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Silver Lining - The Inner Dragon  CD (album) cover


Silver Lining


Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 54 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars A lush, symphonic work, "The Inner Dragon" reminds me a bit of "Strinkadenn Ys" by Breton band "Seven Reizh". They differ in that Silver Lining uses a lot of spoken word, they speak/sing in English, their story is a complete fabrication as opposed to the telling of a legend, and they use violin, played with ease and flair by Annie Morel, as a primary interest. But here as there, passages are dominated by keyboards and sometimes heavy yet melodic guitars, and a Celtic wave is always crashing around us.

Thierry Sportouche came up with the concept and wrote the lyrics and sang. His voice is great for singing but a bit heavily accented during the spoken sections, which tend to drag a bit and are a bit too much of a direct throwback to the 1970s when voice overs were de rigueur. They can't always be easily programmed out, but the music that often follows helps lend credence to the story. For instance, "Opaline" proceeds rather slowly for minutes, and I lost a bit of patience, praying that it would reach some sort of denouement and cut loose a bit. And boy does it, with stellar lead guitars and violin backed by heavy rhythm guitars carrying on for the latter half and showing what the band is capable of. "The Morning Dew" follows on from this logically, with particularly succinct and intertwined violin and guitar lines. "Castaways" again requires us to listen to some narration before one of the more powerful vocal segments appears, along with a sparkling violin theme.

"Desert Gates" is a relatively short track but is one of the true highlights, as the nearly ambient guitars float atop world rhythms. "A powerful wand" is also compact but much more energetic, and the violin and bass guitars really flourish. My favourite is probably "Lovestalgia", thanks to a lovely nostalgic melody which initially features Sportouche in mellow mode singing a romantic ode, and then picks up as the violin is re-instated. In general I would say that if you dislike violin in rock you might want to stay away from this album, and even if you like it, it may only suit certain moods, such as when you don't mind a certain sameness that creeps in here and there.

There are many silver linings to this dragon if you get to know its inner self. For a debut it is very strong, and, in spite of some of the aforementioned weaknesses or "acquired tastes", I am rounding up.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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