4 out of 5 Stars!
I thought long and hard about how to rate this album. I reluctantly decided on 4 Stars.
Why reluctantly? Well, the music is quite good, sometimes near perfect, incorporating a variety of styles and moods (at times reminiscent of Marillion and IQ, or additional progressive rock bands), which makes for an enjoyable listen overall.
The vocals, however…oh dear, let’s just say they could be of higher quality (ie. more precise) when it comes to key and tunefulness. To me, the singer doesn’t seem as if he belongs in a band of this nature, but seems better-suited for an “alternative rock” or “punk” type of band, where an “attitude” is often more important than perfect pitch and the ability for the singer to make appropriate mood shifts in his delivery and tone. Now, had the band possessed a versatile, more gifted singer such as Jon Anderson (Yes), or Peter Nicholls (IQ), or Alan Reed (Pallas), or hell, even Fish (Marillion), I would have rated this album higher since, as I mentioned, the music is enjoyable. Instead, there are some cringe-worthy vocal moments and one can’t help thinking that the band “settled” for the first available singer as opposed to waiting for one who actually fits the style of music.
Nevertheless, despite my misgivings, I couldn’t help but rate this album at least 4 Stars since the band shows promise and the music is, generally, impressive.