes and search for originality in it. It begins with a delicate acoustic intro in line with the previous piece, then enter an alternative rock course, to return in the seventh minute on a passive ground, in last two minutes becomes anarchy.

Frozen Moment is more balanced, but also unnecessary repetitions, spare 3 or 4 minutes.

Highlights for me are Janus, Sunset (instrumentals), Eos, A Secret, The Weight,

Between 3 and 3.5 stars....

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 One Eye On The Sunrise by NINE STONES CLOSE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 176 ratings

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One Eye On The Sunrise
Nine Stones Close Neo-Prog

Review by cyberfloat

5 stars Reassuringly often in these days of what seems to be a resurgence of great progressive rock an album is brought out that completely obsesses me for several months. I bought One Eye on the Sunrise months ago, knowing it was going to be something special. It grabbed me from the very first playing and i listened to it many, many times over the ensuing weeks.

What is more unusual is an album that grabs you in this way and maintains its hold on you, still seeming fresh and never sounding too tired or familiar. The addition of a real drummer this time around has made a tangible difference to the sound that Adrian Jones and his talented crew make. I'm not going to do a laborious track by track critique here, there are others more proficient than I at doing that.

To me the most important thing is that this music just works on so many levels, whether the exquisite vocals from Marc Atkinson, the inventive soundscapes provided by keys man Brendan Eyre, the soaring guitar playing of Adrian Jones himself, or the driving rhythms and supporting percussion offered by Pieter Van Hoorn, for me this album ticks all the boxes, even to the extent of giving my much desired, but rarely achieved, full on emotional reaction, tears, goosebumps etc. The addition of Cellist Katy Bell on 2 of the tracks demonstrates a new maturity of composition that greatly adds to the overall sound pallette. New bass man Peter Vink and the wonderful Matt Stevens also contribute well.

I know that, despite the departure of Marc Atkinson, that Adrian is already hard at work on the next album and I, for one, am already watering at the mouth in anticipation.

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 Traces by NINE STONES CLOSE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.94 | 125 ratings

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Traces
Nine Stones Close Neo-Prog

Review by Subterranean

4 stars This melancholic, atmosperic & mostly low-tempo album desserves an acclaim.

Neo-prog is a sub-genre that lost some momentum the last years. Still, there are a few projects that keep it on track with the quality we can expect.

As such, the album sounds rather modern and mix neo-prog with some symphonic & psychedelic influence. The atmosphere it delivers reminds me sometimes Blackfield. To a lesse extend we can find influences of Pink Floyd and late Marillion.

After a (long) instrumental introduction track that starts quicking with guitars after 2min. The next 3 tracks are mainly athmospheric with guidar and organ support and a soft but mastered singing. Threads (2nd track of the album) is arguably the best. The last track (Thicker than water) is over 14 min long. After a first half keeping the spirit of the previous tracks, the second half of the track delivers more heavy song with prominent guitar and mid-tempo (a bit like Knight Area).

Overall, an excellent ablum that I recommend.

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 One Eye On The Sunrise by NINE STONES CLOSE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 176 ratings

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One Eye On The Sunrise
Nine Stones Close Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars NINE STONES CLOSE continue with the same style as was heard on their previous album "Traces". This is melancholic and atmospheric with those Mark Hollis-like vocals that sing about loss and hope. It's interesting that we get KNIGHT AREA's drummer on board for this one.

"Faceless Angel" is a short opening track with samples and piano leading the way early then it builds to a majestic sound. "A Secret" is mellow with those reserved vocals joining in. It does build on the chorus each time. I like the deep atmosphere after 2 1/2 minutes and the emotional guitar solo that follows. "Janus" opens with electronics and atmosphere then the guitar and drums start to take over. It settles back with piano only after 2 1/2 minutes then the guitar and drums return on this instrumental. "...And Dream Of Sleep" is less than 2 minutes of relaxed music including plenty of acoustic guitar. "One Eye On The Sunrise" opens with intricate guitar melodies as the vocals join in. Strings and piano help out as well. It kicks in just before 3 minutes to a surprisingly heavy soundscape with passionate vocals. Contrasts continue.

