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PERFECT BEINGS

Crossover Prog • United States


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Perfect Beings biography
When Chris TRISTRAM wasn't playing bass with SLASH or MARJORIE FAIR, he often thought about going back to his musical roots. On a whim, he filmed himself playing along with 'Roundabout' by YES and posted a video online. Almost 100,000 viewers watched it, including MOTH VELLUM founder Johannes LULEY, who was looking to complete the lineup of his new project PERFECT BEINGS. TRISTRAM's flawless and confident performance instantly convinced LULEY that his search was over.

Half a year earlier, LULEY had approached songwriter Ryan HURTGEN, a fresh transplant from Nashville, about collaborating on a progressive rock project. The two envisioned an album that would honor the style of traditional prog rock, while infusing it with a fresh take on melodic lines and lyrics, and by doing so, catapult the genre into our present time. They loosely based the album on the 2013 sci-fi novel 'Tj and Tosc' by Suhail Rafidi - its themes of transformation, self-identity, technology, and love in a post-apocalyptic world were a perfect fit with the music. Dicki FLISZAR, drummer for BRUCE DICKINSON's band, joined them in the late writing stages.

Once the concept for the album was fully sketched out, the search was on for a keyboard player and a bassist. FLISZAR's former band mate Jesse NASON and the aforementioned TRISTRAM were the undisputed choice. In the spring of 2013 PERFECT BEINGS recorded their debut at LULEY's studio, My Sonic Temple in Los Angeles.

PERFECT BEINGS are all about the interplay of five forces, each bringing their individual styles and talents to the plate, combining them into one big musical feast.

Biography provided by band and used with permission

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4.01 | 327 ratings
Perfect Beings
2014

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PERFECT BEINGS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 327 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US band PERFECT BEINGS was formed at the tail end of 2012, instigated by Johannes Luley (guitars) and Ryan Hurtgen (vocals). When the music and lyrics had been noted down, Dicki Fliszar (drums), Jesse Nason (keyboards) and Chris Tristram (bass) joined the band who started rehearsing the material, concluding in a three week long recording session. The end result was the album "Perfect Beings", which was released in early 2014.

I have to admit that I'm impressed by this production, and on a number of different levels too. Here you have a progressive rock band that appears to deliberately focus on the lead vocalist for starters, that creates material that showcase the strengths of a high quality singer and choose to dampen the instrumental escapades for just about every vocal section, unless the instruments are used to create specific effects. In terms of creating progressive rock with a stronger commercial appeal this is brilliant. That this may lead to some purists writing the band off as pop prog is probably an easy pill to swallow if it shifts a few hundred more copies and makes an impact beyond the relatively confined waters of the hardcore progressive rock crowd.

But while this aspect of the album does make it more accessible, these guys haven't forgotten some of the key features of progressive rock. The compositions tend to twist and turn, themes are explored and repeated and given variations on a subtle and not so subtle level, and tose with a keen interest in instrument details will have a plethora of themes and motifs to enjoy, especially underlying instrument motifs supporting or contrasting the main dominating one is rather bountiful here unless my ears deceive me a lot in the late evening hour I'm writing this down. Organ, keyboards and guitars in particular impress by way of variation, subtle alterations and smooth, dramatic shifts taken in stride. And while the sound is modern and there's a certain emphasis on the lead vocals, unlike most progressive rock bands of note, my main impression is that the spirit and approach of the classic bands from the 70's is distinctly present. In keyboard, guitar and bass sounds and performances, as well as in how drummer Fliszar will toss in some jazz-tinged drum details here and there.

I'll also note down that this album is a clever one. Yes is stated as a direct influence by Perfect Beings, and there are plenty of nods in that direction by way of firm bass guitar, keyboard details and especially vocal harmonies, but there are plenty of references to other bands incorporated here as well, by accident or by design. Fans of Genesis, and at least to some extent Camel and Pink Floyd too, should find the overall sound of this production vaguely familiar due to that. At some point what sounds like a direct nod in the direction of Focus appears, and certain guitar details here and there also brought bands like Rush and even Hawkwind to mind. If this is due to clever design or merely an accidental feature I don't know, but a direct result is that this album will have a subtly familiar feel to it from a fairly widespread crowd amongst the progressive rock audience. Which will lead to direct results in form of sales, and as this album is about a year old now I guess I should write presumably have lead to an increase in sales I guess.

