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Solus3 - Corner Of The World CD (album) cover

CORNER OF THE WORLD

Solus3

 

Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 26 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars A few days ago received "Corner of the World", the latest SOLUS3 album by courtesy of my friend Ian Blackaby bassist of LUNAR DUNES, already had heard and reviewed their first release "The Sky Above the Roof", so I knew what to expect, but this guys still surprised me.

SOLUS3 is a relatively new band formed with four members of the Psychedelic LUNAR DUNES (Ian Blackaby, Julia Thorton, Krupa MaNomay Pattni and Hamilton Lee) plus Francesco Filizzola and a couple guests. This curiosity is what makes this album more Surprising, being that two bands with almost the same members, have such a different style, genre and atmosphere without allowing the quality to suffer.

Being that I received the album before it was officially released, and I don't like to review albums before they are in the market, had enough time to listen it carefully, and even when I knew their style from the first release "The Sky Above the Roof", the excellent "Corner of the World" caught me by surprise, because in a year, they have evolved and reached a maturity that would take much more time to most bands.

The album starts with the Spacey, atmospheric and Jazz oriented "Unfolded", where the delicacy of the piano and harp is enhanced by the beautiful voice of Krupa MaNomay in a delightful contrast with the percussion, trumpet and sudden throat singing explosions by Francesco Filizzola. The atmosphere is absolutely oneiric, like some sort of PINK FLOYD playing in a 1950's cabaret, a solid start for a solid album.

"Tricked by a Monster" is the only track of the album where the guest vocalist Jemma Freeman adds her tougher and dramatic voice, creating a Blues & Spacey sound, again the rest of the band is impeccable with the addition of Larry Whelan in the keys and sax.

"Lollardy" is one of my favorite tracks, even when the style is as usual jazzy and atmospheric, this time the piano shares the lead with the harp, while the trumpet hiding in the background adds a melancholic touch. The bells effect is just the cherry at the top of the pie, another extremely beautiful musical piece.

"Corner of the World" begins with an almost tribal introduction where the vocals and percussion are simply impressive. now the Jazzy edge has been replaced by some sort of oriental ambient supported by percussion and the strong bass of Ian Blackaby....Jazz, Space Rock, Psychedelia and Ethnic in one album, SOLUS3 is by far one of the most versatile bands I ever heard.

"Porn Jam" is an intriguing song, starting by the name and ending with the mysterious vocal performance of Krupa using her voice as an instrument instead of singing words, don't ask me about styles, moods or genres, because I doubt anybody can answer this properly, it's just beautiful Prog music that can't be pigeonholed in any category.

"Reich" reminds me a lot of "Tubular Bells" by MIKE OLDFIELD, the richness of the instrumentation with the constant variations on one theme, adding a new instrument each time a passage is repeated is absolutely fantastic, specially because few bands use harp so massively as OPUS3. I don't know if the band intended this, but in some sections reminds me of Venezuelan harp music....A real box of surprises.

The album ends with "Pumori", an 11:00 minutes epic that I won't even try to describe, because the way Jazz, Melodic Prog and Space rock mix with ethnic influence is created to be listened and descriptions can spoil the listening experience, just will say that it's a fantastic expression of talent, imagination combined with brilliant arrangements and some unexpected or even shocking passages.

It's obvious for this reviewer that SOLUS3 has developed incredibly since the already excellent "The Sky Above the Roof", which I rated with 4 solid stars, so I have no alternative than to give the next logical step and rate "Corner of the World" with 5 stars, being that it doesn't have a single weak moment that reveals a obsession with perfection with constant variations and brilliant arrangements.

Giving this rating to an Eclectic band with Jazz elements is not normal in me, because Symphonic Prog is my real passion and obviously I enjoy more this genre, but I wouldn't be fair if my musical preferences stopped me to give a perfect rating to an album that clearly deserves it, no matter what genre it's ascribed to.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |

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