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Seconds Before Landing - 2017 - "Now That I Have Your Attention"

(54:27; Seconds Before Landing)


TRACK LIST: 1. Intro 0:39 2. 4 A.M. 5:47 3. You're Giving Me a Headache 4:27 4. Wandering Soul 4:44 5. Head Down Low 5:00 6. Things 4:30 7. Come Back to Me 5:08 8. Feels Good 5:04 9. Can I See You Now 5:08 10. Moment in Time 6:09 11. In the Name Of 6:08 12. Without Your Soul 1:43 LINE UP : John Crispino - vocals, drums, percussion, synthesizers, effects Rick Witkowski - guitars J.D. Garrison - bass Jamie Peck - saxophone, piano Vanessa Campagna - vocals Carrie Jackson - vocals with: Eric Maldonado - guitars Steve Schuffert - guitars John Palumbo - ebow

Prolusion. US project Seconds Before Landing is the creative vehicle of composer and musician John Crispino, and in 2011 he started to work on material corresponding with his specific take on progressive rock. This has resulted in four full length studio albums at the time of writing, of which the most recent one was released in 2020. The album "Now That I Have Your Attention" dates back to 2017, and is self released.

Analysis. While Crispino does cover a few different varieties of progressive rock on this as well as his other albums, the common denominator among all of them is that the music is atmospheric laden in some variety or other, and that he makes liberal use of elements with a bit more of an ambient feel to them. For this particular album at least it is the latter category of material that dominates the landscapes explored, and thus atmospheric laden ambient progressive rock is how I would describe this production as a whole. Following an atmospheric laden brief introduction the album opens up with a dark and brooding creation with a bit more of a Floydian touch to it though, with rich and dark arrangements and a more prominent use of the guitar. Similar to the atmospheric variety of Pink Floyd, but with a grittier vocal presence and towards the end also with a grittier guitar presence. Following this we get a couple of songs with a more sparse arrangement and more focused on what I'd describe as a rhythmic tonality, and in terms of style and execution these creations are much closer to the kind of landscapes Peter Gabriel used to explore. With a more gentle and floating atmospheric construction wedged in between these two songs. For the rest of the album the songs are generally somewhat less distinct in character, with a couple of songs flirting a bit with a more accessible variety of jazzrock and one instance of a song that comes with 80's style cold synths and a little bit of an Emerson, Lake and Berry feel to it, with the rest of the compositions being more purebred examples of the more ambient style of atmospheric laden progressive rock described earlier. Many of them come with their own specific traits of course, with references to both the aforementioned Floydian moods, classical music and world music, but in most cases these are elements with more of secondary role, adding flavor and atmosphere to the landscapes they are used in to a much greater extent than the defining the nature of those creations. For the most part I do find that Crispino is successful in creating moods and atmospheres with an appealing nature, and he does have something of a special skill in creating landscapes with a darker, haunting and ominous feel to them. While ambient in orientation these aren't overly relaxing creations, as they tend to come with sounds and textures that have more of an ominous and borderline menacing feel to them. Material of the kind that induces tension rather than inspires relaxation if you like.

Conclusion. The three albums by Seconds Before Landing that I have listened to have all come with their specific traits, and I have found each of them to be interesting in their own way. The more atmospheric laden creations that for me has a more defining and dominant place on this production are generally appealing, as long as you enjoy dark and ominous moods and atmospheres, but for me at least it is the handful of opening tracks that are the most memorable on this production. As a whole I'd say that those with a specific interest in dark and brooding atmospheric laden progressive rock with something of an ambient feel to it should find the landscapes explored here to be most rewarding.

Progmessor: February 2023
The Rating Room

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