"Eos" is a short track with vocals. Once again it's melancholic and mellow. "The Weight" is atmospheric until about 2 minutes in when it picks up some with vocals. Contrasts continue. "The Distance" sounds good with that intricate opening guitar. Vocals join in then the guitar is strummed. The intricate guitar is back as these contrasts continue. I like the piano after 3 minutes. "Frozen Moment" opens with aggressive guitar as the sound builds. This is surprising. By the way this is the longest track at over 13 1/2 minutes. It settles back with vocals before a minute. Nice drum work after 8 1/2 minutes as it picks up again. Best song on the album in my opinion. "Sunset" is the short 1 1/2 minute closer. Piano and violin lead the way.

Unlike most I prefer "Traces" to this one. This just hasn't clicked with me and in fact has done the opposite over time. Good record though.

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 One Eye On The Sunrise by NINE STONES CLOSE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 176 ratings

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One Eye On The Sunrise
Nine Stones Close Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Nine Stones Close churn out another set of highly emotive and passionate songs on One Eye On the Sunrise. Those who prize intricate songwriting or novel tangents in their prog probably are best moving on here, but on the other hands if you like broody-moody vocals delivered in a fairly accessible style (courtesy here of Marc Atkinson) to a lightly proggy backing with a mild focus on guitar (Adrian Jones) then it might float your boat. I wasn't too taken with the preceding Traces and I'm not bowled over by this - as far as introspective, moody prog in this general vein goes I found Edison's Children's debut album (In the Last Waking Moments) to be markedly superior - but they're drifting in the right direction as far as I'm concerned.

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 One Eye On The Sunrise by NINE STONES CLOSE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 176 ratings

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One Eye On The Sunrise
Nine Stones Close Neo-Prog

Review by wiseOwl

4 stars Nine Stones Close third album is another huge leap forward after St Lo and the follow up Traces.First of all the main thing that has improved is the production,but most of all the use of a REAL drummer and what a fine drummer Pieter Van Hoorn (Knight Area)proves to be.The aquisition of Peter Vink of Dutch prog legends FInch,also is an inspired choice as is the core crew of Marc Atkinson and Brendan Eyre on vocals and keyboards respectively. The album opens with a huge slice of symphonic prog instrumental,Faceless Angel,which lays the foundations of what is to come.A Secret is next with a gorgeous Atkinson vocal setting up for a grand finale of synth and another fine Jones solo.Another instrumental follows in the way of Janus which is my personal favourite on the album,a mellotron chord sequence interspersed by wailing guitar and a metronomic drum beat,melting into gentle piano riff and vintage string synth, and then opening like a spring flower with splashes of classical guitar and choral vocals...stunning. And Dream of Sleep is yet another fine acoustic instrumental with a touch of piano and a bit of strings which is the appetiser for the epic title track of the album,One Eye On The Sunrise is a mishmash of styles ranging from acoustic,almost folk like with gorgeous cello and piano and what is Marc Atkinsons finest vocal on the album where he moves from gentle plaintive to screaming painlike in anguish..superb.The riff is Led Zep like in style as the song takes off and the rythmn section of Vink and Hoorn truly shine.EOS is next, which is a Floydian track and a repeat riff from the opening Faceless Angel with some great dreamy keyboard work from Eyre,The Weight is the most Traces like song on the album,another great Atkinson vocal and melody but the track is rather let down by the strange opening gambit that sounds out of place with rest of the track, with the soloing rather loose and out of tune in parts and spoils for me what is another very strong piece.The Distance is a beautiful atmospheric ballad that shows off again Atkinsons vocals and also Eyres beautiful piano and string parts..its also light relief as its doesnt have an extended heavy section or soloing which is sometimes overdone rather than keeping it simple.Frozen Moment is,quite simply the best slice of heavy prog you will hear anywhere,the whole band really let rip with fine riffs and thunderous drums and bass from Vink and Hoorn,interspersed with great soloing from Jones,Matt Stevens and Eyre,also a mention for the slight but effecting backing refrains from Stolen Earths Heidi Widdop...a truly great moment. Sunset is a beautiful Eyre piano piece with some mornful cello combining for what is the perfect end to a great great album. I look forward to what Nine Stones Close come up with next,but this will take some beating.

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 One Eye On The Sunrise by NINE STONES CLOSE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 176 ratings

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One Eye On The Sunrise
Nine Stones Close Neo-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'One Eye on the Sunrise' - Nine Stones Close (7/10)

Although there was never point where I found myself outright disliking it, I found myself less enthusiastic about Nine Stones Close's first album "Traces" (second if you count the Adrian Jones solo work "St. Lo"), and couldn't really get into what the band was doing. Although the soft, melancholic approach was pleasant to the ears, I felt the band's songwriting tended to stay mellow to the point of ennui. I found myself wanting more than the purely introspective, Floydy sound Nine Stones Close hoisted their flag under. Barring a dynamic range that wasn't meshing with personal taste however, Nine Stones Close demonstrated some great promise as a full band; a potential further realized with "One Eye on the Sunrise". Although the melancholia and brooding staples of the band's sound remain, Adrian Jones and company have widened their range and scope of their ambition. "One Eye on the Sunrise" doesn't completely solve the existing style issues I've had with the band since I first heard them, but I can at least call myself a fan of what they're doing.

