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PERFECT BEINGS

Crossover Prog • United States


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Perfect Beings biography
Founded in Los Angeles, USA in 2012

When Chris TRISTRAM wasn't playing bass with SLASH or MARJORIE FAIR, he often thought about going back to his musical roots. On a whim, he filmed himself playing along with 'Roundabout' by YES and posted a video online. Almost 100,000 viewers watched it, including MOTH VELLUM founder Johannes LULEY, who was looking to complete the lineup of his new project PERFECT BEINGS. TRISTRAM's flawless and confident performance instantly convinced LULEY that his search was over.

Half a year earlier, LULEY had approached songwriter Ryan HURTGEN, a fresh transplant from Nashville, about collaborating on a progressive rock project. The two envisioned an album that would honor the style of traditional prog rock, while infusing it with a fresh take on melodic lines and lyrics, and by doing so, catapult the genre into our present time. They loosely based the album on the 2013 sci-fi novel 'Tj and Tosc' by Suhail Rafidi - its themes of transformation, self-identity, technology, and love in a post-apocalyptic world were a perfect fit with the music. Dicki FLISZAR, drummer for BRUCE DICKINSON's band, joined them in the late writing stages.

Once the concept for the album was fully sketched out, the search was on for a keyboard player and a bassist. FLISZAR's former band mate Jesse NASON and the aforementioned TRISTRAM were the undisputed choice. In the spring of 2013 PERFECT BEINGS recorded their debut at LULEY's studio, My Sonic Temple in Los Angeles.

PERFECT BEINGS are all about the interplay of five forces, each bringing their individual styles and talents to the plate, combining them into one big musical feast.

Biography provided by band and used with permission

See also: HERE

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PERFECT BEINGS discography


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PERFECT BEINGS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.87 | 408 ratings
Perfect Beings
2014
3.93 | 190 ratings
Perfect Beings II
2015
4.03 | 111 ratings
Vier
2018

PERFECT BEINGS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PERFECT BEINGS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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PERFECT BEINGS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

PERFECT BEINGS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vier by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.03 | 111 ratings

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Vier
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by Booba Kastorsky

5 stars I rarely post 5 stars review, because IMHO 5 stars means something extraordinary. This album is close to it. It's packed with great melodies and hooks, clever arrangements and inventive solos.

Style? Really hard to say: one piece sounds like acoustic ballad, next - electronica, next- dreamy piece a-la classic Pink Floyd, then something that sound like a bit of Yes. Besides, there are lot of short, but tasteful and beautiful sax solos. There is even a piece of orchestral classical music that sounds a bit similar to Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade! And very good vocal!

Is it what they call "prog"?

And all of those pieces blended together in very clever and smooth way, so they don't sound disjointed. And it doesn't have any weak tracks!

A reviewer on Amazon called this album a modern Tiles of Topographic Ocean. I don't think this is a compliment, because Vier is better! I disagree: I love classic Yes (not that circus that called "Yes" now!), but even bigger fans of the Tiles admit it has many boring and inconsistent moments.

As a contrast, Vier does not! I listened to it probably eight or ten times already, and each time I discovered something new and interesting. And I'm sure I have some new discoveries ahead!

And did I mention that sound quality is pretty good?

 Vier by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.03 | 111 ratings

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Vier
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars Between the second and third albums there were some changes in the Perfect Beings camp, most notably the loss of the rhythm section so that the band were now operating as a trio with additional guest musicians. Ben Levin provides drums on the album which was released at the beginning of 2018 , but he has since been replaced by Sein Reinart, and while Johannes Luley picked up the bass duties alongside his guitar, he has now happily put aside the four strings for Jason Lobell. This album also sees a much higher use of woodwind and brass, and since the album they have been joined by saxophonist/flautist Brett McDonald. Also, they are no longer releasing their music on their own label but have signed with Inside Out, a major step forward in so many ways.

With so much happening in the personnel front, it probably isn't surprising that the band have also created a sound that is different to what has gone before. It took me a long way to come up with a way of best describing the music, but in the end I felt that the only real description that worked for me was "Yes, distilled and concentrated". Yes have always been an important aspect of the music, but here Perfect Beings have taken it to a whole new level, much more so than the original band. Johannes has revelled in playing fretless bass, bringing it even further to the fore than Chris Tristram had previously, while Ryan Hurtgen is as powerful, clean and melodic as he has always been, and Jesse Nason is happy to keep it all together with a modern sounding approach to keyboards.

