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CORVUS STONE

Crossover Prog • Multi-National


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Corvus Stone biography
Multinational project CORVUS STONE more or less came to be in the spring of 2012 following a series of chance encounters between musicians on social networks, Facebook first and foremost. With a helping hand by dedicated music fan and musician friend Sonia Mota, a common denominator in the virtual friends lists of all the musicians and others involved in the project along the way.

The initial core of this project was Colin Tench, Petri Lemmy Lindström and Pasi Koivu however, with Colin Tench lending some guitar work to one of Pasi Koivu's compositions the first action that lead to a series of reactions that saw Lindström getting involved and the trio in a matter of a few weeks suddenly finalizing a handful of compositions for the sheer fun of it. It was about that time that they collectively realized that they all had a new band project going. Koivu is the main composer of the threesome. Lindström will make the occasional foray into these territories too, while Tench caters for production and arrangements.

As the project evolved a few more people got involved. Another chance encounter saw Blake Carpenter joining the ranks as vocalist and occasional lyricist. As he joined pretty late in the process his input was limited this time around. Another late addition to the band was drummer Robert Wolff, and while he managed to add a few details to the Corvus Stone debut album the majority of his contributions as a band member will be heard on future occasions.

Corvus Stone self-titled debut album was digitally released in the fall of 2012, with a CD edition following shortly after.

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Corvus StoneCorvus Stone
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$17.02
$22.08 (used)
Corvus Stone IICorvus Stone II
Original recording
CD Baby 2014
Audio CD$13.59
$10.99 (used)


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CORVUS STONE discography


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CORVUS STONE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 152 ratings
Corvus Stone
2012
4.11 | 260 ratings
Corvus Stone II
2014
4.26 | 43 ratings
Corvus Stone Unscrewed
2015

CORVUS STONE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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CORVUS STONE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Corvus Stone Unscrewed by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.26 | 43 ratings

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Corvus Stone Unscrewed
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It's safe to say that Corvus Stone is unpredictable. Not long ago they released the excellent album "II" to mostly rave reviews. One might expect, therefore, some sort of paus in the creative minds of the band but no. No rest for the wicked, eh? Apparently they found themselves eager to release another album and preferably they wanted it to be released now. Or maybe even yesterday, if possible.

I look at this album as a great retrospective of a band of brilliance. There are old tracks, new tracks and some re-recorded. Thusly, this album is more than just any "Best of..." or "Greatest hits". It is something more. It showcases the past and the present but also points the finger to the future, the place and time when and where Corvus Stone will do even greater things. There is no stopping, this eclectic juggernaut of prog.

As always, the music defies categorization, tripping over any and all genres without hesitation. That is all very well but when the result is such a seamless one, where all blends in a natural way, one cannot be anything but impressed. The music is never forced but flows. And even though this album is a retrospective it feels cohesive, just like "II" did, making it an experience similar to those great masterpieces we all love.

I will not go through each and every track on this album, only conclude that every track is delightful and brings enjoyment and bliss to this album. There is a "late night feel" to the album, which by no means it is neither bland or toothless. On the contrary! The intelligent blend of genres and power, smoothness and explosive instrumentation is simply a masterstroke. This is an album to enjoy every moment of the day. However, one of my absolute favorites is "Cinema finale" with it's impressing instrumentation. The keyboards gives me goosebumps.

I have no problem awarding this album four shining stars and I do it with a feverish longing for what's to come next from Corvus Stone. Certainly one of our times most brilliant bands.

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 Corvus Stone Unscrewed by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.26 | 43 ratings

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Corvus Stone Unscrewed
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

