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RESONAXIS

Crossover Prog • Australia


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Resonaxis biography
Australian band RESONAXIS was formed in 2005 by Brooke Shelley (vocals), David Drury (pipe organ, vocals) and Matt Roberts (drums), and the original intention of this project was to combine rock and metal with renaissance music. Drawing inspiration from music such as ancient chants, church psalms, renaissance polyphony, baroque music, dance music, Scandinavian metal and jazz the band have released two full length albums and one EP to date, "Hymnarium" their most recent production. A release that also saw the band's line-up expanded with Richard Hundy (guitars) and Adam Bodkin (bass).

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RESONAXIS discography


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

4.00 | 3 ratings
Resonaxis
2008
4.23 | 13 ratings
Hymnarium
2012

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

RESONAXIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Videntes Stellam Magi
2007

RESONAXIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hymnarium by RESONAXIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.23 | 13 ratings

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Hymnarium
Resonaxis Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars The self titled debut by this Australian crossover act sounded like it took shape in a modest country parish, but this follow up seems to emanate from the big city cathedral. RESONAXIS resumes its blend of hard rock with folk, pop, religious and classical music, starring David Drury's hypnotic and majestic pipe organ which dominates most of the tracks. The hymn like melodies impart reverence counterbalanced by aggressive rhythm and lead guitars of Richard Hundy. Of course, everywhere is Brooke Shelley's high sweet voice that skillfully slices through even the heaviest passages while never resorting to unbecoming histrionics.

Highlights abound, such as the rather gory opener "Monsignor Ross", but especially the crunching guitar and organ blend of "Watchet Auf" and the more bouncy and relatively laid back "Chorus Angelorum". "Circles" is the most atypical, more poppy at least in the verses, and yet it is worth the diversion. "Mysterium" is a dandy, sung in Latin I think, that seethes for most of its 5 minutes, never quite exploding, yet the threat is always present to keep us on edge. "Dustward" is one of the more accessible pieces thanks to its rather straightforward but lovely organ melody, and a splendid lead guitar solo. Only the two "Hymn" tracks and the closing number don't do much for me, being overly plodding and lacking the dynamic aspect of most of the rest, but I suspect those more ensconced in sacred music might disagree.

While you can't do wrong with either RESONAXIS release, I give a slight nod to this one for its ratcheted up grandiosity. I could see some of these songs in a new hymnal and the band guesting at the cathedral's 11 PM service, Brooke encouraging us to stand as we are able and join them. Now if they can just figure out how to take that organ on the road!

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 Resonaxis by RESONAXIS album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Resonaxis
Resonaxis Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Resonaxis were formed in Sydney, Australia around mid-00's, after female singer Brooke Shelley attended David Drury's unique improvisations on pipe organ at St James' Church.Adding Matt Roberts on drums and bringing Michael Sheridan to help on guitars, they recorded the EP ''Videntes Stellam Magi'' at the dawn of 2007.Sheridan soon became a full-time member and Resonaxis recorded their self-titled debut, released in May 2008.Guest appearances by Steve Elphick on doube bass and Julie Kim on bass are featured in this album.

Resonaxis' sound is epic, cinematic and even nostalgic, drawing influences from the creative periods of Baroque and Renaissance Music and transmitting them into the modern era, eventually producing orchestral soundscapes, based on rock instrumentation and intense melodies with a lost-in-time feeling.Brooke Shelley's voice is a major reason for this, the other ones being the lush string sections and the use of pipe organ.Because the overall style passes from extremely lyrical female-fronted passages to epic and grandiose instrumental keyboard/guitar textures, comparisons with RENAISSANCE are reasonable.The atmosphere is poetic, sensitive and intricate and the music explores different feelings each time: The guitar-based pieces with the operatic voices are easily compared to some of QUASAR LUX SYMPHONIAE's works, other times the mood is almost spacey with extended, hypnotic instrumental parts.But there is also a certain folky enviroment throughout the whole album, based on the band's sound adaptions from the previous century.Very symphonic-oriented material with strong and bombastic orchestral moves, sometimes reminiscent of RICK WAKEMAN's Prog-related albums, which also crosses over to the PAATOS' stylings, especially when Shelley's voice is accompanied by these ethereal piano lines.

