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Perfect Beings - Vier

Perfect Beings
Vier
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 15 February 2018, 11:23 AM

PERFECT BEINGS is an American Progressive Rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California, in 2012. They are known for their modern take on the classic “Progressive Rock super-group.” They released “Perfect Beings I” in 2014, and “Perfect Beings II” in 2015, and now present their third album “Vier,” which contains four extended tracks. The songs were presented in the promo as having multiple movements, so that’s how I will describe them within the context of the review.

“Guedra” has four movements. In the first, vocal harmonies are strong and there is notable presence from bass guitar, saxophone and keyboards in particular. Some of the structures remind me of QUEEN, but in ways I cannot easily indicate. It’s easy on the ears for sure. The second movement is a bit shorter. The sound is ethereal and billowy at first, but does crescendo to a fuller sound, and then a long ambient keyboard passage to completion. The third movement is jovial and energetic, with several layers of instrumentation. Sometimes positive and other times a bit melancholy, its warmth makes you feel one with your surroundings. The final movement is calm and dreamy, as the steady keyboard melody sounds like water tricking over stones as it passes into the forest, with a bit of mellow saxophone and to a fade out at the end.

“The Golden Arc” also has four movements. In the first, there is a long lead in from piano, increasing its presence along the way. There is a bit of full-on orchestral arrangements here as well, with vocals entering in about five minutes into the eight minute movement. The second and third movements are much shorter, and you can heard the sound pick up to a more rich and full offering. The third movement also features some lead guitar work, which is a bit bluesy and follows a sweet melody line. The fourth movement combines vocals, strings and a strong keyboard presence into something a little more conventional than what we have heard so far. As a single song, it is very pretty.

“Vibrational” has five movements. The first is mostly a long and ambient keyboard passage that sort of reminds me of the Post-Rock genre, building that atmosphere that leaves you with anticipation and yearning. It’s wonderfully done in this regard. It segues to the second movement, which is a short and introspective three minutes of pensive vocals and keys, asking those questions that we all do when we face self-doubt and uncertainty. The third movement is more of a traditional sort of Prog Rock song, with easily assimilated structures from acoustic guitar and voice. It bounces along nicely and draws you in to the pretty melodies. The fourth movement is a brief two sometimes odd minutes of some instrumental bombast, and the fifth and final movement is like the ending to an ordeal, where you can sit back and sigh, reflecting on what you accomplished.

“Anunnaki” is the final track, with five movements. The first is short but very energetic; the kind of sound that pumps you up and sees you tapping your foot along to the rhythm, or air drumming in my case. The second is a bit on the bizarre side, with some melodies and then dissonance, and I don’t think it ever reaches a clear idea, which however could be the point. The third is a six minute movement, with a melancholy swing. The fourth uses some more orchestral arrangements but also vocals and bass guitar that really nail a central melody. The fifth and final movement on the album opens with acoustical guitar with for me a bit of a Classical sound. Keyboards take the track to completion.

As a fan or Progressive music in general, “Vier” challenged me as a listener. I had trouble at times connecting some of the movements in my mind in a linear way, but also realized that this convention is something that is burned into most must fans and just accepted, but does not always have to be the case. I would say that their brand of Progressive Music is also on the experimental side then in this regards. They made wonderful use of many different instruments on the album and certainly left no stone unturned in terms of the territory the album covered. Adept at creating melodies and atmosphere, I recommend you give the album a few listens to pick up on all the nuances, which are vast.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Guedra
2. The Golden Arc
3. Vibrational
4. Anunnaki
Lineup:
Ryan Hurtgen – Vocals, Piano
Johannes Luley – Guitars
Jesse Nason – Keyboards
Sean Reinert – Drums, Percussion
Jason Lobell – Bass
Brett McDonald – Sax, Flute
Record Label: Inside Out Music
     


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