5 stars Axeman extraordinaire Colin Tench has gotten busy in the engineering room! And I LIKE IT! The 'new' sound Colin has produced here is wonderfully reminiscent of the pre-computer- enhanced days of sound (re-)production (i.e. before the Fairlight CMI, gated drums, PC home studio software, and the now ubiquitous sound compression). I just love listening to the drums and percussion! It reminds me of being in one room playing and recording with my brothers: the sound is all right there with you, not compartmentalized and isolated in different 'rooms'. It's like capturing live performances! Which is ironically wonderful for the fact that Colin and his bandmates, I believe, live in widely distant locations and, therefore, submit their instrumental contributions over the internet (or by mail). Unscrewed also displays another step forward in the progress of this band as a band. Corvus Stone I put on display the (not insignificant) instrumental talents of individual band members while failing to consistently present the feel of an integrated band, Corvus Stone II brought songwriting and coherent whole-band weaves into focus. Unscrewed presents what feels and sounds like a successfully integrated band with each instrumental contribution fitting into the coherent weave of each song importantly, even essentially. While this music is not always satisfying to my personal musical affinities, it is always well done, incredibly well performed, well-composed, and awesomely well engineered. Last year I theorized that CS was one album away from 'their masterpiece.' I am happy to say that I was right. Colin and crew have achieved the rewards of hard work and maturation: mastery of their presentation of music.

Five star songs: the amazingly fitting soundtrack song, 'Scary Movie Too' (7:38); the powerful opening instrumental, 'Brand New Day' (3:52); the awesomely multiple vocals of 'Early Morning Calls' (3:52); the crystal clarity of every instrument on 'Horizon' (1:52); the medieval folk feel to the foundation of 'Landfill' (3:44); the wonderful multiple melody lines and multiple tempos of 'After Solstice (Remix)' (4:05); the awesome Al Di MELOA/James Bond-like theme song, 'Petrified in the Cinema Basement' (3:10); the organ and military drum base and late Sixties feel of 'Lost and Found Revisited' (3:29); the virtuosic guitar showcased on both 'Cinema Finale' (6:02) and 'Pack up your Truffles' (2:07), and; the rollicking fun and humor of 'Moustaches in Massachusetts' (4:18).

What I'd like to reiterate in conclusion is the step up in sound and whole-band cohesion, but I'd also like to make sure attention is drawn to the wonderful contributions of each and every band member and guest on this album. It's one of those albums that keeps revealing new jewels, new surprises with each and every listen. If you haven't tried the previous CV albums, definitely try out Unscrewed. It is in a class by itself'the masterpiece class.

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 Corvus Stone Unscrewed by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.26 | 43 ratings

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Corvus Stone Unscrewed
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars Having enjoyed both previous CS albums I was interested to hear also their third one, which at this point exists only digitally. I actually avoid writing reviews NOT based on the physical CD with covers and all, but this time I'll make an exception because I want to support the band and help them in their goal of getting this album released some day on CD.

Partly this album recycles formerly released tracks in a new form. 'Early Morning Call' was originally an instrumental on the second album, but Sean Filkins wanted to add his vocals, and then Phil Naro wanted to add his! The result is enjoyable. The opening instrumental 'Brand New Day' is available also as a downhill skiing promotional video. 'Joukahainen Without Chips' is a charming instrumental, full of emotion expressed especially by the electric guitar of Colin Tench. The bried and lively 'Horizon' (remixed and partly re-recorded version) could have been a number by Steve Howe in the classic YES days.

'Landfill' is a bit disjointed combination of Baroque and Folk reminding melodies and a coldly synthetic soundscape, not among my favourites. 'After Solstice' is another reworked instrumental. Sorry for being now unable to estimate it against the older version, but sure it's a good, soothing prog track that's made to be enjoyed as music, not as technical self-indulgence. 'JussiPussi (remix)' maybe turns more into the latter category, too quirky and restless tune for my taste. 'Scary Movie Too' is based on an earlier track, with a greater band interaction in the new sections.

All in all the music of Corvus Stone Unscrewed sounds pretty good, but from this reviewer's point of view a digital-only album with a lot of recycled contents is an unrewarding and unsecure task to write about. I'm not very keen to have various versions of the same music or to hear how they differ from each other. Is my review honest enough without seeing at least some of such trouble? And the notion of the former albums being of maximum CD length, and this one "only" slightly under 50 minutes; is it for better or for worse? With all new material of this high standard I'd definitely say for better, because the earlier albums did taste like being overpacked, and some further editing would have made them stronger and more coherent. Now this album seems to scream some regret about the way the former albums are.