Atmospheric and inventive music, trying to link musical styles separated by some hunderds of years.The result is pretty nice with both dreamy and pompous soundscapes.Warmly recommended.

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 Resonaxis by RESONAXIS album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Resonaxis
Resonaxis Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars If, and this is a big if, it's true that there is nothing new under the sun, then all that's left is creative experimentation with the ingredients and proportions thereof. And therein lie infinite possibilities, a humble few of which offer themselves up on this Australian debut. To wit, Scandinavian metal, sacred music, folk, rock, and Renaissance music are all bared without embarrassment..

Styles range from heavier rhythm guitar led pieces like "Pilgrim" and "Sleep", to dreamy hypnotic tunes like "Salve Regina" and "Ascension", to folksier more intimate encounters like my personal favourite, the incense laden "Indigo", and "Life's Contract". The unifying forces are the versatile and soaring vocals of Brooke Shelley, the grinding organ of David Drury, and the powerful melodies throughout. Shelley draws comparisons to ANNIE HASLAM especially on the lighter pieces and the closing "Videntes Stellum Magi". In a few moments she snuggles up with ENYA a little too close for comfort, but the moods are so much more dynamic here that it's almost unfair to even mention it. Both "Psalm" and "Travelling Gifts" tip the scales a bit too much towards somnolence, which would be remedied on the next release.

Devotion can take many forms. In the end, it's love that unites, and these artists fuse all the seemingly disparate influences with their passion. The resulting musical axis resonates precisely because it is so believable, so sure of itself, and so authentic, the very embodiment of the progressive spirit.

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 Resonaxis by RESONAXIS album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Resonaxis
Resonaxis Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars The relationship between artist and fan is perhaps one of the most interesting of human attributes, a virtual, perhaps even somewhat abstract, union of emotion and understanding. It starts often innocently enough, as the artist seeks out some invisible global audience by providing their craft and launching into the vast unknown, wishing for some resonating response. Well, I got hooked onto Resonaxis' sophomore album, thanks to an ear-opening review by a respected colleague at PA and a few buttons and a couple of weeks later, the irresistible "Hymnarium" arrives in my mailbox. I had already given it a few spins off the 'progstreaming' website and all I needed was a physical copy, as I only evaluate hardcopies. My glowingly gaga review is duly stated for the record and I did get an e-mail relationship going with lead vocalist Brooke Shelley in Australia. She has shown gratitude for my review (that showed gratitude for her art - a fair exchange) by sending me the Resonaxis debut album. Going backwards can be just as exhilarating a voyage as the standard 'debut to next' option and I was caught quite off guard by the sheer brilliance of this inauguration, mainly due to the fact that their pipe/church organ dominated "Hymnarium" was a definite progression from this, their first amazing foray.

So what are the inherent differences, you may ask? Well, there are quite a few instrumental innovations here, with liberal use of 'theorbo', a long necked lute that has a stellar sound, very medieval and delicate. In terms of church organ, David Drury is present, sharing keyboard duties with Brooke, he does sing stunningly on a couple of tracks and is overall less front and center within the songs' framework. In fact, this is Brooke's baby right from the get-go. The material is less bombastic and powerful as the keyboards also include a fair amount of elegant piano, while the guitar work from Michael Sheridan is quite aggressive as with the sophomore's Richard Hundy. Drums are deftly handled by Matt Roberts. The songs are quite alluring, showcasing Brooke's incredible voice, a tone and style not that far removed from the equally impressive Cathy Alexander, who has graced albums by the Morrigan, Colin Masson and Lands End.

