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Coralspin - Honey and Lava CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.02 | 14 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Being this a debut album, let's first spend few words in general before going track by track.

======================================================================= The band is a trio which includes Keyboards, guitar and vocals plus two sessionmen at bass and drums. This means that the rhythmic parts are not much developed even if very present. =======================================================================

NOTE: I have totally mistaken the above sentence. The two "sessionmen" were effective band members who have left the band for personal reasons. My impression about the rhythm section was conditioned by this misunderstanding. Apologies to the bassist and the drummer. The whole sentence above is wrong but I prefer correcting myself instead of just deleting it.

The vocals of Ellie Blyth are high pitched and while my very first impression was a remind to Jon Anderson, listening better the singing appear closer to Chris Squire, but the band doesn't sound too much like the YES.

The opener is one of the most rocking songs, with heavy guitar counterbalanced by Wakemanian keyboards. It's the only one song in the album on which we can hear a possible YES influence specially in the changes of signature. It's a good melodic song which lies somewhere between Symphonic and Neo-prog.

More melody comes with the piano of "You're Wrong", seconded by a very deep bass. No more YES now. I don't know why exactly, but this band brings to my mind the Finnish NURKOSTAM. It takes a while to get used to Blyth's voice but once done the real value of the songs can be appreciated.

"Mistimed" is opened by vocals now more similar to Jimmy Sommerville but the song doesn't have anything of Bronsky Beat. From a musical point of view this is one of the sings better arranged and I like the final with the pitch going up a couple of time enhancing the crescendo.

"Burn My Eyes" is more "eclectic". The passages are quite unusual. The sequence of chords reminds me to bands like FAMILY but there an interlude that cries "TRANSATLANTIC" comes a couple of times to increase the listening pleasure.

"Sky's End" has a neo-prog start but goes uptime with a funky guitar. There's a lot of funk to enjoy. It's a very good guitar performance on a song which is very rousing specially in the instrumental part.

"Songbird" has a structure similar to "You're Wrong", with piano and vocals leading the melody later joined by the other instruments. A pop-oriented song showing influences from MARILLION but also from ABWH.

"Night Stalker" is a title that gives the idea of what is coming. This song has a late 70s flavor. DOOBIE BROTHERS; EAGLES, ELO, but also WISHBONE ASH...I hope I'm giving you the idea. A rock song with a bit of funk. Quite a surprise. Put it in your car and drive.

Piano again for the closer. An unusual sequence of chords like in "Burn My Eyes" but more melodic. CARAVAN is the band which comes to my mind with this mixture of melody and pitch changes. Effectively the whole song has a Canterbury flavor. On the final I also think to Pohjola's WIGWAM. An excellent final for the album which shows so many influences that is like saying "no influences". It's closed by the best song, but all the album is good.

It's a promising band, technically I would suggest a bit more reverb on the voice but I may easily be wrong. The album shows good qualities, the band has personality. Let's see what the future will bring.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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