This multinational band is so skilled and perfect together that I sort of wish they had looked more freshly into the future instead of reworking the existent material. But of course it they themselves felt this was the right thing to do, then this was the right thing to do. If this is an unquestionable artistic improvement, as I believe it is, then this one also fully deserves the four-star rating and no less. Sonia Mota has made again excellent work as the cover artist: another good reason for this album to be released on a CD format.

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 Corvus Stone Unscrewed by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.26 | 43 ratings

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Corvus Stone Unscrewed
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by progrocks2112

5 stars Corvus Stone has done it once again, something new and unpredictable. Maybe not all new but new versions of some old fan favs. Unpredictable is what best describes Colin Tench and his merry co-horts, Pasi Koivu (Keys), Petri Lindstrom (Bass), Robert Wolf (Drums) as the nucleus of the band. Blake carpenter (The Minstrel's Ghost),Sean Filkens (Big Big Train), Phil Naro (Druckfarben) and Steff Flaming (Murky Red) lend vocals ,guitars and keys to this collection of new and reworked songs. The interesting thing about this band is the Unyielding cohesion they bring to the table. It seems to me, at least, the group as a whole works so well together including the guest artists that appear that they are unstoppable as a music project. This is, I believe is relatively rare today as egos get in the way and subpar recordings are made. This happens way too often and the listener is the one who pays for it. So now on with my thoughts...

Keeping things short and to the point we start with Brand New Day a a prog rock instrumental that has you flying,close your eyes and listen you will see and feel. The video release for this track is just what the dr ordered. Early Morning calls, which was Early Morning call on CS2 was an instrumental has been transformed into possibly the best track on the cd. A total re-do of this track has dual vocals by Filkins and Naro and what a combo this is to hear. Incredible harmony with these guys, guitar is new and cleaner imo.I love the original as I do all instrumentals but this track is very very good!! This should not be considered a re-work at all it is a brand new song!! Next up we have another very unusual title which CS is or should be known for at this point. Joukahainen Without Chips is a sad song. Slow and methodical it winds its way to a point when drums come along and becomes sort of a crescendo before it dies. Moving on we have Horizon another re-mix, it is a foot tapper to say the least with all kinds of "noises" in the background. Keys on this track are outstanding. Crisper and cleaner then original. Landfill is a quiet little track very clear and crisp at the start but then "bang" till it settles back into a little quite number. Again Corvus Stone "noises" are very much part of this. Drumming is subtle but positioned at perfect locations of the track. After Solstice another revamped track, just simply put ROCKS!! This would be a great song to perform LIVE!! JussiPussi is just a silly song, lots of strange noises and sounds. I often wondered what these guys were doing when it was recorded. It's a mashup of everything in the kitchen sink. Think Frank Zappa on ten times the amount of acid Timothy Leary took. Scary Movie Too is advertised as a longer version of the original. And if it is, it is in the mixing of the track that blindfolds me or earplugs me(?). I hear pieces of original but not at same places. This could be called a new song IMO. Petrified in the Cinema Basement is a very laidback track. Push back your recliner put on the headphones and just enjoy. Lost and found is an extended version of the original with Blake Carpenter putting his chords to task. He makes the track, his voice is so under-appreciated or under-used, maybe I should say, in the world of prog.I dont know how these guys do it but they put Blake in the best tracks that suit his style. I suppose that is how professionals work!! Cinema Finale, A rework of the original and very 1st Corvus Stone track i heard. It remains to this day as my favorite. I can't say anything more about this track other than to listen. It takes me away and places me where all is good. On a personal Note this is my go to track when i just want to be left alone and think. I set ipod to repeat and I'm good. Pack up Your Truffles is another very cool and relaxed feel just sit back enjoy this sweet little tune. MiM is a remix cleaner then the OEM. After listening to this I went back and revisited the originals. Now I keep CS on a 2 week turnaround for playing so I am familiar just a tad. I found the remixes to all be much cleaner the before as the earlier ones sounded "muddy" with the comparison. I do not know if that is proper terminology or not. The new tracks are very good tracks and even though Cinema has been and probably always be my favorite track I think Early Morning calls is the best of the cd. I appreciate the longer Lost and Found showcasing Blake's vocals very much. All in all considering this is a collection of remixes with few new tracks I would have to say that it is a must have for all fans of progressive rock. Not that Corvus Stone can be confined to that one genre. I say kudos to all involved with this faction known as Corvus Stone!! One last bit for those who have not yet heard or maybe did not appreciate the early releases I think it is time for a visit back and listen again. This will set your path in the proper direction.