All in all "Perfect Beings" comes across as a solid product. Clever, charming and intelligent, in a manner that will give it an appeal beyond the regular progressive rock crowd but maintaining enough of the spirit and approach from the heyday of this type of music to have a strong appeal even to veteran progressive rock fans. A well made album that is easily recommended to fans of both the golden age bands of progressive rock as well as to those with an interest in a more contemporary sounding project, although I suspect that at least a certain fascination for the giants of old will be needed to truly enjoy this production.

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 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 327 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As I have stated previously, one of my little pleasures is to see what bands and artists are featured on the PA homepage either in the latest posted reviews or in the most popular of the last 24 hours. I have become acquainted with a good number of bands this way, and Perfect Beings is one of the latest to reach me thanks to a review posted a few weeks back.

First, it was an interesting coincidence because around the same time I spotted the fabulous, Roger Dean- inspired cover of Johannes Luley's solo album and sought out information on this guitarist who was the founder of Moth Vellum, another band I had heard about and checked out on Amazon Japan, only to find that the album is available as a download only. Why is this a coincidence? Because Johannes also put together Perfect Beings, and very fortunately, I was able to order the album on CD.

This is an album of music that makes impression after impression. First and foremost, it is a beautiful album. I mean, the cover is intriguing, the digipak gorgeous, the artwork thoughtful and above all, the music is really wonderful. For those of you who feel Yes is as heavy as you want your prog to be, this album is worth looking into.

But what do we have here? From the first play through I wanted to hear it again and then a third time. All the way through. And later once more all the way through. Indeed, this is an album that has been difficult to strip apart and pull off a couple of winning tracks for playlists. Right from the start I don't feel inclined to hit skip at all. Even now after a few listens through, I am finding it difficult to say which is a favourite track. Whenever I try to select a song or two for a playlist of recent acquisitions, I end up choosing four or five consecutive tracks.

But, yes, what do we have here? Well, right off the bat you'll find yourself in Beatles territory with a Paul McCartney-styled vocal bit from the latter half of the sixties. You'll also encounter lots of Yes, particularly from around 'Going for the One' and that fantastic song 'Awaken'. I also felt there was a tiny bit of Camel, some Tears for Fears circa 'Seeds of Love' and It Bites from the late eighties, some nineties Brit Pop (the more mellow and well-behaved kind), some Pure Reason Revolution from the 00's and even some Big Big Train of recent years. And would you look at that! We have bits of musical inspiration from the last 55 years or more, all fitted suitably together on a modern album.

It's been said that a lot of prog bands these days are not actually progressive but rather retrogressive. They formulate a recipe using various concoctions of the classic greats like Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd or others. Who is actually creating something new? I believe prog can be compared to the Second Law of Thermo Dynamics. Basically, energy seeks to spread out and achieve equilibrium. In the heyday of prog, everybody was trying to do something different. Jazz, classical, folk, and world music were being plundered by musicians seeking to find that original sound for their band. These days, however, there is little or no room left to spread. As Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull said in an interview with Rick Wakeman, rock has branched out as much as it can. It is all wrapped up with a neat little bow. So progressive artists of the day are finding there are no new coffers to raid but plenty of stock in the prog coffers already. What counts these days is how convincingly a new band can combine its derivations into something that is attractive and gives the band a unique sound.

Which brings me back to this review. There is quite an impressive collection of inspirations. I have read other reviews on the band's web site where also XTC, Pink Floyd and a few other names were mentioned as well.

