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Pictorial Wand - A Sleeper's Awakening (CD)

Pictorial Wand
A Sleeper's Awakening
by Michael Dalakos at 07 August 2006, 7:38 PM

Sometimes I just can't imagine how much patience someone must have in order to pull out a huge piece of work. And what a finer example can I bring in mind than this album? Mattis Sorum has to be one of the happiest persons in this world - especially when he takes the time and looks at what kind of album he manages to deliver to the audiences. You see, it's not a daily phenomenon to be having in your hands an album lasting roughly more than two hours and including the participation of more than two dozen of musicians. Only for that, Mattis is automatically included in my cool people book.
A Sleeper's Awakening is a concept album based on the life of a character who after a long period of thought takes a step back and evaluates all his mistakes in life. All these are somehow blended alongside the seven deadly sins. Nice… so what kind of music are we talking about?
Well, apparently this is not a Grind Death album. This is an exceptional mixture of 70's Prog Rock and current Prog Rock. There is an even simpler description: a Norwegian Ayreon project. Though this album carries the mathematic precision of progressive music, the use of analog keyboards (quite extensively I must say) and of many classical organs gives in a really warm sound, creating a comfortable feeling for the listener that helps the extensive listening (remember, this is a 2 hour long work). Speaking of duration, I was very happy to come to the conclusion that there is not a single average work in this album. I can't recall the last time I was not bored listening to something for so long.
Mattis did an excellent job adopting a 70's Rock sound and adopting it in the current scene's perspective. I can't imagine how hard the whole process might have been for him but we (the listeners) are very lucky for his patience. Nothing more to say - this is a great piece of work that will make all Prog / Art Rock fans happy. Once again, Unicorn Records deliver…

4 Star Rating

Disc 1

The King & his Land pt. I
The Gate of Lost Souls
Pride - The Path of Thorns
Envy pt. I - In Shadow
Envy pt. II - Broken Glass
Wrath pt. I - A Wandering in the Dark
Wrath pt. II - The Beast Within
Gluttony - Corrosion of Flesh

Disc 2

Sloth pt. I - Retrospective Visions
Sloth pt. II - Red Sunset & a Drowning Fly
Greed pt. I - The Golden Path
Greed pt. II - Warning not Heard
Lust pt. I - The Temptress of Unchastity
Lust pt. II - A Sleeper?s Awakening
The King & his Land pt. II - Pensiveness
Mattis S?rum - Electric and acoustic guitars, el-sitar, keyboards & orchestra arrangements
Tomas di Sansimone - Drums
Idar Eidsaune - Bass
Paal Selsjord Bj?rseth - Piano, organ on Pride pt. I, II & Wrath pt. I, harpsichord on Pensiveness
Per Christian J?rstad - Cello
Synne Teiseth Norbeck - Flute
Staale Storl?kken - Synthsolo on Pride pt. II, Envy pt. I, Wrath pt. II, Sloth pt. II & Greed pt. II
Sigrid Inderberg - Flute on Envy pt. I
Hanna Haugan - Cello on Once there was a king pt. I & Greed pt. II
Arild Sveum - Soundscape on The King and his Land pt. I

Petter Selliseth - Lead vocal & voice on prologue
Ingrid Strid - Sings on Pride pt. I, Envy pt. I, Gluttony, Greed pt. I & Lust pt. II
Lise Granden Berg - Sings on Envy pt. I, Greed pt. I, Lust pt I & II
Gry Tronslien - Sings on Pride pt. I, Wrath pt. II & Sloth pt. II
Eva Marianne Olsson - Sings on Pride pt. I & Greed pt. II
Stian Leknes - Growls on Wrath pt. II
Mattis S?rum - Choir on Greed pt. II
Martin Adams Kvam - Boy's Reading
Nina Utbj?r Guldal - Mother's voice
Record Label: Unicorn Records


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