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Tracklist: The Dance of Hadin 2:26 The Sisters of Asper 8:13 Jooli's Song 7:35 The Return of Safar Timura 7:48 The Mural 4:42 On Conjurer's Seas 6:16 King Felino And the Slay Ground 6:46 Lottyr, Lady of the Hells 7:24 Two Kings in Hadinland 14:12 The Ringmaster 7:33 Bjorn Lynne - acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, percussion, keyboards, voices Guest musicians: Mark Robotham (of Thieves' Kitchen) - drums (on 3,4,6,7&8) Rebecca Webster - flute (on 2,5,6&10) Mark Knight - violin (on 5,6&8) All music written by Bjorn Lynne, except 9 - by Bjorn Lynne & Ken Senior (of Elegant Simplicity). All music inspired by the novel "The Gods Awaken" by Allan Cole. All words (that are in the booklet only) written by Allan Cole.
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Prologue. "The Gods Awaken" is the only Bjorn Lynne album that I have heard. According to the CD booklet, this is the last album of Bjorn's "The Timura Trilogy", while the first two are "Wizard of the Winds" (1998) and "Wolves of the Gods" (1999).
The Album. I knew that Bjorn Lynne is a sort of Progressive's Solo Pilot. Looking at such a strong, instrumentally, cast of guest musicians in the booklet, I was hoping, however, to hear more diverse and interesting arrangements than those typical, on the whole, for all Solo Pilots (except Apogee: if you wish to read a very detailed Overall View on discography of this one-man project click here. Man proposes but God disposes, though. Yeah, being rather a hater of comparisons than a lover of them, I am now going to turn to them for helping me in a brief description of "The Gods Awaken" album as a whole. Imagine a plain river fluently flowing among monotonous landscapes, and you'll get an overall picture of the music on this all instrumental pseudo conceptual album (to know my view on conceptualism in music click here. Actually, everything sounds overextended on this full-flowing and long (73+ minute) yet very calm, totally predictable musical river, and a threshold (King Felino And the Slay Ground) with a heavy and, often, really strong background, is the only one here. The previous piece On Conjurer's Seas has a richer sound to it than any of the album's other tracks, but only instrumentally, whereas all themes, arrangements and solos never expand beyond the same monotonous quality. While there are generally too many repetitions of the same melodies, etc on each of the songs on "The Gods Awaken", all the flute solos, performed by Rebecca Webster, are especially notable in this respect. In addition, her solos are not only too simple, boring, etc (actually, Rebecca uses only the same solo, performed in fourth or fifth just at times, in each composition she participates in), their exceptional sugary quality, raised to the power of seemingly endless repetition, have a really repulsive effect. Multi-instrumentalist (?) Bjorn Lynne tends to sound mellow with each instrument he plays (i.e. always, except for just a few heavy moves on the guitar). Simple yet too prolonged themes and solos are the main characters of his compositional skill (at least on this album). What's especially interesting, I've read a lot of reviews on his previous albums and all of them are from very positive to almost ecstatic. Let's see if there will be at least slight changes in the reviews on the latest one (I doubt it very much, so here is another review concerning the latter aspect: click The Common Lines in the Key Reviews section on the site's title-page, if you wish).
Summary. I've heard a lot of new-age and ambient music, so I won't compare "The Gods Awaken" to such kinds of contemporary "progressive" (aaaabbbssurd!) directly. Actually, this album is better than the majority of "works" of these "genres". This, most likely, would be (one of the hundreds examples of) Light* Neo Instrumental Art Rock (*remember of cigarettes: light, mild, strong...). Frankly, the works of such (real) Solo Pilots as Fonya, Jeremy, and especially Colin Masson (let alone Apogee), I find more and sometimes even much more progressive than "The Gods Awaken". If this music was inspired by the self-titled novel, it sounds as completely uninspired anyway.
VM. August 20, 2001
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