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Corvus Stone - Corvus Stone Unscrewed CD (album) cover


Corvus Stone


Crossover Prog

3.91 | 206 ratings

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4 stars Nowadays, to mention the name of Corvus Stone produce a smile upon my face, because the music (the main thing) is wonderful, and also because I've been in contact with mastermind Colin Tench for some time, creating a long-distance friendship that satisfies me a lot because he is a true gentlemen that I hope one day can meet. So this review is dedicated to you Colin, but also to Sonia, Pasi and all who made possible this truly interesting multi- national project named Corvus Stone.

I remember my first experience with the band wasn't the best, I thought their first album was quite long and uneven, however, with the second album I understood they had magic on their compositions, and my responsibility was to catch that magic and let it purify my senses. Now I can say I love CS II, so when Colin told me there was a new album entitled Corvus Stone Unscrewed, I got excited and was sure they would surprise me with high quality material. And of course, they did not let me down!

The band has so many positive details that we the fans should thank, one of them is that they decided to give a free download of CS Unscrewed to the ones who already bought CS I or II, because there is an inherent synergy between fans and musicians, one can advance without the other, so it is great to step forward along with Corvus Stone, who I really wish they release this album on CD in the near future. This 2015 record might not be a complete new album in terms of compositions, because we find here some songs that were featured in their previous albums, however they are revisited versions that of course, has something new to offer. Anyway, there are of course new songs here, so in the end this third CS child has a lot of new tales to tell.

The album contains 13 songs that make a total time of 49 minutes, something I must mention because I sort of have problems with albums that last over 60 minutes, so the total length of this one allows me to enjoy every single minute of it (of course, because the music makes me enjoy it). It opens with "Brand New Day" which was also released on video, showing Colin practicing ice skating, enjoying a brand new day full of hope, happiness and surprises. I love this song, the guitars are wonderful as usual, but I like what it transmits, so I believe this album couldn't have started with a better opener. "Early Morning Calls" is a familiar one, but this finishes with calls in plural and not in singular like in CS II; so it is a new version in which we can enjoy for the first time vocals and lyrics, which are by the way shared by the voices of Sean Filkins and Phil Naro.

"Joukahainen Without Chips" has quite a different mood from its predecessor, and this is something Corvus Stone does in all their albums, all their songs might be quite different, of course there are elements that we can say "this sounds like Corvus Stone", but it is common to find that track 2 has nothing to do with 3, which has nothing to do with 4, and so on. This song has a sweet and soft sound, in which guitars remind me a bit of some Mike Oldfield passages. "Horizon" is a short composition that can be found in CS I, however this is a remix of it, which is of course, pretty nice, with excellent keyboards on it, played by Pasi Koivu. "Landfill" has a calm start that is reminiscent of past Centuries, I can imagine a sort of ceremony with knights and queens here. The music flows, the guitar plays great tunes but I love those soft but accurate percussions that sound here and there.

"After Solstice" is another old track remixed, which I must say I like a lot, mainly due to the bombastic time change that comes after 1:30 minutes, creating a vibrating symphonic prog that reminds me a bit of some classic prog acts from the seventies. "Jussi Pussi" comes also in the debut album, but the version here is also remixed, if I'm not wrong. Here we can notice their excellent musicianship and also their craziness in some parts. This is a weird but amazing track that has some hard rock moments blended with jazzy tunes and even some avant-gardish passages. This particular track might fit in a Zappa album, so go figure.

One of the best tracks here is "Scary Movie Too", which is a revised version of CS I's Scary Movie. The atmosphere is darker than the previous songs, introducing some fear and tension on it, so it is a very visual track in which one can put images on our minds and create our own story. After 6 minutes it comes another interesting change, so there is a new route to be walked; here I love the drums and the rhythm. "Petrified in the Cinema Basement" has an evident Spanish sound due to the acoustic guitar, and this is something I love from the band, that they take elements from several regions and styles, and make them theirs, so in the end we can easily determine it is a Corvus Stone track.

"Lost and Found revisited" is of course, a new version of Lost and Found. Here we can enjoy one additional minute from the original version, and for the second time in the album, we can enjoy Blake Carpenter's vocals. The drums are like funeral ones, so the mood is a bit dark but at the same time, it brings hope and future. In every album there is a favorite track, and in this one it is "Cinema Finale" the one who clicked with me since the very first listen. Let me tell you that Corvus Stone gave us in their first album a long track called Cinema, which we can find here un CS Unscrewed divided in two tracks: "Petrified in the Cinema Basement" and this one, "Cinema Finale", whose sound is wonderful, I love the atmosphere keyboards produce, but I love also the great and disarming sound of Tench's guitar. In moments my mind tells me this track is perfect for an album made by David Gilmour and Mike Oldfield (it that collaborative duo existed, haha). Killer track!

"Pack up Your Truffles" is a short, disarming and melancholic track; for some reason I think the sense of goodbye is inherent here; this is a new song that greatly closes this amazing album. But wait... there is a bonus track that can be noticed when a crazy contrast comes after Truffles, when all of a sudden bombastic keyboards start, we are already listening to"Moustaches in Massachussets", a remix of the original version; a fast and entertaining track. I love Corvus Stone, I love what they do, their creativity and friendship that allow them to generate excellent records in spite of the physical distance between the members, which is something not so many bands can do. I love Corvus Stone Unscrewed and would really love to have it on my hands soon, because I think it has become my favorite CS album so far. Their will to innovate and surprise us cannot be neglected by progressive rock fans, which is why I invite any of my readers to discover this band, which I am sure will be giving us more and more surprises in the future. A step forward, closer to perfection. 4.5 stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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