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Ellesmere - II - From Sea And Beyond CD (album) cover

II - FROM SEA AND BEYOND

Ellesmere

 

Symphonic Prog

3.93 | 126 ratings

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andrea
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Ellesmere II - From Sea And Beyond" is the second album by Roman project Ellesmere and was released in 2018 on the independent label AMS Records. This time along with the talent of composer and multi instrumentalist Roberto Vitelli (bass, guitar, synthesizers, Moog, Mellotron) we can appreciate the contribute of prestigious guests such as Paolo Carnelli (piano, electric piano, keyboards, Hammond), Robert Berry (vocals), Trey Gunn (Warr Guitar), David Jackson (sax, keyboards), Alan Benjamin (guitar), Brett William Kull (guitar), Danilo Mintrone (Korg Microkorg), Davy O'List (guitar), Keith More (guitar), Marco Bernard (bass) and Daniele Pomo (drums, percussion). The overall sound is richer and more variegated if compared with the debut album and the influence of bands such as ELP, Yes, Kansas or King Crimson is apparent. According to their label website, this is a conceptual work "where every song deals with a different aspect of the complex relationship between man and sea, from man's curiosity and fear towards what is hidden deep inside the sea to the call for adventure and for travelling to the end of the known world and beyond". The album artwork by English painter and designer Colin Elgie tries to depict the musical content...

The first four tracks are linked together and form a long suite. The short opener "Tidal Breath" sets the atmosphere and starts by the sound of the ocean and the gentle breaking of the waves with a calm sea, then an ethereal melody soars like a mermaid chant and leads to "Marine Extravaganza", an excellent, powerful instrumental track that could recall Emerson, Lake & Palmer and contains a quote from King Crimson's "Red". Then "Runaway" tells in music and words of a disquieting dream, a desperate effort to escape from the chase of mysterious men in black, dark shadows of your past haunting you and alrming your senses. The short, nightmarish "Marine Coda" closes the suite with David Jackson's sax in the forefront.

"The Schooner" opens the second side of the album and starts by a sumptuous passage of church-like organ, then the rhythm rises for an adventurous voyage through Poseidon's territory. The sea air is deceptive and you must not rely on your eyes to assess the distances... The title refers to a type of sailing vessel popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The following "Ridge Fanfare" is another piece in debt with EL&P that seems to invite you to a joyful ride through the waves while the final track, "Time, Life Again", recalls Yes and evokes in music and words the imaginary course of a flying ship flowing forever in time upon the sea, towards the sun, through the fire, in search for an island of peace...

On the whole, a very good album for symphonic prog lovers!

andrea | 4/5 |

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