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Crimson Sky - Misunderstood CD (album) cover


Crimson Sky



3.37 | 19 ratings

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4 stars Thanks to progrockfreak for his initial review, which I stumbled upon simply because I do read most reviews (or at the very least , scan them all) and something about the aroma of this curious release impelled me to go out and purchase (not even expensive!) it on that Brazilian river name site! I have noticed that my tastes are presently focused on space and psychedelic, as well as a lot of female vocal prompted prog (FVPP). On the estrogen side, my sessions have included the brilliant Legend, Karnataka, Panic Room, The Reasoning, Breathing Space and Magenta etc?, as well as a slew of Polish bands where the ladies rule the mike and sing! Crimson Sky has an amateurish feel that in fact is quite beguiling, in a nascent sense of what should never be too overproduced by just letting the natural flow emerge and bloom. Four shorter pieces kick off this tasty misunderstanding. The scented "After the Rain" is an overtly commercial track that has an ear friendly lilt with some memorable chorus and verse spiel from siren Holly Thody , whilst mellotron howls in the sonic setting , lighting the path for a low register guitar solo that bruises more than smiles , a hard edged rant that does the trick. "Turn It Up" is at first a lyrical astonishment with powerful words quite in your face and powerful chords, acoustic guitar insertions and then onto the sizzling electric lead from Martin Leamon, synths parading in as well. The melancholic "Season's End" recalls All About Eve in that it combines harsh riffs with heavenly voices that can occasionally wail like a banshee, all knotted into a tight monolithic propeller by the bass and drums. The atmosphere weaves highly contrasting cascades of musical emotion, like Cadey's ornate synth solo that whistles finely, one of the better ones I heard in a long time. "Things Die" is another fierce , an almost hard rock blueser that chuggga-chuggas along like some Whiskey Train (yes a little Robin Trower influence there on guitar, as well as Bill Nelson with Be Bop Deluxe!) , Thody sounding more like a metal diva and the bass popping a few blisters on the haunting melody. The last two pieces are the epic jobs that truly overrule the more accessible nuggets, simply by permitting the mood to become denser and let go into a deeper realm of creativity, albeit this ain't no Math Prog! There is strong hint of Goth/Pagan that permeates the majestic 10 minute "A Sleep That Burns", finding Thody howling to the spectral Moon and the band hugging her along , in a profound enveloped caress that exudes a special scent , the fiery axe solo smoldering through the "vocalizes" and snarling deliciously. Great track! The 6 part title track is the very obvious highlight and requires all the attention and praise, as it's a corker! More than half and hour of fun and games, in spectacular fashion. Soft veiled passages jockeying with the rousing guitar riffs, the weighty arrangement moving full steam ahead, until we dive into the second part "The Sea", a gut wrenching piano led dirge with simple vocal lines but emotionally charged lyrically, a masterful addition to any great prog epics list, possessing all the lavish ingredients needed = pace, emotion, soloing and tonal texture. AKA Buzz ! The heavy resides in complete harmony with the imperial bombast, imagine a harder rockier Renaissance, especially evident when Thody's voice soars high and far away. "I Do Not Count The Time" has a dark folk tinge recalling a rockier Dead Can Dance/ Lycia/Love Spirals Downwards , convincingly spacey and yet gritty by the same token. Still swimming! "Misunderstood II " is incredible once again with spirited playing from the romantic piano and the decorous bass, almost something Wakeman would have done way back when. Fleetly breezy like some warm zephyr thanks in no small part to the singer vocalizations, the mood gets instantly tougher like the grey winds before the tempest, guitar dervishes whirling and synthesized bolts twirling .The marvelous " The Space Between Us" is another winner, pushed gently along by a bright drum beat, giving Thody the pulse to sing her heart out ("It cuts like a knife"), pure, crystalline, nuanced and almost Kate Bushian , while Leamon cooks up a gargantuan feast on the guitar ovens! "Misunderstood III" is only a fitting conclusion, an Olfieldian keyboard trance sets the stage for some extraordinary explorations that recall Fink Ployd in more ways that one, with more poignant lyrics from the depressed voice, Gilmour styled mustang ride takes this far into the sunlit heavens , cacti bowing spinally as the blitz goes by, a heated missile searching only to explode in total release mode.

My advice to this promising newbie is to take the shorter pieces and blend in the splendid Crimson Sky spices, stewing them a bit longer in the pot and give the brew some deserving TLC. There are 40 minutes of frankly exhilarating prog here and bodes well for a red skies at night triumphal sophomore release. Thanks again prf

4 quarrelling cherries

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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