A big musical difference between this and the other albums is the use of saxophone (particularly) and other brass and woodwind instruments. Max Kaplan (various saxophones and clarinets) has had a huge role to play on the overall sound of this album, and while the guests don't feature on every song, where they are used they have immediate impact. Japanese koto and erdu musicians are used alongside cello, tabla, flugelhorn, flute, bass flute, trombone and the Vienna Symphonic Library, all brought into a musical journey, divided into four movements. It is an incredibly deep album, with a breadth of thought that goes on forever, and at times moves into the modern orchestra soundscape area that is normally thought of as being the domain of Karda Estra. Yet, even with all this going on, it is still an incredibly light album in many ways, one that it is easy to get inside the heart of, which allows the listener to be swept along on an amazing musical journey. It is an album that cries out to be heard on headphones, when there is enough time to sit and relax back into it.

This is easily their finest album to date, and I fully expect it to be in my Top Ten albums at the end of the year as I can't expect to come across many more finer than this.

 Perfect Beings II by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 190 ratings

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Perfect Beings II
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars Between 2014 and 2016 I stopped writing reviews while I concentrated on putting together a book, which took far longer than I anticipated. But, just because I wasn't writing didn't mean that I wasn't being sent material, and since the beginning of 2017 I have been trying ever so hard to catch up, even though events seem to conspire against me. Anyway, this is why I am only now writing a review of the second Perfect beings album, which was released in 2015. I am feeling even more guilty than normal as having just taken the CD off the shelf to have it readily to hand I see that it was signed by every member of the band! Oh well, better late than never I suppose (sorry guys).

I was a massive fan of the debut album, and in many ways this is a continuation, with strong songs, amazing vocals and wonderful musicianship. One thing that one immediately notices about the music is the vast amount of space between the layers, which in themselves can be quite compressed at times and free floating at others. Ryan Hurtgen has a wonderful clear and clean voice, and he is always in total control, whether he is powering through the notes or just letting them linger and drift along the sonic breeze. With him is a quartet of musicians who are all masters of their craft, yet don't feel the need to always force themselves to the fore. This means that there are quite lengthy passages where Johannes Luley (guitar) is almost absent, yet others where he displays his variety of approaches and sounds, Jesse Nason (keyboards) has times when he appears to be having a well-earned rest and others taking the lead or driving the others along, while bassist Chris Tristram can be at the back or taking a far more Chris Squire-type role. Then there is Dicki Fliszar who appears to be influenced by Phil Collins, Nick D'Virgilio and Mike Portnoy, along with a significant amount of jazz: he keeps it calm when the need arises, but he appears to be much happier providing multiple rhythms and contra rhythms as he blast around the kit.

This is crossover prog at its finest, as while it is innately complex and complicated, it is also incredibly easy to listen to and enjoy. It is only when seriously listening to the album that one realises just how much is going on under the surface to create the picture of the majestic swan swimming along. The use of a few guests allows the band to expand their horizons without losing their own identity, and the result is a bloody fine musical experience indeed.

 Perfect Beings II by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 190 ratings

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Perfect Beings II
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars One step beyond!

I would like to thank Johaness Luley for contacting me and sharing his great music with me. After my experience with their debut album, I am now happier with the second effort of this US band Perfect Beings, a new project that has started to grow some fans worldwide due to their excellent music. This second album is simply entitled II, and just as the previous one, it features 10 compositions but this time the total time is lower, with a 49-minute length.

It opens with "Mar Del Fuego", a wonderful track that gathers elements from symphonic rock with a traditional Spanish flavor that can be perceived through the sound of acoustic guitar and the claps we can listen as background. The composition is very well-crafted, the first minutes are totally instrumental and then Hurtgen's voice enter in a soft way, just for a brief passage, because later that Spanish feeling returns until the very end of the song. "Cryogenia" has voice since its first second and the sound is completely calm and mellow, reminding me of their debut album much more than Mar Del Fuego, which seemed to mark a different tendency on Perfect Beings' sound. This is a nice track, but that's it, it also has a kind of Floydian feeling, you can tell it by the women vocals on the background. "Samsara" is the shortest piece, reaching only one and a half minutes, and it brings a spacey and tense atmosphere that will prepare us for the next track.