"Pilgrim" shakes the foundations in a style very reminiscent of Hymnarium, a rash guitar dueling with the theorbo, until Brooke enters the scene wrapped within an intoxicating melody, intricate string work and epic keyboard colorations. The theme sticks to your brain as if honey coated for the purpose, grandiose and overpowering. The hypnotic "Salve Regina" introduces baroque strings with violins, violas and cellos into a drum programmed solemnity that sonically unifies the past and the future, Brooke's soprano howling with unabashed fervor. Once again, the originality of purpose and the beauty of the music leaves one breathless. The bucolic "Indigo" leaves the quasi-ascetic religious feel for a little folksy banquet of sound, a solemn voice that floats above the pastoral setting, where acoustic guitar promenades the Shelley piano. This is where the Alexander resemblance becomes quite clear, another terrific slice of choral genius. But it's with "Ascension" that the proverbial lid is blown right off, a magnum opus that features Drury's unexpectedly powerful voice in a glorifying duet with Shelley's, highly evocative of classic Dead Can Dance that "guide you up from the Mayan underworld". Buzzing guitar and bashing drums elevate the torment to nearly spellbinding heights. The female wailing in the background is knee-trembling! Has someone seen my jaw, per chance? "His Dance" keeps things simple yet intense, a brief intro with shimmering voice and ornate piano, until the rolling church organ summons the electric guitar to exit from the velvet curtains and take an e-bow. This is perhaps reminiscent of the shape of things to come, as it would fit easily into the "Hymnarium" set list. "Psalm" is the longest piece her clocking in at 6 minutes and some, and as the title with imply, the mood is definitely more solemn and monkish. This is a nearly an all Brooke Shelley performance on keys and vocals, with only Julie Kim helping out on bass. "Gravity is just an illusion" she cries out in solemn despair, the synths whirling amid Saturn's rings, her voice pleading with both God and Allah to settle our equilibrium. Deliberate and divine, the psalm seeks to heal the weary soul and provide some panacea. "Life's Contract" continues the aural love affair, Brooke Shelley's piano and voice leading the way, organ and choir in perfect unison, scouring the loftiest levels of the celestial dome. The guitar picking is justifiably elusive and complements the crushing beauty of it all perfectly. "Sleep" veers into a harder direction, I shudder to think that Uriah Heep's Ken Hensley is on the organ, a booming rock piece with grooving guitar, sonically modified voice and some anxious lust. The drums only complement the huge "Fly Away" chorus and when you have heavy lyrics like " Seduced by a faint scent of narcotic slumber, feeling myself slipping , try to stay awake , spinning down and down", you realize this ain't no fluffy pillow music. "Travelling Gifts" has the baroque instruments again placed at the very edge of the stage, glowing from a highly medieval feel that really stretches the folk parameters into quasi- experimental areas (the Dead Can Dance tints, who are also fellow Aussies!). Vibrant, profound and mesmerizing music. The recording features a final hurrah, an album version of their very first EP, an anthemic piece called "Videntes Stellam Magi" that just shocks the system, a crystalline voice that howls to the pipe organ- driven wind, blowing the spires off any church. Sheridan's quirky axe solo is a fiery exercise in controlled abandon. This song probably best defines the music of Resonaxis, a heady combination of Gothic vision, rock guitar, medieval inspiration and impeccable vocals.

Each and every melody clearly stamps the pleasure nodes with immediate effect, a sterling recording of amazing material, humbly arranged and brilliantly composed. Certainly an omen of things to come. Within a few weeks, I have become a huge fan of a duo of albums that have captivated my mind and my soul, in a style that has not been saturated with hundreds of imitators. Halfway across the planet, there is an Australian outfit that has stirred my being. Any fan of original prog and sustainable sonic beauty needs these two albums in their collection.

Amen!

5 centers of absolution

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 Hymnarium by RESONAXIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.23 | 13 ratings

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Hymnarium
Resonaxis Crossover Prog

Review by Progatron

4 stars Outstanding sophomore effort from Australian band Resonaxis, "Hymnarium" is a pipe organ-dominated ride through mood, majesty and yes, I'll say it: haunting beauty.

Much could be made of the commanding lead of that church organ, and surely it is a defining aspect of "Hymnarium"'s sound, but it is worth noting that there is a goodly amount of heavy guitar work at play here too, which, along with the bass and drums, fleshes out the sound justly. A strong effort musically, but where many bands falter (vocally and/or lyrically), Resonaxis play their ace in the hole:

Vocalist and songwriter Brooke Shelley has an angelic but powerfully operatic voice, soaring through a series of enchanting and darkly poetic tales. Solemnity gives way to spookiness which gives way to grief, mystery, poignance. On several occasions through my first and second listens of the album, I found myself just sitting and reading along with the lyrics in the booklet - a very good sign that I had a unique and fascinating album on my hands - and I do. "Hymnarium" is a gem, and one that I'm very glad I took a chance on and blindly ordered from the band's website. If this review has found you intrigued, I encourage you to do the same. Magnificence!

