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(76:15, Progrock Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. The Dawn on Pyther 9:57 2. Flying Thoughts 9:28 3. I Am 7:15 4. Dragonfly Garden 6:44 5. The Voice of Cheops 9:51 6. Intermission 1:56 7. Sons of the Stars 6:12 8. Growing Feeling 8:53 9. Voyage of the Dragonfly 9:47 10. The Dusk on Pyther 6:05 LINEUP: Hugo Flores – vocals; synthesizers; bass, guitars, sitar; percussion Paulo Chagas – flutes, saxophone Davis Raborn – drums Vasco Patricio – guitar Alda Reis – vocals Tiago Linx – vocals Zara Quiroga – vocals
Prolusion. Following “Floating World” from 2006, “Dawn on Pyther” is the second release by Portuguese PROJECT CREATION led by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Hugo Flores, though personally I regard it as the reincarnation of Sonic Pulsar, Hugo’s first outfit, with which he recorded two more albums, “Playing the Universe” and “Out of Place”, in 2003 and 2005 respectively.
Analysis. In terms of both music and lyrics, this 76-minute recording has more than a mere good deal in common with its predecessor, but at the same time it displays the further evolution of Flores’s creative skill, on most levels. Lyrically this is a direct continuation of the “Floating World” tale, a kind of fantasy novella with elements of sci-fi and Egyptian mythology and a linearly-parallel storyline. The musical style is much the same also and is by and large heavy Space Rock drawing an extra power from ‘90s Doom Metal, still with a lot of invasions :-) on the part of the symphonic as well as folksy entities, springing up mainly either from Celtic or Middle-Eastern areas. The project’s sound has now more identity to it than ever before, so the music is overall fairly unique, having for the most part only blurred traces of outside factors. Nonetheless this is not entirely new ground yet, as Eloy’s signature is evident in places, though at least theoretically, the majority of the disc’s ten tracks can be viewed as a heavier and at the same time more progressive take on the German band’s mid-‘80s and early ‘90s work, or rather on their epic space-rock journeys with singing women on board from that period, such as Follow the Light (“Metromania”) for instance. As usual, besides an acoustic drum kit as well as sequencer, Project Creation deploys modern electric instruments and a number of less prosaic ones, namely flute, acoustic guitar, saxophone and sitar, of which, however, only the first is often crucial to the sound, being additionally the main provider of folk motifs; the second is used comparatively widely, but plays a significant role only on three pieces, whilst the last two both appear infrequently. That being said, the band rocks especially aggressively on the first three tracks, The Dawn on Pyther, Flying Thoughts and I Am, and yet exactly these turn out to be the richest in pronounced folk colorations, those incorporated into the heavy textures included. Arrangements often rely on contrasts between the rock instruments, creating the darkly-aggressive part of the emotional palette, and the acoustic ones which, along with the vocals (by a 4-voice mixed choir in most cases), provide lighter feelings. Though very similar in style, Sons of the Stars, Growing Feeling, Voyage of the Dragonfly and The Dusk on Pyther all contain more episodes with calmer arrangements. Unlike symphonic elements, however, folksy ones relatively rarely find their way into these compositions and are completely absent on the two to be examined next. The sole song with no acoustic instruments used, The Voice of Cheops has a slight electronic feel throughout, bringing to mind ‘the rhythm section’ on “Ra”, which doesn’t affect its overall impressiveness though. Another tune that somewhat falls out of the album’s primary style is Dragonfly Garden (or to be more precise, its first half): a spacey atmospheric landscape with the vocals hovering over it. Finally Intermission is a very short cut, only featuring a narration and slowly droning synthesizers.
Conclusion. Starting with the first Sonic Pulsar disc, each of Flores and Company’s successive releases is better than its predecessor. Bordering on a masterwork, Project Creation’s “Dawn on Pyther” is one of the very best and at once most variegated modern space rock and metal creations I’ve heard since their own “Floating World”. If you’re into this style of music, you have no other choice but either joining the ranks of the happy owners of this CD or Coca-cola :-).
VM: April 13, 2008
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