"The Love Inside" is my favorite track here, I even chose it to play it on my radio show. Almost nine minutes of great music that starts calm and relaxing with piano and little by little it is flowing and progressing, introducing new elements, creating wonderful nuances and an amazing explosion of neo progressive rock after five minutes. I repeat what I might have said in my review of their debut: the sound has elements of vintage prog, reminding us mainly of Yes, but they manage to make that vintage sound modern, hope you get me. Great song!

"Volcanic Streams" is a wonderful song with a darker atmosphere. I love the sound of the bass here and all the spacey sounds keyboards create; the first minute is amazing, and I love how it suddenly stops and then it begins again, taking us to a journey through space and imagination. The tension vanishes after 2:30, a soft guitar prevails and the vocals enter creating now a relaxing atmospehere, reminding me now of Pink Floyd and RPWL. "The Yard" is a weaker track, softer and more easy-listening. I mean, it is nice and enjoyable, but the two previous tracks were so great that this one is a let down, despite there is a pretty nice instrumental passage.

"Go" has a 80s spirit and I love it. I like the voice and the bass sound, and now the retro prog spirit does not exist anymore, now Perfect Beings took elements from the new wave era, reminding me of Duran Duran and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and I enjoy it a lot. "Rivermaker" is a nice song in which Hurtgen let us know he is a great singer. It is mostly his voice and the piano, in a ballad-esque space, touching people's senses. "Cause and Effect" has again a soft sound but this time I like it a lot, the voice is sweet, the keyboards produce interesting sounds, while drums and strings make a perfect complement. After two minutes the song becomes chaotic, the wonderful bass takes me to Roundabout times and the guitar and drums exemplifies once again the heavy influence Yes has made with Perfect Beings. This has to be one of the best tracks of the album.

And II finishes with "The Thrill Seeker", an enigmatic song with a delicious slow tempo, nice bass notes and sweet drums, a nice way to finish this great album. Perfect Beings are great without a doubt, and I can say I have enjoyed more this second album than the debut, so I am now eagerly waiting for the upcoming one, with new surprises and sounds.

Enjoy it!

 Perfect Beings by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.87 | 408 ratings

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Perfect Beings
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A pretty nice debut!

Perfect Beings is a young band from the United States, conceived back in 2012 when Johannes Lulley and Ryan Hurtgen joined forces aiming to create a new project which would share their love for classic progressive rock, made with fresh ideas and a let-s say-modern sound. And in 2014 they released this debut album entitled Perfect Beings, which gives the prog rock listener 10 songs and 52 minutes of great music.

It opens with "The Canyon Hill", which honestly is like a short pop track that introduces us to the album. The first two minutes are not that great, later it becomes a bit better but it is far from being a gem, of course. "Helicopter" is another short song but much more attractive to my ears. Though there is still a catchy sound, the progressive rock elements are evident here due to the use of keyboards and guitars that show a touch of neo prog with a modern style. With "Bees and Wasps" they now sound big. This is a wonderful composition that starts with a nervous piano and somber strings and drums; after a minute the atmosphere is brighter and the rhythm becomes catchy again, but this time they begin to build up a structure that will give us truly interesting passages. I like the bass, I am not sure but it might be a Rickenbacker; later they use some electronic vocals and with guitar they create a kind of chaos that lasts for some seconds because later the brighter moments return, including a pretty nice mellotron passage accompanied by piano.

A 9-minute track comes next with "Walkabout", a song that blends folk with symphonic rock. The sound is pretty mellow, the voice is sweet and the music easy to dig. I think the first three minutes are just ok but then it progresses, becomes a bit more intense and to my ears, much more interesting. A nice blend of Yes-Genesis-The Flower Kings sound can be perceived here, of course without being a copycat, no, it is the original sound developed by Perfect Beings. "Removal of the Identity Chip" has a soft sound, guitars a-la Steve Howe and again a very sweet voice, but I think at least in this song, that I prefer the instrumental passages, mainly the last minute with that amazing guitar solo.

