Some may wonder why we chose to talk about this album now and not back when it originally came out. Well, it has been reissued through the Lion Music label and has a couple of additional tracks. I actually had this album back when it was originally released and remembered liking it quite a bit. It has a very AOR oriented appeal and fans of that genre are probably already gonna be well aware of how good this album is. This review basically just reaffirms that as well as lets the fans who haven't heard this gem know about it. If I was to mention who this band reminds me of, I would definitely spit out Tall Stories. They have the same melodic sound, tones, and edge here and there. If you mention Tall Stories then you are definitely going to mention Journey as well or maybe Valentine. I think you get the general idea if you know any of those bands. House of Shakira doesn't miss a beat either with staying up with these bands in terms of quality. This stuff is very radio friendly although with the way radio is here in the States, you may not hear it as much here. The album starts off right with one of the best tracks 'Morning over Morocco' and really sets the tone. The music as it flows from track to track is extremely consistent. If I were to mention my personal favorite tracks, they would include the opener along with 'Method of Madness', 'Who's Lying Now', 'Elephant Gun', 'Love was Good' and 'Everything's Fine'. The bonus tracks are actually quite good. You get the two mentioned and are titled 'On the Green' and 'Heroes'. Along with the two bonus tracks, it is also very important to mention that the album was remastered as well. You may question why as the original had only been around for around seven years, but hey, I never argue, I love enhancements as long as they set out to do only that. If it turns to remixing, then I start to turn off. This album just gets a good sounding remaster.
Can't say enough good about this album in general. It's very high quality AOR oriented stuff. You get a remaster and two bonus tracks on it as well. It's a very nice package and is definitely worth anyone's while who may have missed this album. Another highly recommended title from the Resource!
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Reviewed by Dave Palmer
I really needed to get this album review up sooner as it was last month's pick of the month, but hey, with this busy world, I do the best I can. Now I already mentioned my choice on this release for pick of the month and it really is that good. For those not in the know, this band features French keyboard player Vivien Lalu as well as guitarist Joop Wolters who we have reviewed before here on the website. The music is very progressive in nature, but at the same time has a very heavy edge to it. At times you get a bit of Dream Theater, but at others I actually was thinking Symphony X or something along those lines. The album opens with the moody progressive tune 'Yesterdayman'. 'Wolven Eyes' is similar in tempo and sound. The next track 'Windy' is one of my favorites due to alot of melody involved. This tune is almost more along the lines of a slower Saga track in my opinion. It really sounds great though. The heaviest track to this point is definitely 'Night in Poenari'. The vocal work is amazing sounding on this track with it's choir style chants. Just a production style heaviness. 'Moonstruck' has a very groove laden guitar style. It tends to be very catchy sounding with out losing the progressive feel. This is another one of my favorites. 'Timestop' has a laid back feel to it with areas that sound like more modern Pink Floyd. Very atmospheric at times. I like 'Starwatcher' quite well too. This track has an equal amount of intensity and finesse that mix quite well. The sound is very rich on this particular track. The final track on the copy of this album I have is really cool, but maybe a tad bit long. 'Potboy-The Final Fantasy', really covers some ground and is one of the quickest from a rhythm guitar standpoint in places. The humor is welcome too. The copy I have of this album was damaged however so I could not finish the final 4 minutes or so of the track. Bummer.
This to me is a very solid release. There is alot of progressive here, but at the same time there is more than just that. The album reaches a bit higher and transcends just being another progressive outing in my opinion. There really were not any weak areas in the songwriting and I was quite happy with what I heard. This album should get this band noticed and a fair amount of respect in the community. Nicely done!