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 Corvus Stone Unscrewed by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.26 | 43 ratings

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Corvus Stone Unscrewed
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars The new Corvus Stone "Unscrewed" is irrisistible, as their previous albums were saturated with innovation and glorious progressive music to the Maxx. This latest adventure in excess is flooded with more inventiveness and dwells fairly in the realm of atmospheric diversity. Many of the tracks are remixes or revamps of earlier tracks but now with added dynamism or new instrumental sections. The album cover as usual is wonderful. Sonia Mota has created a kaleidoscope of neon lights heralding a new theatrical production. The theatre lobby cards are past artistic pieces from Sonia's hand, bringing this artwork to a new level. The black bird flying by reminds us of past albums and in the booth we have none other than the sultry seductress with the bird mask from the past Corvus Stone album. When laid side by side all the Corvus Stone albums take on a type of continuity of themes and design. Sonia has outdone herself on this album; the striking colours and overall style is enchanting, no wonder really when she actually is able to hear colours in the music. The music is indeed colourful, opening with "Brand New Day" that throbs with Petri Lindström's pulsating bass line. Pasi Koivu's synths are symphonic and the lead guitar work of Colin Tench is well executed. It has a happier vibe than a lot of other Corvus Stone tracks of the past. It is also short at just under 4 minutes but doesn't overstay its welcome as a result.

"Early Morning Calls" is lifted from "Corvus Stone II" and transformed from instrumental to a vocal piece by Sean Filkins and Phil Naro. Their multi tracked harmonies are dynamic and it is representative of the work of Jon Anderson's solo material.

"Joukahainen Without Chips" is an instrumental dominated by soaring guitars over a synth wash and some acoustic vibrations. Joukahainen is a character from an Epic Finnish poem by the way. For its short length it definitely has a lot of epic atmosphere and mood changes. I really love Colin's guitar sound; crystal clear and bold throughout. It is majestic and uplifting with lashings of bass.

"Horizon" is a short sharp shock of prog, with delirious keyboards and tight bass and drums as guitar hovers overhead. It is great to hear the band in full flight even if it's not three minutes in length.

"Landfill" has a wah wah guitar and then a beautiful melody on Pasi's synth. The tune will grab you immediately and has hints of the baroque or Elizabethan nuances. Colin's duel guitars pluck and there are some cannon fire drum blasts. This piece is a real thing of beauty, powerful in its simplicity and anthemic in its approach. Again it is under 4 minutes but the repeated tune works in this compacted length. It has a really nice bass outro by Petri and guest drums by Paul Marshall.

"After Solstice" is a remix of an older track, with new drum parts by Robert Wolff and an overhaul of sound. It is a very relaxing waterfall of instrumentation, then it builds suddenly into a hyper synth workout and jagged guitar rhythms. This is the way I like my prog served up; on a plate of shredded time signatures and creative musicianship, breaking down all known existing barriers with dare and flair.

"JussiPussi" is a quirky jazz explosion; a paroxysm of horns and manic percussion as though Bill Bruford walked into the studio and took over. There are speed bursts of machine gun guitar and machete strikes of keyboard. Wolff's drums are totally insane, the synths buzzsaw effect is retro and it somehow hangs together with a fractured time sig and odd vocal intonations by Stef Flaming; is he saying "Shazam"? It is delightfully oddball and a real standout on the album; King Crimson meets The Residents.

The album is suddenly a bizarre music feast. "Scary Movie Too" is a lengthy prog workout, and my favourite track of the album. It is embellished with a creepy synth as guitars scream relentlessly. Then there are jazzy horn attacks; a sinister vocal and distorted guitar riffs take over for a while. Swooshing synths and sporadic percussion splash over a doomy bass and keyboard motifs. I love the growling aggressive guitar and the way it snarls over sensuos synths. The lengthy outro of steady percussion and a chugging axe is downright hypnotic. This sends chills down my spine, the Rock In Opposition feel is startling after the opening tracks. It is a credit to the band that they can move from rock standards to such complex pieces as this; highly recommended for the adventurous progger.