"Program Kid" has again a mellow sound, closer to a pop song with a slow start. After a minute drums and bass join and make it a bit more interesting, however, I've never felt so attracted by this track in spite of its more intense and loony second part; but that's just me, you, reader, might find the beauty I couldn't find. The next one is "Remmands of Shields" has a pastoral sound made by acoustic guitar, reminding me a bit of Wonderous Stories. This is yet another catchy tune that is pretty nice and dreamy, but that is far from making me falling in love with. The first 10 seconds of "Fictions" reminded me of Gates of Delirium, but later that sound vanished and vocals enter with a catchy sound saying "Far Away, I'm Far Away", I must point out that they have a great use of backing vocals, and they know how to seduce the listener with that Yes-like guitars. This is without a doubt a vintage song enchanted with a modern sound.

"Primary Colors" is a short track whose keyboards sound at first caused me a great impression, however seconds later the song becomes again smooth, catchy, and friendly; the adventurous moments that I would expect simply don't come. The album finishes with "One of your Kind", the longest composition of the album. I believe the guitar has been definitely my favorite instrument of the whole album, I love that Howe-inspired sound on Johannes Luley and in this track it also has its own Spanish guitar passage, just before the song explodes and the best part of the whole album begins. Lush keyboards, excellent bass lines and a fast and adventurous instrumental passage. I wish they would have added more of this through the album.

Perfect Beings released a pretty nice debut, however I cannot hide I never felt as excited as I wished while listening to it. However, they are talented and of course I would like to recommend their music to my readers, especially those who are fans from Yes and The Flower Kings.

Enjoy it!

 Perfect Beings II by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 190 ratings

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Perfect Beings II
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Pefect Beings is a young prog band conducted by Moth Vellum guitarst Johannes Luley, who also has a solo career for some years now. I was really surprised to see such high ratings on this secobd offer named simply II issued this year 2015. Is quite strange because to my ears is an absolutely fair and decent release with no stunning ideas overall, but good in terms of musicinship. Many considered close to masterpice or even a solid release, to me is not that way. The music is fueled with crossover elements, popy arrangements but all are constructed in progressive rock way, with some more complicated parts and aswell some more simple ones. As I said the interludes between musicians are fairly good, specially Johannes Luley guitar really shines on couple of pieces . Some nice yet keyboards passages added saves this album to me to be a real flat release. I can't really say why I don't like this album so much as other do, but one thing is sure I do really like a far lot more Moth Vellum, is a diffrent beast that had much more to offer thin Perfect Beings do. In the end I can say is ok album, nothing more nothing less, the first half of the album is to me better then the rest. Few spins and that is it. 3 stars.
 Perfect Beings II by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 190 ratings

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Perfect Beings II
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars Perfect Beings debut album was one of the pleasant surprises of 2014. The performance by all band members was strong, the songwriting and production was excellent, and the album itself is one of the best examples of how to organize tracks to build up to a crescendo at the end, leaving the listener wanting to hear more from the band.

Their second release, coming out just about a year after the first is very similar. As I listen, each band member frequently evokes thoughts of "Damn. That guy's good!". The songwriting, as in the previous album, is impeccable, using influences from both past and present to come up with a truly original "Perfect Beings" style.

The only thing I have issue with on this is the order of the tracks. Where as the debut started out with quirky pop-styled tracks, that evoked (to me) the classic art-rock of bands like 10cc and XTC, and worked its way up to strong symphonic pieces, this one does the opposite. The first track, "Mar del Fuego" begins the album impressively, similar to a Flower Kings style symphonic prog extravaganza.

The next two pieces, "Cryogenia" and "Samsara" have a moody Roger Waters/Pink Floyd sound, with outstanding keyboard sounds, as if Richard wright was resurrected for the sessions. "The Love Inside" is where I might have started the album. The song begins as a light, poppy tune, but builds into grandiose, and sometimes eerie prog.

"Volcanic Streams" begins with beautifil jamming in an Eastern motif, and mellows into a smoother, slightly fusion track. Nice, but the volcano seems to ebb too soon.

The second half of the album is where the prog seems to be, unfortunately, held back. The songs are certainly nice, and somewhat catchy, but to a prog fanatic like myself, bunching them all together after such a strong first half is something of a letdown. Still, these musicians are too good to not throw in an inventive riff or passage here and there.

I would give this a strong 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.