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 Hymnarium by RESONAXIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.23 | 13 ratings

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Hymnarium
Resonaxis Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Like most adventurous minds, I have wandered occasionally into some deep fantasies, perverted thoughts of impossible pleasures and hitherto undiscovered bliss. Before the black-helmeted thought police come knocking on my Orwellian door, accusing me of some profligate sexcrime, let me reassure you I am talking prog-rock and not carnal sins (Well, I could divulge some of those but that will be for another moment in time and another pearly place). Through 45 years of musical expectations and fulfillment, I secretly always pined for a progressive rock album led by a church organ or a harpsichord, ever since falling in love with Rick Wakeman's the Six Wives of Henry VIII back in 1973. Forty years later, the first thrill has finally arrived on the shores of my expectations, as Australian band Resonaxis not only fulfills my deep-felt church organ yearning but surprises with phenomenal quality by adding some serrated guitar phrasings, potent bass that is thankfully up front and center and good thumping from the basher-drummer. Throw in a sensational female voice that skirts the edges of medieval, gothic, Gregorian and renaissance styles and we have a total winner! The material is diverse, memorable and immediately anthemic, the pools of drool around my feet are testament to my satisfied delivery from endless patience. What a stunner this is! Everything about this release exudes amazement, from opportune artwork, stellar musicianship, powerful sound production and flawless vocal delivery.

So, church organ as the lead instrument, eh? Well that is a first for this seasoned fan, especially in view of the fact that it's a quite cumbersome if not impossible instrument to lug around as one would need Jesus to apply as a roadie but outside of a few dabbles by the likes of Wakeman, Van Leer, Van der Linden, Par Lindh and no-guitar Italian bands Three Monks and Jacula, it is a rather rare set-up without falling into Enigma and the Gregorian New Age stuff like Lesiem, Nostradamus, Magna Canta, etc?. In terms of classical /folk music, it's at the opposite spectrum of Blackmore's Night, Karnataka, Magenta or Shine Dion. The bold and upfront guitars, the melodious low end and the tough drumming give this package some serious meat as witnessed on the opener, the gloomy "Monsignor Loss". This really serves as a proper sound/ear introduction to their awesome style, showing of each musicians considerable talents. Organist David Drury masters his knobs and ivories with evident composure, while impetuous axeman Richard Hundy rasps convincingly as well as supplying a supple solo.

But it's the next 3 cuts that really hot-blade slice into the butter, reaching deep into the pleasure dome. The tremendous "Hymn 8" is a fortifying aural tonic that stretches the boundaries of convention and satisfies compellingly. Brooke Shelley has a crystalline and impassioned set of pipes (pun totally intended!) that impacts profoundly in every sense of the term, creating vivid imagery from her mellifluous voice. This is an immense talent on display here, so clean the wax from your ears, please! The stately "Wachet Auf" is simply surreal in its spectral glory, a progressive icon of the highest order, a piece that will grab your attention immediately and with unprecedented authority. The melody is ecstatic, grandiose and eternal. The true definition of power and beauty, all wrapped in a 4 minute cocoon of genius. "Deathdamp Allemande" is equally spell-binding with its loopy 5 note synth melody that towers above the pipe organ fray, complete with a colossal soundscape that elevates this to the loftiest stars. A thorough adventure in musical bliss, short, sweet and to the point.

