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Darkest Night

Darkest Night

  • Door Exmoura
  • Release 17-8-2010
  • Muziekgenre Rock
  • Media-indeling CD
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Prijs: € 12,61

Product notities

Exmoura's 3rd release 'Darkest Night' features 16 songs of experimental progressive rock falling somewhere between Anathema,Pink Floyd,Devin Townsend,Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree/Blackfield) and The Cure but still with it's very own identity. Here is a full review done by Rhonda Readence: Album Title: Darkest Night Artist: Exmoura Reviewed by: Rhonda Readence Citing influences such as Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd, John Isaac, the mastermind behind the prog rock project Exmoura, has created a sound that defies reasonable explanation. The album Darkest Night encompasses a plethora of genres ranging from prog rock to psychedelic rock to ambient rock. Bottom line, it's all rock in some form, and this 16 track album will not disappoint. Opening the album is "Divinity," and the listener will be immediately taken by the guitar work. Slow and melodic, it is the perfect lead-in to the otherworldly vocals. Bringing to mind journeys to the center of the earth, "Divinity" is a good choice to open the album with. The artistic vision of Exmoura is evident and the listener is left with a sense of having just been taken to another plane of consciousness. "Oceanbound" continues on in this vein and the melody is a bit heavier in this piece. Bordering on goth rock, there is a sense of darkness to this track that will please fans of the macabre. The song tends to be repetitive, which may be the reason the listener will be lulled into an almost meditative calm while enjoying this track. Darkest Night moves ever onward with "How Long" and it is slow to begin. Once it does, however, we are graced with vocals that are sung in a more conventional sense than in the preceding two tracks, and Isaac's voice is pleasing. The listener will get a better understanding of the artistry of Exmoura during this song. This is a solid piece of music, rife with impeccable guitar work and well written lyrics. "Crushing" is more of an up-tempo track and there is clearly a heavy Porcupine Tree influence that Isaac uses well to his advantage. The vocals are sung in a rather sing-song rhythm and there is some repetition that listeners will either love or hate. While the essence of Exmoura is made clear in this song, it is not one of the better ones on the album, due mostly to the vocal delivery. The instrumentation, however, is more than impressive. "Prototype" goes down the avenue of ambient rock and the sound is extremely well done. The lyrics are difficult to interpret, but the overall quality of this track is exceptional. The vibe is spectral elegance, lucid dreams, and floating weightlessly in a dark cavern that is lit with flashing psychedelic bursts of beauty. The guitar work is fantastic and "Prototype" is another solid offering by Exmoura. "Resonator" takes the album in a different direction, with lyrics that are shouted rather than sung and a somewhat angry vibe to it. There is clearly a definitive Pink Floyd feel to the rhythm and guitar work of this piece. This track is hit or miss. Fans will either adore it or skip over it in favor of more mellow Exmoura tracks. The vocal delivery is intense and that perhaps detracts. The ear tends to focus solely on the vocals because they are overbearing. The good news is that there aren't many vocals and, like usual, the instrumentation and the guitar work are beyond amazing. "My Life In A Black Box" is one of the more thought provoking pieces on Darkest Night with intelligent and deep lyrics that are delivered with a dreamy echo effect. This song would not have been out of place on Pink Floyd's The Wall. Isaac's voice does at times emulate Roger Waters' and the subject matter of this piece is dark and depraved, like much of The Wall. This is a very well-composed piece of music. "Velvet" is a bit brasher and more upbeat, and the rhythm will stick in the mind for a long time. The mix could use a bit of work, most particularly the vocals, as they are louder than the rest of the song and tend to take the attention away from everything else that is going on, which is a shame because there is much to appreciate in this piece. If Exmoura tones down the volume of the vocals just a notch, this song would be perfect, with it's catchy rhythm and bittersweet lyrics. "The Day Before Yesterday" is another signature piece that exudes artistic beauty and elegance, even though the vocals are again difficult to interpret. The overall essence of this track is one of controlled cacophony with a dark appeal. "Look At You Now" is a more polished piece and Isaac's guitar playing will once again astound. There is a slightly schizophrenic aspect to this song due to the vocal pattern being so completely different, going from an in-your-face delivery to soft crooning. Some fans may not appreciate the artistic creativity of this method of vocal delivery, but it is unique and Exmoura manages to pull it off without sounding amateur and awkward. The song ends abruptly and "Polaris" begins. Perhaps the most instrumentally basic, most polished professional sounding track on the album, "Polaris" is what Exmoura is all about. Isaac's vocals are nothing short of perfect, the sound is clean, and everything about this song just flows. This is the sort of sound that Exmoura should strive for; music that feels natural and a sound that is more simplistic and pleasing. The guitar work and sound quality here is the best yet. "Resonator (Reprise)" is heavier and faster than the original "Resonator," and the Pink Floyd influence gets lost. "My Lifeline" is a slower paced tune with a heavy Porcupine Tree influence to it. Isaac's vocals are spot on and he seems to do better when he sings slower and in a lower key. The lyrics are well-composed and profound, the sound is extremely clean, and the instrumentation is quality, as always. Steve Wilson would be happy to call this piece one of his own. The title track, "Darkest Night," is perhaps the most honest of all the tracks on the album and Isaac's vocals are delivered with sincerity and emotion. With a few exceptions, Exmoura hasn't given much insight into the feelings and emotions of their music, but "Darkest Night" is brimming with angst, hope, despair, peacefulness, etc. This will be a fan favorite, without question, and it is performed with absolute perfection. There is nothing about this song that should be changed, except perhaps the abrupt way it ends. The album begins to wind to a close with "Eleanor," a guitar-laden masterpiece that evokes awe and demands respect. The only instrumental piece on the album, it is completely devoid of fillers and distractions and one can truly focus on the sheer talent that John Isaac is blessed with. If there is a perfect song on this album, "Eleanor" is it. The bonus track is titled "Aurora" and it's a brilliant way to end Darkest Night. It leaves the listener with a sense of inspiration and hopefulness. It's upbeat and uplifting and Exmoura has certainly made many new fans with this album. There are some issues that need to be addressed with regards to the sound production, but this is something that can be remedied. The talent is there, the creative expression is abundant, and John Isaac, the mastermind behind this endeavor, has the vision. As long as he has the vision, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished. Reviewed by: Rhonda Readence Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Details

Kunstenaar: Exmoura
Titel: Darkest Night
Genre: Rock
Releasedatum: 17-8-2010
Label: CD Baby
Media-indeling: CD
UPC: 884502711349
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