The album is a loosely based narrative of a science fiction book about an artificial intelligence in a post- apocalyptic world. Among all the various influential bands that I have already mentioned, you can expect to hear beautiful acoustic guitar, electric guitar that will make you sure Steve Howe is on there, some very appropriate and at times creative drumming, a bass guitar that bears the replicated spirit of Chris Squire, and some pleasant use of piano and other keyboards. Vocalist Ryan Hurtgen sings with a soothing voice that never gets edgy or gruff though he does try to pull off a theatrical scream at one point (please do not try again). Though the music can get a little excited at times, as in 'program_kid' with a vigorous Yes / Camel passage, there's no reason to shout, hammer out power chords, or raise hell on the drums. The truly surprising thing is that this is the most English-sounding American band I have ever heard!

I give this album a firm four stars. The prog quotient is very high even though blatantly derivative at times, and I can listen to this album all the way through without tiring of the music. The thing that stays my hand from clicking on that fifth star is that I cannot find any songs which really blow me away. There are no standout tracks for me, even though some are surely better contenders than others. For me, a five-star album should have a few killer tracks for stand-alone play as well as be an album that is enjoyable to listen to from beginning to end. I think this is one album worth recommending and I am sure most prog fans on this site will award it three to five stars.

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 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 327 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by NeoprogFrance

5 stars Perfect Beings gives us an amazing first album. Their music exudes freshness and lightness, while borrowing here and there from the complex patterns of genre dinosaurs. Supertramp, Genesis through King Crimson, the album is full of mischievous winks. Johannes Luley's guitar flirts with Yes, Jesse Nason's keyboards with Big Big Train, Chris Tristram's bass rings clear and sublime, singer Ryan Hurtgen takes the listener straight to the clouds and DickiFliszar's drums round this up just perfectly - Perfect Beings. Each of the ten songs will make you think for a moment of a known group. A rhythm, a riff, a bass solo, a vocal part or a piano melody. Just a slight hint, a fleeting and delicious feeling of, for instance, Simon & Garfunkel in the opening section of Walkabout.Musically, no doubt, the players are masters of their craft, without ever having to show it off.

The group arrives on the scene with a breathtaking, progressive first album. The ten equally strong compositions follow each other without ever sounding alike, but remain very consistent in quality. The sound is clear,the music pleasantly caresses your hearing and your brain as it leaves a lasting impression of beauty. The album may seem airy upon first listening, but you will soon discover the hidden treasures and depth behind this apparent lightness. The Canyon Hill begins likeSupertramp while Bees and Wasps conjours up King Crimson with its fierce bass. Walkabout offers us a space rock journeyfeaturing a beautiful drum solo. It is also the longest track on the album with more than nine minutes,which pass so quickly. Removal of the Identity Chip amazes with its unusual rhythm that gives way to a fabulous instrumental where the guitar and keyboards work their magic. A masterpiece of 2014, a true marvel.

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 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 327 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by Roland113
Collaborator Neo-Prog and Crossover Teams

5 stars . . . In my not so humble opinion . . .

This is an outstanding first effort and is one of my three candidates for album of the year.

Perfect Beings self-titled debut represents the perfect blend of songwriting hooks and superb musicianship. The songs are varied from the poppy "The Canyon Hill" and "Helicopter" to the complex, symphonic "One of Your Kind". With good production and atmosphere, this is an album not to be missed.

"The Canyon Hill" immediately brings memories of "Solisbury Hill", though the similarities are fleeting as the song doesn't quite capture the majesty of the Peter Gabriel tune. Once we get through the jangly intro, we get into something a little heavier to take us out of the song. It's an improvement, but sadly, the intro is probably the weakest track on the album.

"Helicopter" continues in the same vein with a non-descript poppy intro. Once we get through the first half of the song, the beauty of the album starts to show itself as we slip away from the pop and into a more melodic, emotive structure. The first appearance of the 'Perfect Beings' lick can be heard towards the end.

"Bees and Wasps" continues in the trend of more complex song structures and is the first song to really highlight the musicianship. The middle section shows off Dicki Fliszar's drumming with a tasty fill full of the complexities and intricacies that you would expect out of Gavin Harrison. The pipe organs towards the end of the song provide a majestic moment that is almost a requirement of any great prog release.