 Perfect Beings II by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 190 ratings

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Perfect Beings II
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I was one of the dissenting voices among prog-rock critics who anointed Perfect Beings' debut with buckets of drool and tons of praise, feeling that it was not exactly what I was expecting in view of the immense enjoyment I had with Moth Vellum, guitarist Johannes Luley's previous project that yielded sadly only one masterful album. I certainly approved of the intense Chris Tristram bass guitar rumble, the excellent stick work from Dicki Fliszar and the magnificent keyboard playing of Jesse Nason, which came to be quite surprising. Axeman Luley has been a favourite since his session days with German techno pop band Camouflage, so I had a strong focus on the instrumental quality. Singer Ryan Hurtgen can also sing, to say the least. What bugged me about the debut is the overtly poppy/choppy first tracks which had the misfortune of leading me sideways. The rest of the material was way more palatable but it just did not register that strongly after the initial letdown. Too many cross references to bands like XTC, 10cc, faux-jazz ala Lee Ritenour/Larry Carlton/George Benson and a hodgepodge of other lesser known influences.

So it's with a certain trepidation that I gave this a spin, albeit on progstreaming, and I can report that this time, the band sounds like a modern prog band that is on a mission. A cuckoo greets 'Mar de Fuego' and proceeds to blitz a superb keyboard run, ably held together by an up-front and cocky buzzing bass and a scouring guitar rant, straight out of the classic symphonic sound, tossing in a piano flurry for good effect. Hurtgen has a gentle voice that soothes and appeals easily. Niiiiiiiice! There is that certain Yes influence (trebly bass, soaring lead guitar and shuffling drum work) that is undeniable but that is always a good thing. The follow-up 'Cryogenia' flows well, initially highly minimal, acoustic accompaniment and effect-laden voice leading the icy parade, before melting into a more substantial prog dirge with loads of electronic orchestrations, Luley unleashing a screaming 6 string volley that convinces even the diehard doubter like moi. He throws in those Howe-like squeaks that soar to the heavens. This is a complete departure from the debut 'blue' album.

The criminally under timed 'Samsara' should have been extended, a menacing electro brew that is both ghostly and dramatic, a proper intro for the album first outright jewel, the splendiferous and epic 'The Love Inside', a nearly 9 minute musical exploration that possesses both intrigue and technique, bristling piano at the outset, then both the voice and the bass entering the fray, adding the squeaky guitar fills until it builds up into a harder structure , laden with complex patterns and a slight dissonance. This is terrific progressive rock in the traditional symphonic mode, with stellar mood, impeccable playing and smart rhythmic moves. Even the languid singing impresses.

This majestic piece is followed by another amazing slice of prog, the porcupine quilled 'Volcanic Streams', a bubbly, searing, tectonic rumble full of bravura, gruesome sounds and I find myself almost floored by how much I actually like this music , gone are all the silly and wasteful details that made the debut so frustrating a listen, at least to my ears. After a long sweltering flow, the arrangement suddenly alters into a slick groove, the bass carving a mighty furrow with in a jazzy highway of sound, clanging guitars and shuffling drums, a total surprise that really had me tapping my toes in unison with the rhythm. Mind music that effects the listener is what prog is all about.

'The Yard' reverts to their more playful, lightweight style, something that I feel is not their forte, trying to sound like a clever pop band with cool jazzy intonations, well, err'. No!

For a second, I thought 'Go' was a new Duran Duran song, complete with Tristram doing a passable John Taylor bass pop, while Hurtgen pretending to be Simon the Good, which in a way encapsulates what makes this such a strange experience. (Hey, I actually like DD, 'Come Undone' is a pure genius pop song of the very finest order), it's just that it just barely fits with the previous cocktail of sensational prog pieces they delivered earlier. The resemblance to something off 'Rio' (a great album BTW) is uncanny. I preferred smiling that being angry in any shape, way or form.

The haunting 'Rivermaker' is another far-reaching surprise with Ryan Hurtgen wailing passionately over some complex scales, oozing all kinds of emotion out of his lungs, a thoroughly harrowing experience. It's kind of hard to compare this to anything out there, what with its odd orchestrations and screwball guitar flanges, while the soulful voice aches, pains and throttles over the melody. Pleasantly stunned.

'Cause and Effect' seems to combine all the previous elements into one organic piece of progressive music, a 'balled' ballad as I like to call it, offering a Beatles-like vocal and a bizarre instrumental foray that veers into the absurd and atonal, all players cooking like crazy cooks splashing in some giant musical wok, a sudden whistling synthesizer screech and a summery vocal that made me imagine of some white laundry flapping in the wind. I like the bizarre'..