"Petrified in the Cinema Basement" draws on the cover theme of the album. The music is like a carnival, upbeat and jarringly so after the darkness of the previous two tracks. The spanish nuances are nothing new to Corvus stone; they like to delve into the cultures of Flamenco guitar or Salsa rhythms. This is a sheer delight with some genuine surprises thrown in. The bassline is complex and after the opening it moves into vocal synths and acoustic finesse.

"Lost and Found Revisited" is twice the length of the original as vocalist Blake Carpenter intended from the outset. His voice is soft and multi tracked harmonies add flavour to the mix. The percussion is like a march into battle, and a new lead break enhances the glory and majesty.

"Cinema Finale" is replete with swirling synths and acoustics. The beauty of the track is augmented by a powerhouse twin lead break. This is an extremely melancholy instrumental, and it feels like things are drawing to a close. Indeed they are with only two numbers left.

"Pack up your Truffles" is virtually unplugged and is the most laid back track of the lot. The jazz influences abound, with melodic guitar and piano tinkling. The music is stripped back with only a synth pad to balance out the isolated guitar. It is over in a flash and the last track explodes.

"Moustaches in Massachusetts" is a fast paced instrumental with a ton of lead guitar and some Hammond sound keys. There is a spacey feel in the atmospherics and it moves into some strange time sig breaks. The Spanish texture is ever present and it even merges into a slower time sig with saxophone echoing and Santana like lead breaks. It ends the album with fabulous flair.

Overall this album is brimming over with lashings of creative musicianship. Each track brings the listener into a different mood and takes them on an adventure. It is not conceptual but somehow each track seems to belong here. The moments of brilliance are when the band allow the cork to pop and the genie to escape. When the musical barriers are removed we get master works such as "Scary Movie Too" and "JussiPussi". At other times the band are content to lull us in to the sultry Spanish rhythms of "Petrified in the Cinema Basement" or "Moustaches in Massachusetts". Primarily an instrumental album there are moments where we can lay back and allow the vocals to caress our ears such as on "Lost and Found". Yet with such diversity on one album and varying styles, will the album come across to some listeners as a bit jumbled up, a band trying to be too many things rather than staying on one style? I think not personally, because the musicianship is so accomplished and it is a delight to hear such diversity. The problem with a lot of bands is that every song sounds like a carbon copy of the others, and it becomes tiresome and too predictable. The unpredictable nature of Corvus Stone is the very marrow of what keeps the bones together. They inject each track with a loving dose of inventive rhythms and endearing melodies. To return to past tracks is intended to enhance the original listening experience, not replace it, and each track on offer is an enhnacement, in many cases better then the original. The songs are not overlength so we do not get an overkill of one specific melody or style. This album is not as bonkers or inventive as past albums for my tastes but still delivers enough to satiate the prog palate. In essence the band are a feast for the ears. When one performs with this much enthusiasm and passion it is impossible not to be impressed. Corvus Stone continue to impress with "Unscrewed".

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 Corvus Stone Unscrewed by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.26 | 43 ratings

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Corvus Stone Unscrewed
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars The unexpected sometimes happens at the most unexpected moment. I guess that's the nature of the unexpected... After two years, Corvus Stone came up with a new album in September last year, which proved to be a step up from their first. Unexpectedly, they show up now now with a a new album again, only 9 months later: Corvus Stone Unscrewed. Not an entirely new album in terms of music, but a combination of new tracks, extended versions of tracks from the first two albums and remixes of some more. The remixing has been an effort by Colin Tench, who spent months getting the sound he was looking after hearing the bands own works so often.

A great sound - unlike some album I reviewed earlier this year, the music is not compressed, all instruments are easily heard and distinguished, and the balance in volume across tracks is never lost. Forgive me if that sounds like trying to sell the album, I was in the position to hear some early mixes and comment on those, and I really do like the sound of this album.