As was the case on "Traces", many reviewers have cited emotional resonance and atmosphere as the "One Eye on the Sunrise"s selling point. Indeed, Nine Stones Close's big focus on sentiment and feeling in their music diverges them from most of the bands nowadays that fall underneath the progressive rock umbrella. Adrian Jones' melodic, soulful guitar work recalls the Floyd legend himself, David Gilmour. Returning keyboardist Brenden Eyre and bassist Peter Vink's sonic contribution are more reserved, offering a welcoming ambient backdrop for Jones' guitar work, with a keen insight on translating the atmosphere to fit both the sentimental and rock-oriented moments. Although there are several passages that point the spotlight on Jones' guitars, it's often vocalist Marc Atkinson that keeps the listeners attention. Although his voice was pleasant on "Traces", his performance here is much improved, sporting a wider range, even shedding the melancholia entirely for the occasional rocking chorus. Although his improved diversity is what sets him a step above his past self, his strongest talent remains the emotional warmth that he brings on the album's most tender moments. The soaring hook of the laid- back "A Secret" showcases an intense vibrato that gets under my skin.

Nine Stones Close may still keep most of their stones in the school of mellow sentimentality, but unlike "Traces", I get the sense here that they know when to rock. The title track is a perfect example of this, featuring some crisp riffs that I might even hear on a classic Rush album. The addition of Pieter van Hoorn for drum duties is a strong move towards a more intense style, a drummer I've appreciated exactly for his energetic, precise approach since hearing his performance with Knight Area. The range brings a much- needed jolt of caffeine to the band's sound, although there's been nothing lost from their originally 'tender' take on prog. Nine Stones Close writes music for rainy, introspective nights, and while "One Eye on the Sunrise" still isn't an album I can recommend for everyone, they've come a long ways.

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 One Eye On The Sunrise by NINE STONES CLOSE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 176 ratings

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One Eye On The Sunrise
Nine Stones Close Neo-Prog

Review by odinalcatraz

5 stars Nine Stones Close AKA Adrian Jones just gets better and better. Traces was perfect in my opinion. When this album started to surface, I heard a few samples and thought it would be Traces 2. It isn't! In the last year, they seem to have got the attention of Arjen Lucassen and even grabbed Star One's bass player Peter Vink. I saw that guy with Star one live in 2002, so I know how good HE is! Read Bruford Freak,s rundown on the tracks. I can agree with most of it. Especially the part that 9SC turns in to led Zeppelin in the title track. I never expected that! Porcupine Tree also became Zep a few years ago and why not!!! I occasionally hear the sound of Porcupine tree in the album too. This album is very moving and soulful but shifts gear just at the right times. Frozen Moment has to be a highlight and it gets even better with each listen. Faceless Angel is a favourite of mine also. I love instrumentals and Pink Floyd. This track has that quality and feel. In the end this is Ninestonesclose and not a tribute to some other band. The occasional references are only a clue as to where Adrian's influences may come from. These are great musicians and I hope that rumours of a live tour in 2013 will become a reality. Even releasing an album is difficult enough but touring? That's when it really gets tough! I have heard talk of album of 2012 for this in more than one place and if that happens, it is well deserved. This is an album that will stand the test of time.

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 One Eye On The Sunrise by NINE STONES CLOSE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 176 ratings

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One Eye On The Sunrise
Nine Stones Close Neo-Prog

Review by Distant Planet

5 stars 'One Eye On The Sunrise' is contemporary progressive rock that will probably appeal to fans of bands such as Porcupine Tree, Anathema, Pink Floyd, Marillion and King Crimson.

Nine Stones Close was originally a solo project brought to life by guitarist Adrian Jones. His first release under the NSC name, 'St. Lo' deservedly won critical acclaim and enabled Adrian to recruit some notable musicians to collaborate on further releases. 'One Eye On The Sunrise' completes the transformation of NSC into a fully fledged band and Adrian is joined by : Marc Atkinson (vocals) and Brendan Eyre (keyboards) both of Riversea, Peter Vink (Ayreon) on bass and Pieter Van Hoorn (Knight Area) on drums. Whilst Marc and Brendan had also been present for the second NSC album (the excellent 'Traces') 'One Eye' is the first NSC album to really sound like a genuine band effort.