The next four pieces are somewhat more ethereal and 'soundtrackish' (if I can use such a word). "Circles" deviates from the expected, providing a Cocteau Twins/Dead Can Dance feel in a quasi-monastery musical environment that exudes playfulness, serious reflection and sonic dexterity. This is perhaps a bit more contemplative that the other pieces here as it's fueled by a delightful bass and voice duet, another rare occurrence in our mesmerizing genre. The penitent organ seeks to expand on the mood as opposed to crushing it into submission. The choir work is lovely. "Hymn 2" is a hypnotic landscape of epic proportions, a scouring of the musical heavens, in profound rapture as the guitars sear and sizzle, the true definition of power and glory. The tabernacle is set with flickering vocal candles, echoing hallowed reverberation from each of its stones. It's at this crucial crossroad that one realizes just how devilishly clever and varied this style is. Resonaxis have definitely found their niche and stick to it. The inquisitive "Mysterium" chorales nicely, a brooding timbre of restrained thunder, just waiting to explode. And when it does, there is a strong 'Gothic Impression' as with Par Lindh's debut, shocking rhythms colliding with angelic voices, the massive organ fuming wildly, drums akimbo. The absolving "Chorus Angelorum" shows off some nimble Adam Bodkin bass work, as he carves a sinuous path amid the aural clergy. This is perhaps the most 'religious' sounding piece here as the voice has an obvious reverential quality, as if calling angels to convene on some cloudy stage, far from the maddening crowd

The home stretch is highlighted by 2 closing tracks that stay the course albeit offering different sensibilities. "Dustward" features a brilliant lead guitar solo from Hundy, ably aided by Shelley's supplicating voice, two furiously able talents at work in the name of the Prog lord!

And finally "Akasha" finishes off this pompous, decadent, magnificent and epic disc, a fitting finale for an album that keeps the mood forever exciting within a relatively restrained configuration, keeping the moods fresh and exhilarating. This has to be one of my top 3 albums from the amazing 2013 vintage, a still unfinished year of stellar prog achievements, perhaps the best 'cuvee' since 1973! I am pretty sure that in terms of absolute originality, Resonaxis will find a broad spectrum of observant and pious fans for many years to come!

Amen!

Absolutely 5 Echoing alignments

Thank you Brufordfreak for the reco.....Bless you my son!

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 Hymnarium by RESONAXIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.23 | 13 ratings

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Hymnarium
Resonaxis Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars Another gem destined, I fear, to obscurity were it not for the benevolence, brilliance and imagination of the boys at progstreaming.com. Bravo, Sunhillow! You are a god! Pairing David Drury's church organ play with Brooke Shelley's female choral/operatic vocals seems natural--for church music. But then you mix in the standard rock instrumentation (drums, electric bass and electric guitar) and you get an unusual and challenging mix. The choice to creating prog/goth rock was made and, though the organ and vocal can at times feel separate from the electric side, overall the church- and medieval- feeling melodies and sounds mix extremely well with the rock elements. I must admit that I half expected the clichéd Captain Nemo/Phantom of The Opera 'crazed organ' sound (it's there a few times, like in "Wachet Auf") but, no! The organ is often actually rather quiet or in the background--not even as prominent as Rick Wakeman used it in the YES-classic, "Awaken." The electric guitar is, surprisingly, the one instrument that is, unfortunately, mixed as if 'outside' the rest of the band, otherwise Resonaxis has managed the formidable achievement of making their odd mix of instruments feel quite natural and perfectly suited for one another.

While I find myself quite liking all of the album's songs, the standouts for me are:

The graphic lyrics and catchy melodies of "Monsignor Loss" (4:47) (8/10), the FRIPP-like guitar arpeggios and harmonized male and female vocal weave throughout "Hymn 8" (4:00) (9/10), "Wachet Auf" (4:07) (8/10), "Deathdamp Allemande" (3:50) (8/10), the STEROLAB- like "Circles" (3:24) (8/10), the almost blasphemous church/sacred feeling, guitar infused, "Mysterium" (5:06) (9/10) (beautiful vocal!), the vocal melody and performance of "Chorus Angelorum" (8/10), the guitar and organ work in "Dustward" (4:25), and the awesome electric guitar chord play (including a 50 second solo intro) and amazing second voice harmonizing in a very church-like way on "Akasha" (4:55) (9/10).

I would love to see some more intricate and adventurous organ play from this maestro--who is obviously well-esteemed if he was the inspiration for Brooke's desire to put together a record. His play is solid and presents a wonderful and unusual backdrop to the music here (except on "Akasha"), but there are really no flashy soli or intricate weaves of multiple keyboard lines. One can only hope that in the future . . .

In the meantime, this is a solid four star effort: an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection!

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