One thing is clear from these new mixes, that may have gone slightly unnoticed on the first two albums. Corvus Stone has an amazing bass player in Petri Lindstr'm. He is very much present on this album, without ever dominating the sound, but playing much more than standard bass lines at the same time. This is most clear on Horizon and Joukahainen without Chips.

As said, the album is a mix of remixed, revised and new tracks. Amongst the remixes we find Horizon and Moustaches from Massachussetts, two tracks that breath energy albeit in a slightly different manner. Horizon is a bright, energetic rock track with nice percussion and an uncountable bass led midsection, while Moustaches is, being almost danceable, probably the predecessor of Scandinavians in Mexico from Corvus Stone II. In both cases, comparing the old and new mixes is worthwhile and will end in favour of the new mixes I'm sure. The same applies to the uncontrollably weird composition JussiPussi, with Murky Red master mind Stef Flaming as the main composer and performer. After Solstice was also remixed, and the drums were re- recorded by Robert Wolff, creating an improved version of this track on which the instruments seem to go everywhere but always stays together.

In the revised and new sections, the most outstanding tracks are Early Morning Calls and Scary Movie Too.

Early Morning Calls, is an extended version of Early Morning Call, with changed guitar parts and extended with vocals - by Sean Filkins and Phil Naro. These changes make it into a different, possibly better, but still recognisable version of this waltz in 6/8.

Scary Movie Too, an extended version of Scarie Movie is so far my favourite on this album. It's not all that much better than the rest, but it stands out because it sounds as if it's recorded by a band playing together in a studio. That is impossible in case of Corvus Stone, due to geographical issues separating Mexico from the rest of the universe, but somehow the band managed to get that feel into the track. A feel that mixes well with the slightly haunting atmosphere of of the movie. An atmosphere also portrayed by the crow on the cover, an other MSPaint (!) masterpiece by covergirl Sonia Mota.

Lost and Found revisited, with Blake Carpenter, which now is much longer than on the original album. The new mix, the marching drums and the vocal melody provided by Blake are a very tasty combination. The split in two of Cinema (Petrified in the Cinema Basement and Cinema Finale) are remixed really well, and the real drums by Robert are added prove to be a good move. The hint to the name of the bass player in the first of these two tracks is no accident either.

Then there are four completely new tracks on the album, starting with the opening track Brand New Day, with a pulsing rhythm guitar joining the drums and a melodic baseline. The track Joukahainen without Chips (how's that for a typical CS title) has a guitar in it that reminded me of Gary Moore's track Dunluce, which predates his blues escapades. Long, whining notes combined with short melodies, over a once again flawless bassline and a mattress of keyboards by Pasi Koivu.

Landfill, just like Joukahainen with guest drummer Paul Marshall, has a synth and guitar opening that makes it almost a ballroom dance tune. However, soon enough it becomes clear that all the funny noises that the band is so proud of come together in this track. Go find an list them all, there may be a prize involved...

To close if off, Pack up your Truffles is a slightly different beast, an island off peace to end the album (if not counting bonus track Moustaches). A guitar lead that stays low key, limited percussion and other accompaniment show the jazzy side of Corvus Stone.

So, with 4 new tracks, 9 revised tracks and a playing time of just under 50 minutes, Corvus Stone have managed to produce another album within 9 months from the previous release. One very much worth getting. Even if not every track is new, they all sound new and fresher than on the first two albums. The album is available from the band's bandcamp page from June 29th, for free to those who have bought the first two albums. From July 28th, it will be on sale to the general public. Go get it - this is a good introduction to a somewhat special (in many ways) band.

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 Corvus Stone II by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.11 | 260 ratings

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Corvus Stone II
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

4 stars Due to the active promoting this album was heavily reviewed 4-5 months ago. I confess I haven't much listened to it during these months, but not because I wouldn't enjoy it. CORVUS STONE is a multinational quartet (keyboardist Pasi Koivu and bassist Petri Lindström being my countrymen from Finland), and worth mentioning as the original namer of the group and "the driving force from day one" is also Sonia Mota, who's painted the hot & sexy cover art. The CS albums may be too unfocused and full to be easily absorbed, but as they themselves state, "you are free to make your 50 minute album from our 80". One has to respect their stubborn and fully devoted passion to make things their own way instead of the safest possible way. My appreciation also to the leaflet with heartfelt credits - and web addresses - to all collaborators and supporters, and lyrics that are mostly written by the guest vocalists in question.

