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Seven Impale - City Of The Sun CD (album) cover


Seven Impale


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 311 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars The modern Prog band (strangely, now, if I remember all these years later, initially suggested based on my love of Canterbury Scene) that always struck me, in instrumentation and darkness, as a modern take on the eclectic mood of Van der Graaf Generator. This is somewhat felt vocally, but mostly with the heaviness aided by the very important saxophone.

And right off the bat, City of the Sun is introduced by the hypnotic and memorable "Oh, My Gravity!" Excellent song. Great melody. Great compositionally. There are certainly vocal moments here that are our first glimpse into what I compared to Peter Hammill (of VdGG). Again, as I noted, modernity definitely in this. But the often crazed bleat of the sax drives this song deeper and darker. It is in the middle-to-end section where the first glimpse of any (at all--there's more than I thought) King Crimson influence can be heard, most similar to the iconic sounds of "21st Century Schizoid Man". All for it.

"Gravity" is followed by another favorite of mine, "Windshears", a dark, moody track that calls to mind Lizard/Islands era KC. If there's anything "Kentish" about this music at all, it is the natural ties of Prog and Jazz. It's much darker, as noted, than most all Canterbury. The end of this song has an excellent instrumental melody. Very feeling, almost melancholic.

Madness is immediately followed by moody beauty in "Eschaton Horo" (really rolls off the tongue, eh?). Beauty turns to madness again and back into the main theme (driven by underlying keys and guitar). I really can't believe I'm only hearing all the King Crimson in this music now--the riffs and melodies selected are very familiar in this sort of way. But also, as noted by my girlfriend who is listening for the first time, the feeling of Thom Yorke can be identified in this. Interesting to have Fusion, Eclectic Prog and Post-Progressive idioms coming together so naturally. I guess the crazed mallets that can be heard here might remind of the Mothers of Invention; it did us. And I will say now, up until this point in the album, nothing but excellent.

And for the first time ever, in "Extraction", I hear the potential influence of then-still-contemporaries The Mars Volta. Moody, to say the least. And once again, driven by the sax. Would be understated, even, to say that sax is a quintessential element. It is on "Extraction" that I hear the first bit of music, mostly driven by keys alongside the sax, reminiscent of Canterbury. This or the very lengthy closer "God Left Us for a Black-Dressed Woman" are my personal... least favorites? But really, that isn't saying much at all, because there isn't a not-great song on this album to be found. No wasted space. No aimlessness. All purpose. And amidst the proggy excesses of "God Left Us..." we have another very memorable melody. Very very good. If KC, VdGG, Radiohead, Beardfish, Mars Volta and Khan(?) all had a baby? I don't know if there's a way to boil it down like that, so maybe I should stop.

I really have nothing but praise for this album (I wish their second was as good). A great band creating some great and, to repeat myself, highly memorable progressive music.

DangHeck | 5/5 |


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