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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Sol Invictus - Thrones - 2002

I am glad to review this last Sol Invictus work. Although you can read at progVisions the reviews of "Hill of crosses" and "Trieste", I think "Thrones" will mislead some reviewers specialized in other styles. And that´s why, in my opinion, "Thrones" is the first work that really shows the progressive side of Tony Wakeford. Perhaps it sounds strange, but Tony is a big fan of progressive rock, above all King Crimson, and we can find in "Thrones" lots of influences by the Crimson King, specially its more lyrical and experimental facet of the seventies, inside the ten tracks included in this CD.

The musicians who accompany Tony (guitar, acoustic bass, keyboards, vocals) are Renée Rosen (piano), Eric Roger (trumpet, cornet, recorder, vocals), Karl Blake (bass, vocals), and Matt Howden (violin, viola, percussion, keyboards), and Sally Doherty (flute, vocals). In my opinion, Eric and Matt´s contributions are decisive in this CD.

Obviously we still find that characteristic Sol Invictus neofolk in several songs, but even in these songs we can notice new arrangements. We can listen to acoustic guitars in "Gods" (5:15) but we can also listen to great trumpets, cornets and violins as well as nice and epic interludes that slightly reminds me to Alan Stivell or Mike Oldfield. "Do and say" (7:19) follows the same line… acoustic guitars sprinkled by mild violins, winds, and the unusual voice of Wakeford endued by Sally. "Then he killed her" (5:41) and the beautiful "Driftwood Thrones" (4:36) are also typical Sol Invictus songs.

But the most astonishing aspect of this CD. is the songs that show us a high skilled progressive band. As I wrote, I notice influences of King Crimson (Islands era), Goblin, and lots of experimentation. A song like "Gonesville" (4:36) is pure instrumental art-rock replete with percussion, mellotron-like sounds, an acute bass, and a mysterious trumpet. "Thrones" (2:36) is a short and enigmatic track with piano and chorale's."The thrill is gone" (4:36) is a sung version of "Godsville" with Sally´s vocals. It is a wonderful song and I think I´m listening to "Moonchild". "No Gods" (5:13) is a sung version of "Gods". The most bizarre track is "In God we trust" (6:33), and industrial nightmare with sounds of bullets, sad and mournful melodies over them, and a nice ending. The last song is "In the Blink of a star" (5:24), another wonderful song with a Crimson-like character.

I´ll finish the review with the same phrase I used in the beginning: I am glad to review this last Sol Invictus. Indeed the most beautiful and complete work in the whole career of the band. I recommend this CD. to neofolk and European progressive sounds (Anglagard, Sinkadus) lovers. "Thrones" can´t be labeled as "related musics"... this is true great progressive and I´m waiting for future works in the line of "Godsville".

Alfonso Algora - May 2002
rating - Tursa

 

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