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Birth – Born

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 05 July 2022, 7:11 AM

From their Bandcamp page, “In “Born,” their debut for Bad Omen Records, the listener is invited on a magic-eye journey through a Castenadean realm in which colors and sounds warp into kaleidoscopic dimensions. Yet far from the trappings of retro chic and fashion-aligned classicism, these five celestial serenades stake their claim in a different headspace to most other exponents of the form. Certainly it’s true that many of the audial shapes manifesting themselves here - the exploratory jazz-rock diversions, Mellotron and Hammond-abetted textures and the rich melancholia of the song-writing - may recall moments from Progressive Rock’s past, and the listener may be forgiven for losing themselves in a gatefold-sleeved reverie. The album contains six tracks.

The title track is the first cut. It begins with a heavy dose of keys and some light and airy tones. Think YES, or another 70’s Progressive Rock band. The band noodles around on a central theme with lead guitar notes and bass notes, with a psychedelic backdrop. There are no vocals in this song. “Descending Us” is another smooth and mellow offering, complete with dreamy vocals. The keys again dominate the sound for the most part. The mood is downtrodden and grey, as the band focuses on a bit of a jam throughout. “For Yesterday” is just over nine-minutes, and the production finally strikes me…as muddy. It takes a bit of a journey before the vocals enter, as sad tones develop. A few key changes are marked along the off travels of the song.

“Cosmic Tears” is yet another melancholy song that rides the fence between hopeful tones and tones of despair. At this point, I question the band’s use of psychedelic drugs, as these are some odd songs. This song rides a central riff with some keys and bass mixing in and around. “Another Time” is a reflective song about days gone past. The opening guitars and vocals are dreadfully depressing. There is some hardened climbing in the song, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense in the context of the structure. “Long Way Down” closes the album. It’s another strange offering that really doesn’t do much in the way of an album closer. The tones are a bit tense and the instrumentation can get mad at times.

Overall, this was one Progressive Rock album that just fell flat and did not manage to capture my imagination. Throughout the long and strange journey, I found myself asking over and over, “what is the point here?” Though the genre typically does not explain this, I can usually make sense of an album. This one was totally bizarre.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 3
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

1. Born
2. Descending Us
3. For Yesterday
4. Cosmic Tears
5. Another Time
6. Long Way Down
Conor Riley – Vocals, Synthesizer, Electric Piano, Organ, Acoustic Guitar
Brian Ellis – Guitar, Electric Piano, Percussion
Trevor Mast – Bass
Record Label: Bad Omen Records


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