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Seconds Before Landing - Seconds Before Landing II CD (album) cover

SECONDS BEFORE LANDING II

Seconds Before Landing

 

Crossover Prog

3.33 | 26 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US project SECONDS BEFORE LANDING is the creative vehicle of composer and musician John Crispino, and came to prominence in 2013 with the release of their debut album "The Great Deception", from which the song and accompanying video for the track Welcome to the Future in particular was taken notice of. "Seconds Before Landing II" is the second album to be issued under this project name, and was self-released towards the end of 2014.

Those who treasured the debut album by this project is in for a slight surprise on this second album by Crispino and the musicians he have chosen to work with here, as he has chosen to move away from the the dark, oppressive atmospheres of the debut album. Not that this is a light and jubilant production per se, but it is a different one, where the darkness in mood isn't as totally dominating. In fact, opening cut Big Train is a fairly positive and jubilant affair, revolving around a beefy hypnotic bass groove, elegant rhythms and a subtly jazz-oriented recurring saxophone solo. A songs you can probably dance along to without any problems at all.

It doesn't take Crispino all that long to move towards landscapes rather more familiar though, with the darker and distinctly Floydian Hey Dad. While not as dark and oppressive musically as the material on the aforementioned debut album, the lyrics are far from light in spirit, with a chorus section that in words and expression most certainly gives life to someone's inner, tortured demon.

As this production unfolds the songs does seem to follow some set patterns. Lyrics dealing with darker topics is a recurring feature, where especially the one describing how it is to live when suffering from anxiety attacks on a regular basis, Don't Want To Feel This Way, presumably will be a heart-wrenching experience for many. The lyrics on this one for the greater part expressed by way of what sounds like the sampled, spoken words of a woman, which is either someone giving us a glimpse into a tortured mind or someone acing an actors voice performance with an award quality performance.

Musically one set of songs blends fairly sparse, electronic, voice and rhythms driven passages with more elaborate sections that channels the inner Pink Floyd of the creator quite nicely, while the other set of songs alternate between being atmospheric laden electronic mood pieces musically and at least on a few occasions of being closer to what one might describe as electronic rock. The subtly jazzier landscapes explored on opening cut Big Train returns as well, with the funky undercurrents that is a central premise on concluding track What Chu Do, a song that takes this album experience full circle, book-ending this production with a similar mood and spirit as found on the opening track.

The manner in which Crispino blends electronic textures and effects with various forms of rock music, with a certain emphasis on sounds and arrangements comparable to Pink Floyd, is as intriguing as on the first album, although not quite as bleak and oppressive. The more playful material here channels more of the character and style I associate with guest musician Trey Gunn, a musician that have proven on multiple occasions that he isn't a stranger in landscapes blending electronica with rock music and who fits quite nicely into Crispino's musical universe. Those fond of music of this kind, that use electronic effects and textures both in a mix with rock music as well as in occasional purely electronic dominated excursions, should feel right at home with the music on this production.

Windhawk | 4/5 |

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