My favorite song on the album is "Removal of the Identity Chip". While the beginning of the song is mostly a funky little bit with Ryan Hurtgen warbling over a funky Keyboard / Bass bit. The majesty hits at about the minute twenty mark when the band gets into a wonderful groove in thirteen. Keyboard Player, Jason Nason provides a lush, rolling base for the passage reminiscent of Tony Banks circa "Squonk". On top of the keys, guitarist Johannes Luley does his best Steve Howe inspired noodling. The two sounds mesh beautifully and is the best passage on the album in my mind.

"Program Kid" continues on the previous trend of a poppier intro followed by something much more complex, the last half of the song being the most chaotic bit on the album as Chris Tristram on bass shines, driving the music forwards.

Everyone has their own musical preferences and one of my greatest joys is a good hook. "Remnants of Shields" has that hook that I need. While I'm not going to try and tell you this song is a masterpiece of prog, it's one of my favorites from the album and gives Ryan Hurtgren's vocals a chance to really shine.

"Fictions" has some very nice, almost Spock's Beard, vocal arrangements throughout the beginning of the song, this transitions into a soft Nason piano passage which quickly slams into a hard hitting moment of majesty as the band clicks, firing on all cylinders.

"Primary Colors" is just a great song that is always moving from one place to the next. Again, the complex songwriting structure is shown here as the band continues to play off of each other from one passage to the next. I really like the feel that the crowd noise gives to the song, adding an extra layer of emotion. This is another of my favorites from this album.

The big finish, "One of Your Kind" is the 'epic' of the album clocking in at a little more than eight minutes and, as you'd expect from the rest of the album, they don't stick on one particular passage instead choosing to move from section to section. The songs starts off with a rock ballad feel with Lulay wearing his Steve Howe influences on his sleeve. At the two and a half minute mark Lulay presents us with a beautiful acoustic passage. The acoustic bit is exited jarringly with the band grooving in six under a lovely solo by Nason. The big finale features a wonderful vocal hook, "Act and react, act and react", to sum up the album before the outro recalls the 'Perfect Beings' hook one last time followed by a mellow piano to finish it all up.

If you like hooks and complex song writing, this is a great album. With lots of Yes sounding guitar and bass over Genesis sounding keys, Radiohead-esque vocals and Porcupine Tree style drumming this album is something fans of those bands should enjoy on some level. Easy five star rating from me.

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 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 327 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

3 stars Perfect Beings is a new band formed by Ryan Hurtgen (vocals), Dicki Fliszar (drums), Chris Tristram (bass) and Johannes Luley (guitars) that already has the very interesting album Tales From Sheepfather's Grove (2013) under his name. Thir first album Perfect Beings (2014) was released in February and caused a bit of a hype amongst the Prog community.

The album opens with the track 'Canyon Hill', a pretty piece, but completewly Pop. The second track 'Helicopter' comes in the same page and soon gets clear what is the kind of music Perfect Beings is trying to do in the third track 'Bees And Wasps' (that is a very good track indeed). The band is going in the way I like to call Post Prog.

But despite being brilliantly produced by the band itself and with excellent musicians (especially the bass player Chris Tristram), Perfect Beings (2014) falls in a path that do not please me a single bit. Echoes of Porcupine Tree, Anathema and Blackfield are easily identifiable in this North American act, making the musical crossover they play hang to the Pop side, a fashion that haunts the latest years in the Progressive Rock scene.

What I just explained in the last paragraph doesn't change absolutely nothing in 'Walkabout' and 'Removal Of The Identity Chip' (the latter with its Indie influences and vocals completely Pop). 'Program Kid' is somewhat evocative, but the tone of the voice extremely Pop (almost equal do Coldplay's Chris Martin) from Ryan Hurtgen never lets us forget that the intent here is to mix Pop music with pinches of Prog, fact exemplified in the instrumental part in the middle of 'Program Kid', completely out of place here.

The album continues with the acoustic and Ambient 'Remnants Of Shields' and its silly lyrics and it follows with 'Fictions', an almost Space Rocki track, in fact I would resume this track as if Coldplay tried to play something more 'profound'. 'Primary Colors' is a good track on the record, a bit Neo Prog with a constant rhythm of the hi-hat. To close the album the band chose the dreamer 'One Of Your Kind', but as other tracks in the album after a great intro the Indie Pop assumes it with total force and for me... it's really the end.

