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Iamthemorning - The Bell CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.88 | 203 ratings

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5 stars Iamthemorning's previous releases (in particular Lighthouse and the Ocean Sounds Sessions compilation) already made it to my all-time favorites. Their distinct symphonic/folk/prog Renaissance-inspired style with a good dose of poetic atmosphere, piano virtuosity, and that particular Eastern European melancholy is something I came to love; and I receive no less than that on their newest album, 'The Bell'. This one feels darker, perhaps due to the lyrical subject matters, bearing a level of modern dark-cabaretesque energy (or is it just me?). The complexity on 'The Bell' comes and goes like a sinusoid: between the epic, flabbergasting melodic eruptions of 'Freak Show', 'Salute' and (my personal favorite, underappreciated gem) 'Six Feet', and the simpler acoustic ballads such as 'Blue Sea', 'Song of Psyche' and titular 'The Bell'. Marjana Semkina's vocals are capable of impressive dynamics, ethereal one moment and defined the other, while Gleb Kolyadin's piano playing shines in particular on 'Lillies' (both the pace and the composition are insanely impressive and obviously professional). The more complex and energetic tracks (mentioned before) were instant likes for me, with their rich instrumentation, clear build-ups, climaxes, and (at times) unsettling harmonies falling right into my 'good prog' box. The album's ballads don't have as much to offer, slightly disappointing in terms of structure and melody, 'Blue Sea' being perhaps the simplest of them ' but are pleasant nonetheless. As for the tracks in between these two extremities? They definitely lean towards the positives, but are not as captivating ' be it due to more repetitions, untimely (early) endings, or simply needing more time to grow on the listener.

I have debated whether this album deserves strong 4 stars or weaker 5 stars. Nonetheless, for the listening experience, the complexity/energy sinusoid works quite well, leaving time to rest, and (with less attention required) prepare for the next brilliant bomb of the likes of 'Freak Show', 'Six Feet', 'Lillies' and 'Salute'. It is obvious that every part of the album was executed with care, inspiration, and skill of the highest kind. As such, Iamthemorning's 'The Bell' deserves a title of a masterpiece, even if not all of the tracks on this album align exactly with my personal tastes.

Yo-yo | 5/5 |


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