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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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friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Had the first Ellemere record been a pure form of seventies-inspired symphonic folk, producer and composer Roberto Vitelli turned to a rather nineties type of neo-progressive on this second album - perhaps a result of the mastering that is quite light on the low-end. Or perhaps of the Rickbacker bass-sound that has never worked in any mix in my humble opinion. The keyboards also sound from that era. Leaving that aside, this is actually a well-made record which I was happy to order on a vinyl (which is also of a great quality). After the atmospheric opening the twelve minute 'Marine Extravaganza' is a great tour the force of atmospheric instrumental neo-progressive with hints at Genesis, ELP, Yes and even King Crimson without sounding like a modern remix of those bands. It also reminded me a bit of the opening track of the Italian classic 'Opera Prima'. The 'open' nineties sounds allows for loud playing without getting a headache as well. 'Runaway' is a dreamy and sentimental neoprog / crossover piece that reminds me a bit of Marillion. The two minute 'Marine Coda' with wind instruments by David Jackson (of VdGG fame) is a really spot-on psychedelic interlude and I hope his role in this project would expend in the future. 'The Schooner' has this heavy melodic organ that sucks you in. Guitarist Keith More (who also played on Arena's 'Solomon') shines brightly here with his melodic rockguitar. This track is side two's answer to 'Marine Extravanganza', though this tracks feel a bit more like a summation of random themes at times - which are all fine by the way. 'Ridge Fanfare' is nice short exciting neo-prog piece. 'Time, Life Again' is another strong piece with some vocals and a fiery guitar solo as a finale. What I like about this record is that it is neo-prog that focuses on instrumental prowess instead of too much of that whimsical song- writing (which no group ever does as well as Marillion anyway). Because of some songwriting inconsistency here and there I'm feeling like a 3,5 stars. Very enjoyable though.
friso | 4/5 |

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