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(67:55; Prudence/BSC Music)
Here we have the fifth album from Thorsten Sudler-Mainz, who again has brought in guests to assist him in achieving his aim of paying homage to the formative influences of the likes of Dead Can Dance, Pink Floyd and Depeche Mode. He provides keyboards, vocals, frame drum, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, and programming, and I presume what he is calling a frame drum is what I think of as a bodhran which provides a dramatically different sound to other forms of percussion and is a major element in this music. The use of different singers also adds to this, and there is no doubt that while Pink Floyd in particular are a major influence, the use of bodhran changes the atmospheric dynamic so that it is both familiar and quite strange at the same time. While held-down keyboard chords are often in favour, as is electric guitar, there are times when an acoustic makes its presence felt in a very dramatic way. The vocals are sometimes at the fore, yet at others are behind the music to provide a particular effect, and it feels like Thorsten is an artist who is bringing together different sonic elements from his palette to create the finished piece of art. Apparently this took some two years to record, which is no surprise at all as it feels incredibly crafted, with close attention to all elements so that the result is something which is perfect both for background listening and for those times when one really wants to drift into the music and be taken into a very different world indeed. The percussion gives us an almost folk feel to what is atmospheric symphonic progressive rock, and the listener finds themselves being drawn further and further into the world being created. This is best played on headphones when the listener really has the time to devote themselves to it, as that is where they will find the richest rewards.
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