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Sand Snowman - Two Way Mirror CD (album) cover


Sand Snowman


Crossover Prog

4.93 | 6 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This album represents a crucial developmental period for me as an artist and music fan; I was a freshman in college when this record came out. As a Steven Wilson nerd at the time, there was a trifecta of this record, Insurgents (SW solo), and Molotov And Haze (Bass Communion) that all came out roughly at the same time, and the singular moods that each of these records represents is something that still is with me ten years later. Two Way Mirror is clearly the unsung hero of the trilogy, so it deserves it's first written review here on progarchives.

It's hard to place this music; Sand Snowman represents an essentially unexplored musical corner, which is not something I say lightly. The vocals are weird, not that professional, and deliciously eerie. Sand's harmonic sense is clearly symbolist-influenced (Ravel, Scriabin, etc), but he works within his own personal freak-folk world that no one else can even attempt to inhabit. If anything, This is not trendy hipster freak folk. Is it even "freak folk"? Isn't it just Sand Snowman? Steven Wilson's two contributions almost detract from the weird, creepy mood that much of the album expresses; but if anything, SW's moments add levity. That same levity happens in the closing instrumental track, featuring some truly sublime piano, presumably played by Sand himself. Although not "prog rock", the record is clearly constructed meticulously, and stands, in my mind, as an essential record within this sort of "art music" corpus that the site represents. Each track follows the other seamlessly, and a subtle musical theme reappears and has it's completion in that restrained closing track. Sand is a prolific guy, and this album is probably his most well known and there's probably listener bias because of SW's appearance, but within Sand's oeuvre, it does feel like a focusing point, musically. For me, this is a masterpiece. For fans of...? It's hard to say. What's brilliant about Sand's work is that it's not so much genre or artist touchstones that might lead a listener here, it's the actual musical content; if you love Ravel, Scriabin, and Bartok, and you love the Canterbury Scene, Nick Drake, and maybe obtain guilty pleasure from Devendra Banhart, then...Sand Snowman is for you.

nobledust | 5/5 |


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