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(66:00; White Knight Records)
The Welsh trio are back with their seventh studio album, and I was quite intrigued when I was sent this as I wasn’t exactly kind about their last album and the recording quality. I note there are a few guests on this one, including none other than keyboard player Rob Reed (Cyan, Ezra, Magenta etc) on opening cut “ The Storyteller”, and he certainly makes his presence felt with a strong contribution which no doubt adds to what is the best song on the album in a dreamy manner, which is quite at contrast to the far more rocky “Devastate” which follows. This is solid neo prog, with strong vocals, and plenty of crunch which I am sure transfers well to the live environment but there is also plenty of contrast with acoustic guitar, fuzzed and distorted bass and a drummer who is throwing some interesting patterns. The first two songs are probably the best on the album but the rest shouldn’t be discounted out of hand, as there is a lot of emotion going on, and I ended up feeling here was a band who in many ways are inspired by Hogarth-era Marillion and Wilson, and it is the fans of these guys who are going to get the most out of it. Although I have seen Marillion many times with Hogarth I much prefer the earlier work, and the same has to be said for Wilson, and for me the reason I don’t absolutely love this album is much more to do with my own personal taste than what is being presented to us to consume. I have only heard the two albums from 25 Yard Screamer, and this is the far superior of the two. I will follow their future releases with interest, as I am intrigued to see where they go next, but for now this is something to be investigated by those who enjoy this style of prog.
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