Perfect Beings (2014) is an album with an astonishing graphic material (Digipack and booklet), very well produced and, as I said before, with excellent musicianship, but this is not Progressive Rock. This album fit in a category I like to call Post Prog where bands that wanted to play Prog Rock actually play Pop to try to make some audience and with that, money. For me this is a kind of music that kills a bit of Prog. Take a close look to the bands that play this kind of music and you'll see the high amount of bands trying to pull this out.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a proghead that thinks that true Prog is the one done in the 70's, I love Pop music and bands like The Cardigans and even Hason are among my all time favorites but this is something that is just not for me. One thing, though, is certain, fans of the style should listen to Perfect Beings (2014) for sure.

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 327 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by Progulator
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In a country that seems mostly oblivious to prog rock, Los Angeles based Johannes Luley has managed to piece together a group of quality musicians bonding under a sound that is distinctively modern without ignoring where prog has come along the way. The band is Perfect Beings, and their debut record of the same name has certainly created a nice stir in the community, ranking high among the 2014 prog releases on Prog Archives and coming as highly recommended by many. With the vision to pay homage to traditional prog while injecting a fresh sense of melody and lyrics, the Moth Vellum founder along with Ryan Hurtgen have certainly made an album that spans a broad musical palette. Out of the albums I've heard as of late, I definitely see this as a record that apart from appeal to prog fans, has the possibility of appealing to a broader audience of indie and pop fans.

On the catchy side, Perfect beings has a knack for melodies that are simple, modern, and attractive. Several pieces come to mind, such as the opener, "Canyon Hill" and "Walkabout." Both of these songs scream out the 2010′s with their strong indie leanings. "Canyon Hill" hits that retro/vintage vibe with it's simple vocal line and repeating keyboard motif before an eventual variation fueled by fuzzy bass and Hammond. " "Walkabout," on the other hand, hits the upbeat folk pop direction, which honestly isn't really my taste, but surprisingly develops into quite an interesting prog piece full of fun bass playing, clever use of atmosphere, and solid melodies. The song is quite a tour of different sounds and moods, going from pop to prog as it presents lots of cool synth bells and pads, nicely layered vocals, and even a brief Howe-esque guitar moment. Overall though, the song has sort of that KScope feel while avoiding the trap of sounding like Perfect Beings is trying to imitate other bands. Also along more poppy-lines would be songs like "Helicopter," which includes a nice dreamy section in the middle that makes good use of a vocal and piano combination and even breaks out with some Floyd-like chord changes. Lastly, I'd like to make mention of "Program Kid," a song I feel like I should totally hate but somehow ended up loving everything from the cheesy sci-fi lyrics to the clever use of synthesizer modulation to represent the computer themes embedded within the piece. Finally, perhaps one of the pinnacles of Perfect Beings' ability to make smart pop is manifest in "Removal of the Identity Chip." This piece really shows a knack for taking key melodies and developing them from instrument to instrument in an enjoyable game of motif-catch over gorgeous atmosphere that marries the modern elements with guitar parts reminiscent of Howe throughout and a bit of Gilmour at the end.

On the more proggy end are songs like "Bees and Wasps" and "One of Your Kind," my personal favorites on Perfect Beings' debut. Fittingly, "Bees and Wasps" begins with a buzzing swarm of insects that molds and shifts into a fantastic intro that is soaked in grippingly dark tension as the piano plays tremolo over brutal chord changes and devastating drum hits. Suddenly the tonality gets less grim and we move into nicely delivered vocals that are catchy and upbeat while maintaining just enough uncertainty as to maintain the seriousness of the intro. The piece grows through instrumental sections where the drummer really opens up and rocks with fills before a haunting vocal processor leads us back into the verse and to an eventual closure featuring a nice bit of tron and a triumphant melody on the vocals. If there's one thing that really stands out though, it's Chris Tristam's constantly musical bass lines that permeate the piece. "One of a Kind," the final track on the album, perhaps ends up being the most serious of all the songs in terms of music, leaning most towards what the die-hard proggers would expect. With everything from synth solos to classical guitar interludes, this piece really grooves and sings all around. On the guitar end we get loads of melodic interjections that remind me a bit of something off Relayer, there's also lots of variety on Hurtgen's guitar playing that can go heavy at times and whisper crystalline swells at other moments. Fliszar's drumming is powerful, and Tristram's bass once again cannot be ignored as his fingers walk us all around the neck and provide constant interest. Offering wonderful vocals and an otherwordly atmosphere, it is on this track that Perfect Beings really creates the perfect sythesis of modern music and classic prog as they spin out a song that is clearly 2014 while holding true to the spirit of doing something fresh.

