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Aethellis - Aethellis CD (album) cover

AETHELLIS

Aethellis

 

Neo-Prog

3.36 | 26 ratings

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hammond_russell
4 stars Let me say that this album touched me in so many ways. Aethellis manages to mix a decent blend of concept and melody with a synth / groove / layering of keys that had me wondering who I was listening to. There is very early Genesis, mid life Asia and a more recent John Young all included with its own brand of reality that has resulted in a truly very good album.

1. Tie and Handkerchief

Great opening, atmospheric leading to what? Nice piano the a nice groove and synth with Geoff Downes overlays and a great contribution to the prog rock world. More of it I say. It isn't rushed with vocals or changes of instrumental sounds in the first few minutes. It's allowed to flow. A real drummer could have helped but the effort of 'digi drums' (and percussion?!?!?) is as good as I've heard. Nice layering of sounds in the vocal breaks...did real well without a real guitarist. Great finish which leads to...

2. Saint Augustus

This track moved me. More church organ - HA!! Was this studio or produced it somewhere else?? Unfortunately the vocals were a bit too even here but the chorus really got going which helped lift the track (my perspective only). Love the bridges - and the lead breaks. I don't know what his religious loyalists are but a track that could be 'top and tailed' as a single. The ending of this track should be given to music students as a way to close off a track - great use of echo on the vocals.

3. Hubris

Introduction sounds like it follows on from Saint Augustus and tends to flows from Track 2 and then changes direction as the tracks takes and number of changes. Great synth and atmospheric work to build tension. Almost Eastern feel. Then it morphs into an almost 'rif' feel from MAGUS (different artists / different time but similar feel) in the middle which blends into a Geoff Downes (New Dance Orchestra) series of chords which moved me more than you what to know. Top stuff and the best I've heard in a long time (tone up those Wakeman licks at the end - HA!!)

4. Portal

Great change of pace and acoustic piano at the start. Which leads to the track proper. Carol? Lost friendship? Very pastoral. I'd almost heard this track before. The layering of vocals is great and then it spirals into Part 2 of this track which follows the general melody but keeps exploring little nocks and crannies along the way.

5. Djibouti

A real change from the other tracks. Nice groove after the first part and not rushed at all. Almost Wakemanish. Is there such a word!?!?!?!? Great touch on the synths (Wakeman and Geoff Downes in the one track - good stuff!!!). Beautiful melding of electronic and acoustic overlays which is as good as 'Tumbleweed' [from Affini Logue]. One of the better instrumental tracks of 2004.

6. Final Affinity

Great start into a weirder section that gets a bit experimental but not 'over the top'. Disguising the vocal doesn't help (unfortunately) but the instrumental section after is a buzz - loved the guitar sound-a-like and the overlaying of sounds and bass work. The middle section seems to flow effortly from guitar to keys... But it's a long track and then the organ starts (same from Saint Augustus???) which leads into an almost early 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' feel and into a great improv section. Then there is the light synths flowing over the top of a great groove and even better mid section.

By this time I want to listen again and again and again.

| 4/5 |

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