CS II consists of 16 tracks, 7 of them instrumentals. Music is stated to be "extremely varied" and "not genre safe", but I found out that even as a background listening it is rather ear-friendly, despite all the uncoherence one might blame it for. To me this album really seems to be the better and more evenly pleasant musical journey than the debut. There were some genre explorations on the debut that I didn't like. The musicians having fun can sometimes be irritating to the listener. This one is much more coherent to my ears, there wasn't anything I'd strongly dislike and there are more sincere emotions involved in songs, thanks to the finely chosen collaborators. Occasionally I thought that some short instrumental tracks in a row could have been melted into one entity, just for convenience.

Of the vocal tracks I want to mention Phil Naro's short opener 'The Simple Life'; even shorter 'Dark Tower' and its longer brother 'Mystery Man' (both sung by Blake Carpenter); two tracks, a long and a brief one, sung in Finnish by Timo Rautiainen who's best known from the Metal genre but whose voice is here happily free of Metal clichés (those lyrics are by Matti Kervinen of PAX ROMANA); plus the longest and admittedly the best track 'Moaning Lisa' featuring lyrics and vocals of SEAN FILKINS. Indeed, if you feel there are uninteresting fillers, why not plan your own favourite edition (50-60 minutes) of this extremely well produced album. Four stars easily deserved!

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 Corvus Stone II by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.11 | 260 ratings

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Corvus Stone II
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is the second child of Corvus Stone, a multi-national band whose first album was edited back in 2012, entering to the complex progressive rock world with a daring 79-minute record. With "Corvus Stone II" they repeat the dose, because once again Pasi Koivu, Colin Tench and co. bring a daring 79-minute album, divided in 16 pieces. Personally, when I wrote the review of their first I aid it was really long, so there were moments where I felt lost, where I did not enjoy it as I would have loved to, and I have to say that this same feeling happens now with this new album, but with a lesser impact. However, I have understood they charm lies on their eclecticism, they will to compose and create prog rock whose songs might not be related to each other, but are very well crafted. Of course, I have enjoyed more Corvus Stone now.

It starts with "The Simple Life", a very nice two-minute introduction to Corvus Stone's eclectic journey. The first that caught my attention was the keyboards, and then the vocals with a sweet symphonic sound, so the beginning is bright, let's see what happens next. "Early Morning Call" has some cadency, it is a nice instrumental track that could be used as a film soundtrack, it is easy to put some images in one's head. "Boots for Hire" is the first long composition, reaching almost the nine-minute mark. The sound is pretty interesting, a kind of bluesy introduction with a soft spacey background. At minute 2 vocals by Stef Flaming enter, opening the gates to a brand new song, because it turns into a psychedelic piece, at least for the next two minutes. Then it slows down and morphs again, and again. This is one of the virtues of Corvus Stone, they change in every single second, they dare to change, which is something good.

"Sneaky Entrance to Lisa" is a 30-second interlude by Colin Tench. It leads to "Purple Stone", whose first seconds are dedicated to a car speeding up. Later the music enters in a rocky mood, with vocals by Blake Carpenter, so the sound is a bit more theatrical. It has nice details such as the bass lines, but I must say this is not my favorite song at all. "A Stoned Crow Meets the Rusty Wolff Ratt" is a longer composition, which contrasts a lot with the previous one. Here the sound is more delicate, it has acoustic guitar and nice atmospheric keyboards at first; later it changes and becomes rockier. After four minutes there is a nice passage where keyboards take leadership, adding that symphonic sound. The song runs and flows nicely, with maybe one or two pauses that I would omit. Of course, drums are great in this particular track.