While my level of enjoyment varied somewhat (some moments were admittedly a bit too poppy for me), I must admit that Luley and his collaborators have put together a very solid record that has many moments that really hit the sweet spot. I honestly think that just about everyone will find some aspect of Perfect Beings that will tickle their fancy and get them giggly excited. When the final keys of "One of Your Kind" faded and the album came to a close I certainly couldn't help but sit back and think, wow, that was really cool. It certainly is nice to know there's guys in my neck of the woods not only doing prog, but sounding distinct and fresh at that.

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 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 327 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars Drifting more into the domain of quirky indie pop, Perfect Beings represents quite a refined display of songcrafting and meaningful lyrics. All songs are pleasant and listenable with some clever lyrics and catchy melody presentations. I hear a lot of sounds from the late 70s and 80s, particularly reminiscences of THE BUGGLES ("The Canyon Hill" and "One of Your Kind"), XTC ("Helicopter"), 10CC ("Bees and Wasps" and "Program Kid"), ART GARFUNKLE ("Walkabout" and "Fictions"), YES (STEVE HOWE & RICK WAKEMAN) and Pat Metheny Group ("Removal of The identity Chip"), ABC ("Primary Colors"), and LOVE AND ROCKETS ("Remnants of Shields").

I find it interesting that Johannes Luley has given up the vocal reigns cuz he has a very nice voice--and Perfect Beings collaborator-vocalist, Ryan Hurtgen, sounds an awful lot like Johannes.

Favorite songs: "Bees and Wasps," "Walkabout," "Remnants of Shields," and "One of Your Kind."

It's not my favorite album, nor do I really consider this prog--prog-related or maybe Crossover, but it is interesting. 3.5 stars rated up for quality and variety and for the fact that I recommend others try this for themselves.

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 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 327 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "perfect_beings" is the debut full-length studio album by US progressive rock act Perfect Beings. The album was released through My Sonic Temple in February 2014. My Sonic Temple is also the name of guitarist Johannes Luleyīs recording studio in Los Angeles, so I guess "perfect_beings" qualifies as an independent release. Perfect Beings was founded by Johannes Luley and lead vocalist Ryan Hurtgen. The two later recruited drummer Dicki Fliszar, bassist Chris Tristram, and keyboard player Jesse Nason to complete the lineup. Some of the guys in the band have played with some pretty prolific artists like Bruce Dickinson and Slash and itīs obvious from the get go, that these guys are professionals. Skilled songwriters and skilled musicians.

The lyrics and imagery to "perfect_beings" are loosely based on the 2013 sci-fi novel "Tj and Tosc" by Suhail Rafidi. The band felt that the books post-apocalyptic sci-fi theme suited their music perfectly.

The music on "perfect_beings" is a contemporary version of progressive rock. It features both complex progressive sections, melodic atmospheric sections, some psychadelic tinged sections, a slight jazz touch in some sections, and more mainstream oriented catchy sections too. Itīs a pretty eclectic take on the style, and while Perfect Beings are not allergic to inspiration from the 70īs greats of the progressive rock genre, this album generally sounds very little like a retro progressive rock release. Instead weīre met with a fresh take on how to play progressive rock, thatīs easy to listen to and quite memorable too, but not devoid of progressive rock complexity. If I had to make a reference it would be to the Brits in Frost*. More in approach than in sound and overall style though. Perfect Beings are for example far more organic sounding. A band like Porcupine Tree is also a valid reference.