The finale stuns again, a simple beat, rolling bass and a forlorn, low-ended voice, sleepy and soporific. 'The Thrill Seeker' strives for the ecstasy, of that there is no doubt, more on the groove oriented jazzy scale, armed with a delightful proggy edge and relentless shine.

This is more like it! Way more like it, actually love it. There, Johannes.

4.5 seamless organisms

 Perfect Beings II by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 190 ratings

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Perfect Beings II
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Very pretty crossover prog that is incredibly well produced and very seriously composed from very competent songwriter-musicians, including crossing over into a little of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's sonic world on 1. "Mar del Fuego" (4:22) (9/10), 2. "Crygenia" (3:39) (8/10); the gorgeous little synth interlude, 3. "Samsara" (1:30); 5. "Volcanic Streams" (5:55) (9/10); 7. "Go" (4:50) (8/10), 8. "Rivermaker" (5:08) (8/10); the schizophrenic 9. "Cause and Effect" (5:13) (9/10), and; the highlight of the album for me, Steve Kilbey/The CHURCH-like, 10. "The Thrill Seeker" (4:38) (9/10). I really like the choices MOTH VELLUM founder Johannes Luley has made in his brief but diverse career--I have collected all of his music and find it all enjoyable, it has just not lived up to fulfillment of the Earth-shattering potential that I first saw/heard in the MV debut. But, don't stop! I love all that you are doing!
 Perfect Beings II by PERFECT BEINGS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 190 ratings

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Perfect Beings II
Perfect Beings Crossover Prog

Review by MorpheusMusic1

4 stars STYLE Contemporary progressive rock. II is a highly polished collection of easily accessible songs that might fall into a very different genre if it weren't for the fascinating instrumental work that encases many of the vocal sections. A number of the songs have a lilting, psychedelic pop feel to them, an impression intensified by Ryan Hurtgen's languid vocal style. Musical accompaniment is often subtle, understated and laid back when supporting Hurtgen's voice, but then shifts dramatically as the singing falls away. The playing then is deft and imaginative with clear references to the best traditions of progressive rock - Johannes Luley's guitar work shining especially brightly in this regard. His fingerwork is very varied in approach, distinctive and suitably angular - I could happily listen to much more of his playing. That said, the rest of the band are excellent: keyboards both dynamic and atmospheric, with some especially tasteful piano; a gutsy rhythm section that is capable of some jaw-dropping drive and intricacy when needed such as during the startlingly spiky second half of Cause and Effect. There is a lot to explore here - many partially hidden details and bright compositional gems adorn the memorable hook lines and easy melodies of the main themes. ARTWORK Perfect Beings' second album arrives in a slick black digipack with lustrous orange and blue artwork. A fiery volcanic orb fills the front panel, radiating into blackness; this is echoed on opening the first panel by a heavily-veined, glowing, orange heart. The rear panel provides track titles floating, bright against a solarised portrait photograph. Further pictures of the band in action are found within, juxtaposed, montaged, layered against a beaming pyramid sunset; a burning volcano eruption, licking flame forms. A generous 6-section fold-out can be found in the right-most panel (extricating it reveals hidden artwork in the pocket itself). The insert contains lyrics, credits, thanks and a touching dedication to the late Chris Squire. OVERALL Perfect Beings follow up their 2014 debut with II - a ten track album of tight, progressive-rock oriented songs. Ranging from the one and a half minute Samsara to the impressively dynamic The Love Inside, which falls just short of nine minutes, II oscillates back and forth between gentle, melodic vocal passages and cleverly, inventive virtuoso instrumentation. There are moments when the band heaves in gloriously dramatic retro-prog ingenuity (these are my personal favourite sections of the album) such as the momentarily 'Tales' reminiscent Mar Del Fuego opener. There are intimate and elegant piano passages; cinematic pieces with intense crescendos; near-ambient mood zones and some well-crafted shifts and switches mid-track that hold the attention nicely. I'd be fascinated to see what this band might do with a longer epic - I've a feeling that they could be stunning - but then I'm partial to musical enormity when it comes to progressive rock. Explore the ablum via the band's Bandcamp page or you can find much more of Perfect Beings on the official website.
Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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