NSC have come a long way in three albums. Whilst I loved parts of 'St. Lo', it wasn't structured enough for me and is now hardly recognisable as the embryo that NSC developed from. 'Traces' was itself a huge step forward, but 'One Eye' is revelatory and really sees NSC come of age. Whilst the themes and flavours build on those used in 'Traces', there is a greater maturity to the composition and musicianship.

The album opens with a brief Floyd-esque instrumental 'Faceless Angel' that sets the atmosphere of the music on offer. 'A Secret', follows. This is a sparse, minimalist prog-rock anthem. Marc Atkinson's emotive vocals accompany stepping stone guitar chords that are awash with melancholy. Although there is nothing commercial about the song, it quickly entwines you in its hypnotic spell. "I told you a secret, Wrap it up and keep it, Then swallow it whole"...

'Janus' follows, a majestic and powerful instrumental that contrasts with the minimalist flavours of 'A Secret'. Wailing guitars are underpinned by a driving and pulsating bass line before yielding to ornate piano lines. Again, the melodies on offer are savagely addictive.

Adrian then treats us to some beautiful acoustic guitar riffs that luxuriate with the reverberation of open strings and harmonics and eventually lead us into the title track. Despite the beauty of the melody on offer here, there is a brooding underlying, menacing atmosphere that is further developed with the use of unsettling cello lines, before angst-ridden heavy metal guitars aggressively release the tension. The awesome cover art of the album (courtesy of Antonio Seijas) perfectly depicts the musical flavours on offer here, especially in the way it portrays both lightness and darkness and mystery.

'The Weight' is another epic track that builds on flavours that were introduced on the 'Traces' album, whilst 'The Distance' offers a pastoral, ethereal flavour that is again adorned with Adrian's acoustic guitar lines. 'A Frozen Moment' has an almost apocalyptic feel at times and combines musical mayhem with strong melodic passages and varying atmospheres as it clocks in at more than thirteen minutes, the longest track on the album.

I was totally blown away when I first listened to this album, it's been a haunting, emotional and atmospheric experience......it's essential listening for all fans of progressive and classic rock and to my ears at least is pretty much (Nine Stones) Close to perfection....

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 One Eye On The Sunrise by NINE STONES CLOSE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 176 ratings

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One Eye On The Sunrise
Nine Stones Close Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars NINE STONES CLOSE is the brainchild of guitarist Adrian Jones, who sometime left England in order to settle in The Netherlands. During recent years he succeded to collect a couple of musicians from wellknown dutch prog bands with the view to implement his musical ideas. So this is the fourth album in the meanwhile, what I can see. Some overwhelming appraisal attracted my attention in the end, and I took the time to make familiar with the current album 'One Eye On The Sunrise'.

First of all let me say that this music appears to me like an extremely emotional affair ... while considering that - in general - I have problems to figure non-native lyrics out. Thus, alternatively I mean those nearly plaintive guitars and the empathic singing voice for example, provided by Marc Atkinson. The complete sound comes with three M's - somewhat mournful, melancholic, majestic, which simply captivates after a while. This even includes heavy outbursts as well as peaceful acoustic ballads, put together quite naturally to an entertaining experience.

Well, I'm always melting down when being faced with A Secret - it's the slight psychedelic respectively ambient flow, embellished with intriguing vocals and very very effective guitar input. Furthermore the instrumental Janus comes with a nice groove and distinct neo prog/symphonic touch. ... And Dream Of Sleep heralds into an acoustic set which also includes the title track ... for the initial minutes at least. The song structure is made of alternating sections though, either offering a solemn atmosphere based on (semi-?)acoustic guitar, piano and cello, but also repeatedly evolving into a heavy rocking issue, decorated with a bunch of sawing riffs. Grandezza!

The Weight is the next to mention, a wonderful ballad which eventually comes out of hiding right in the middle. The extended epic Frozen Moment finally marks the centerpiece, culminating into something outraged, even explosive towards the end. 'One Eye On The Sunrise' is another album which you can't handle casually, just as a footnote, which needs full concentration to unfold. I recommend to take the time to enter Adrian's realm, especially if you like emotive prog music - you won't regret, promised.

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