The material are varied, quite intriguing, and "perfect_beings" overall features a natural dynamic flow. While the songwriting is definitely one of the albumīs greatest assets, the musicianship and the organic sound production are also assets that make "perfect_beings" a great listening experience. Itīs an album that reeks high class in all departments.

Ryan Hurtgen doesnīt have the most distinct sounding voice, but he is a skilled singer with a pleasant delivery. His melody lines are memorable and his harmonies spot on. Thereīs a Beatlesque sound to some of those harmonies and melodies (especially in the opening track "The Canyon Hill"), thatīs soothing to the ears, but as with the rest of the music the vocal department is pretty varied (check out the robotic vocoder vocal part on "Bees and Wasps" for an example of that).

Some eclectic progressive rock releases are all over the place and lack the incredibly important stylistic consistency thatīs the glue which binds an album together and presents it as a release with flow. Thankfully thatīs not the case with "perfect_beings" which, while it is eclectic and challenging for the listener, doesnīt stick out in every direction. You are never in doubt that itīs the same band playing, and as mentioned above the concept lyrics and the way the tracklist is constructed provide the album with a nice organic flow. Itīs an album designed to give the listener a pleasant listening experience. Itīs a debut album thatīs too professional and of too high quality to just be called promising, so Iīll go as far as to call it excellent. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 327 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Pefect Beings is a young prog band conducted by Moth Vellum guitarst Johannes Luley, who also has a solo career for some years now. I was really surprised to see such high ratings on this debut selftitled album issued this year in february, strange because to my ears is an absolutly fair and decent release with no stunning ideas overall, but good in terms of musicinship. Many considered close to masterpice or even a solid release, to me is not. The music is fueled with crossover elements, popy arrangements but all are constructed in progressive rock way, with some more complicated parts and aswell some more simple ones. As I said the interludes between musicians are fairly good, specially Johannes Luley guitar really shines on couple of pieces like Walkabout the longest one from the album, Some nice yet keyboards passages added saves this album to me to be a real flat release. I can't really say why I don't like this album so much as other do, but one thing is sure I do really like a far lot more Moth Vellum, is a diffrent beast that had much more to offer thin Perfect Beings do. In the end I can say is ok album, nothing more. Few spins and that is it. 3 stars.

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 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 327 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

3 stars I've been stewing over this album for a few months now, as I honestly was having trouble deciding how I feel about it. Perfect Beings is made up of a group of experienced players that haven't always played in the progressive genre. Yet, they all came together to create something that they hoped would make a splash. Judging by the amount of fanfare I've seen thus far, people are liking it. I'm not so sure I can fully embrace it myself, though.

Perfect Beings tries to bring new sounds to the table. The band plays a mellow prog rock, full of atmosphere, space, and some occasion "out there" segments, usually having to do with vocalist Ryan Hurtgen's vocal exercises. The band plays competently enough, though fans looking for a technical album should look elsewhere. Mood, flow, and whimsy seem to be the driving factors here, as the band displays a hefty indie influence, as can be seen from the very first track, "Canyon Hill". I also hear quite a bit of Muse in the melodies, but not so much that it distracts.

The band features an excellent bass player in Chris Tristram. He is easily my favorite part of the album, as his bass lines are funky and subtle at the same time. Keyboardist Jesse Nason is also a standout with his strong keyboard tones. He literally steals the show every time he plays.

The band, overall, are excellent players, yet I feel that the composition could have been more powerful. There are several good songs, such as "Canyon Hill", the moody "Bees and Wasps", the fantastically spacey "Fictions", and others. However, I don't really think any of the songs approach a memorability that will have me returning to this self-titled album very often. Everything is all well and good, but there nothing that really wows me. The band certainly has their own sound, especially the vocal lines used. Yet, there's nothing that can be described as unique or all that different.

Perfect Beings, then, have crafted a good album that mixes prog rock and indie attitude rather well. It is, however, only the first step. Much of the music comes off as mellow in the composition department, almost unfinished or having too much space. Yet, for what it is, the album (especially the artwork) is beautiful and worth hearing for any serious prog fan. I imagine that many will love the subtlety of the album, and it may yet capture my heart.

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