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Solstice - New Life CD (album) cover





3.32 | 45 ratings

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4 stars After their original 1980s incarnation broke up in 1985 (with a brief reunion in 1986), Solstice hibernated and re- emerged in the 1990s with this album. Returning from the 1980s version of the band are Marc Elton on violin and keyboards and, naturally, guitarist and band leader Andy Glass; Heidi Kemp very capably steps into the vocalist spot and the new rhythm section of Craig Sunderland and Pete Hemsley round out the revived group.

The biggest breath of fresh air, however, has to be the production. Silent Dance, the sole studio album from the 1980s version of the group, had always been hampered somewhat by a production job which didn't feel like a good fit for the band's music. The production here, whilst perhaps being at times more reminiscent of a New Age ambient album than a prog release, offers greater clarity to the overall benefit of the album. Elton's keyboards and Glass's guitar work, in particular, end up the star players here; Marillion's Steve Rothery has gone on the record as appreciating Andy Glass's style but feeling that Silent Dance didn't really capture him at his best, and here you can get a better appreciation of just what Steve saw in Andy's work.

The compositions here don't quite feel as powerful as those on Silent Dance, but the improved sonic clarity compensates for this nicely, and I'd say that this album is worth a listen for anyone who wants to dig a little deeper into Solstice's peace sign-waving, good-natured spiritual neo-prog.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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