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Introitus - Shadows CD (album) cover

SHADOWS

Introitus

 

Neo-Prog

3.78 | 50 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars Introitus started as a more fixed project in mid 2000 although the first album Fantasy is music from before that. Fantasy was released in 2007 as a documentation of Mats music from as early as 1970s. The album was so nicely recieved that Introitus felt that it might be nice to give it another go with more music and a change of the line-up. Elements saw the light of day in 2011 and was even better received in the progressive world. With even more good vibes they now felt that Introitus was a more solid project then they first anticipated. Anima was released in 2014 and the first tour in the UK was made. By this time Introitus turned into a good live-band as well. They started working on Shadows in 2017. However, life took a few turns with daytime jobs, newborns and other family happenings. So the album was released in June of 2019, five years after the previous effort. The UK has received Introitus very well and the band is working towards a tour there, and on the Europeen continent in the near future.

1. Belong (6:59) : The opener mainly contains a distinctive Floydian atmosphere with wonderful orchestral keyboards and slide guitar. Halfway an accellaration with a heavy guitar solo, a tight beat and lush Hammond waves. The female English vocals sound inspired, but the simple lyrics are a bit amateurish.

2. Shadows (9:28) ; Now we are in the realm of Neo-Prog, wonderfully coloured with flute, piano and sensitive electric guitar. The final part is very compelling, in the vein of the bombastic early Pallas featuring slow synthesizer flights, Mellotron choirs and bass pedals, wow!

3. Beyond Fantasy (7:04) : This time it starts with a spacey synthesizer intro, another fine musical idea from the band. The sound in the wonderful composition sounds like a movie soundtrack from Vangelis, embellished with tender piano runs, soaring ocarina flute, slow synthesizer flights and celestical female vocals.

4. Desperation (13:17) : The longest, very melodic and harmonic composition delivers a lot of variety and shifting moods. From dreamy with flute, fragile guitar play and tender piano to a slow rhythm with bombastic keyboards (choir sound) and emotional vocals. And from accellarations with heavy guitar riffs, Mark Kelly-like synthesizer flights and a tight beat to bombastic climates with emotional vocal harmonies and moving guitar runs. The band succeeds to keep my attention and plays on a very decent level, you can hear Introitus is a tight unit.

5. Figures (6:19) : In this track sumptuous atmosphere and prog metal rule featuring thunderous drums, heavy guitar and sensational, flashy synthesizer soli. In the second part a mellow interlude with tender electric guitar runs, then turning into a bombastic eruption (like Pallas) with a majestic Mellotron choir sound, then again the prog metal climate. It's amazing how frequently Introitus changes its musical face!

6. My Hero (4:36) : In order to keep on surprising the listener now Introitus presents a romantic ballad, it sounds like a song from a feel good movie, with emotional female and male vocals, embellished with dreamy piano and soft synthesizer drops.

7. Awakening (11:43) : The final composition is loaded with changing atmospheres and a variety of instruments, and again Introitus succeeds to keep my attention during the entire running time. My higlights are a wonderful accordion solo, a moving guitar solo with lush Hammond waves, a spectacular pitchbend driven synthesizer solo and the final part featuring female vocal solo (like Great Gig In The Sky from Pink Floyd), topped with a Mellotron choir-like sound and bass pedals, wow!

I am pleasantly surprised by Introitus its varied and dynamic sound, scouting the borders between modern symphonic rock and Neo-Prog, and with lots of surprising musical twists and turns. The vocals sound inspired, my only negative remark concerns the pretty simply lyrics, at some moments close to amateurish. But to me not really disturbing, lots to enjoy!

This review was recently published on the Dutch progrock website Background Magazine, in a slightly different version.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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