Another short interlude comes with "Lisa has a Cigar", a classical track by Pasi Koivu. "Mr. Cha Cha" comes right away, a nice instrumental song with a cool rhythm and a rock style, I assume it is a kind of rendition (or maybe mockery) to the Cha Cha Cha genre, I don't know. "Dark Tower" is another interlude, a very nice one, this time with Carpenter's voice. "Scandinavians in Mexico" shares a nice even danceable tune, it actually sounds delicious, it is like a blend of rock, jazz and Latin rhythms. I have to say these guys are very talented, they have the capacity of creating great eclectic music through online ideas, and they have are capable of complementing each other's ideas, which give as a result these so different songs.

"Mystery Man" has again Carpenter's vocals. This track is pretty nice, atmospheric and melancholic; I liked how they slowed down here and show a slighter face of Corvus Stone, though after some minutes the song becomes deeper, more passionate, with a great guitar work. This is one of my favorite tracks. "Camelus Bactrianus" is sung by Timo Rautiainen and if I'm not wrong, lyrics are in Finnish, and though it is impossible for me to understand, the music and the vocal color makes it truly enjoyable, with a kind of somber mood, interesting. "Uncle Shunckle" is a wonderful instrumental track, another one of my favorites here. I think the musicianship is excellent, each and every instrument makes its own party, but at the same time, one leads to another and so on, I mean, they perfectly complement each other.

"Eternal Universe" is another very good track, this time sung by Phil Naro, and it returns to the softest side of Corvus Stone. But well, the epic comes next with "Moaning Lisa", a 14- minute piece where Sean Filkins sing, so it is pretty reminiscent to Big Big Train. The first five minutes are pretty sweet, pastoral, easy to dig and I would also say, beautiful. Then it begins to morph, the electric side appears (it was acoustic-driven at first), so a great blend of guitars put a wonderful atmosphere, while Filkins vocals become more passionate little by little, adding a nice diversity of elements such as Spanish folk, jazzy keyboards and heavier percussions. The music flows, I love how the song does not let you go, I mean, you remain interested and expecting new and new surprises. Their richness of sounds will keep you enthusiastic while listening to it, so what you have to do, is relax, enjoy the passages and let the music do the talking. Finally, "Campfire" provide the last two minutes of this excellent, challenging record.

I invite you to discover Corvus Stone's music, it is an amazing blend of genres and elements with a positive and satisfying result. Enjoy it!

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 Corvus Stone II by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.11 | 260 ratings

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Corvus Stone II
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by Philly

5 stars I write here because I am surprised by this CD. It is the most fun album I have stumbled upon in a long time. It isn't a technical masterpiece or even 100% progressive. That is probably why it is so good. I only realized that this is their second album by the fact it is called Corvus Stone II. I never heard of most of the band members before. Phil Naro I do know of and he is, as usual, a brilliant singer. There are so many singers on here and they are all completely different but somehow you don't even realize that is happening as it is 50% an instrumental album. Everything and everyone fits and take me on a journey of surprises and fabulous musical turns. I read a Spanish review that says this is one of the most important progressive albums in history and it probably is! Why? I have no idea but it is just "one of those albums". I hope this makes sense.

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 Corvus Stone II by CORVUS STONE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.11 | 260 ratings

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Corvus Stone II
Corvus Stone Crossover Prog

Review by robertwhowie2

5 stars I was first introduced to Mr. Colin Tench through another awesome guy, Eric Blackwood, the mastermind behind Edisons Children. I went and purchased Bunchakeze. Awesome, original, fresh and progressive. So I have set out to TRY and keep up with this unique talent and try and get everything he gets his hands on. His first record blew me away and this new one, Corvus Stone II is no exception. The unique way in which Colin and his group of fine musicians, Blake, Petri, Pasi, the awesome drummer, Robert, no stranger to prog music himself, is, to me, what makes this so special and fabulous. To be able to essentially mail in your parts and put together a record that sounds as it all the musicians are in the same room and have the tightness and "gel" that other bands have acquired through touring and jamming, is a true testament to the level of talent that is on this record. I highly recommend this and all of the Colin Tench projects if you love good music. There are so many styles here I cant begin to pin it down to one genre or another. Its good music to me and I will continue to follow Colin and all of his "bunch -a - kids" as long as they are around.

Robert

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