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The Progressive Souls Collective - Sonic Birth Award winner

The Progressive Souls Collective
Sonic Birth
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 26 August 2020, 7:05 AM

THE PROGRESSIVE SOULS COLLECTIVE is not a band, but a project dedicated to the love of music. With the upcoming debut album "Sonic Birth" (Metalville Records/Rough Trade) featuring session musicians who were involved in bands like DREAM THEATER, ANGRA, HAKEN, O.S.I. and many more, this is a new kind of creative venture in the progressive music genre. A host of guest musicians are performing here, but there was little information about that. “Sonic Birth” contains eleven tracks.

“Metature” opens the album, with spacey keyboards, and clean guitars. From there, a heavy sound develops, high with melody. It reminds me of LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT. It’s a commanding sound for sure. “Comfortable Darkness” is a shorter piece, clocking in at under three minutes. Clean and bright acoustical guitars and a really strong vocalist lead the charge here. “Killing True Beliefs” opens with some light tom drumming and then keys come in, bright and first but there is a sense of tense darkness under everything. It’s another track with vocals and although I don’t know who the vocalist is, he has an amazing voice. The Progressive elements here are all the meter shifts done on a dime. The fat keyboard solo is notably Derek Sherinian’s for sure.

“Fractional Emotion” opens with some lead guitar notes over a bed of flat keys. Vocals come in around the two-minute mark, and at this point in the album, it’s evident that this collection of musicians know how to play well together. The vocalist is able to negotiate the upper ranges with ease. “A Formula for Happiness” is close to seven minutes in length. It’s a mid-tempo number where the melody flows like honey. Glass-shattering vocals combine with easy listening guitars and keys in what is a very happy song, indeed. It ends on a warm bed of “oohhhs.” “Inner Circle” is a short, two-minute interlude, with just some light guitar, bass, drums and keys. The vocals are more pensive here and it slows you down for what is to come.

“You and me Alone” opens with a smooth and mellow sound…almost dreamy in its delivery. Lead guitar notes carry the melody here. Female vocals play in a duet with male vocals and the song title was aptly selected. It is very catchy and charming. “Hurt” has more of those darker tones, but also some hopeful ones as well. The bottom end is chugging away, thick with bass guitar notes, while the vocalist snarls with shades of warning, then unleashes his anger with harsh vocals. “Destiny Inc.” is over fifteen minutes in length. Spoken word leads off the song, along with some keys. It takes a little while to get going, cherishing the journey rather than the destination. As expected, the song takes several tangents along the way.

“Mind Treasures” is another shorter song, seguing part of the album together, and giving you a bit of a pause. “With Others” closes the album. It opens with majestic lead guitar notes and a mid-tempo pace. The vocals push hard here (think Freddy Mercury), and the melodies shine bright. It’s the perfect closing song for what was a wonderful listening experience. Overall, this was a fantastic collection of musicians who really created something special here. Keys were used quite liberally, and Derek is known for his prowess. But whoever the vocalist is…man does he have some pipes. I like the fact that they wrote catchy, melodic music and there were just enough Progressive elements to keep it in that realm, but not overtake it with overly technical passages.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9


4 Star Rating

1. Metature
2. Comfortable Darkness
3. Killing True Beliefs
4. Fractional Emotion
5. A Formula for Happiness
6. Inner Circle
7. You and me Alone
8. Hurt
9. Destiny Inc.
10. Mind Treasures
11. With Others
Aquiles Priester – Drums
Conner Green – Bass
Derek Sherinian – Keyboards
Record Label: Metalville Records


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