MP3 Forgotten Suns - Snooze
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11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Progressive Rock, METAL: Progressive Metal
After a four year hiatus, Portuguese foremost neo-proggers Forgotten Suns are finally back. And in great style, I may add!
During this period, the band experienced some member changes and released a demo (Fiction Edge II) that served to open a window of what was to become their new full length release - Snooze.
A conclusion that immediately pops up is that Forgotten Suns has taken this time out to successfully and carefully mature and settle a very specific own sound, very much within the Neo-Progressive / Melodic Prog-Metal stylings.
In fact, the music presented in Snooze shows us a band that has grown as a sole entity, where its members interact and interplay exquisitely and are able to create strong melodies (though quite simple) and excellently construct some slightly more complex tracks.
Drifting away from the obvious Marillion and Dream Theater leanings so well documented in their debut Fiction Edge 1, Forgotten Suns has gained the confidence and tightness necessary to develop a very personal sound.
Taking Linx vocalizations as an example, he has been able to set himself a very unique style, as he sings in a peculiar (and not the most logic) way that works to perfection. The way he "attacks" the music is very unique, for he seems to draw "angular" entrances, as he interprets the music in a different way than it would be expected by the neo-prog habitué listener. And the mere fact Linx has chosen not to take the most obvious approach and has instead strive (successfully) to conceive an individual singing style, is enough to add a lot of bonus points to Snooze and raise the interest of the overall result in an exponential way.
The bass lines, provided by Johnny have been thought and crusted to perfection in the music, and they do form a very strong rhythmic section with https://www.tradebit.comora's drumming.
Ricardo Falcão provides the guitars, and he does shine its way throughout the album. Mainly influenced by Rothery and Guilmour in the more emotional solos and Petrucci when settling the more metallic riffs and solos, still he does it in a metamorphic way that enabled him to (also) create his own style.
The album opens its first cd (it is a double one) in a powerful way. As Dreaming of Reality swirls in a crescendo, set in the threshold of Neo and Prog Metal, the band is really only starting to unveil the potentialities of the sound they have developed during their 4 year long "oblivious" status. When Senses make its entrance, you begin to comprehend the melodic sense of the band, its matured architecture and the excellent way all the instruments interplay. While Linx "echoes" himself during the chorus lines, the guitar is shadowing solos behind and the keyboards lay tapestries. This track was chosen for the video and the bands promotion (in a shorter version), though this longer version is much more complete, for it features one of the longest and best keyboard solos of the album. Sometimes it occurs to me that this (and some other moments in this album) are close to Clepsydra, but I really think Forgotten Suns have produced more concise music here, and have exploited most successfully the melodious harmonics between guitar and vocals.
Strange Affair with the Night starts calmly and works its way to the end in a sort of crescendo, with energy discharges thrown in the mix. The guitar soloing sweetens up the calmer part of the track with the same ease it emotionally inflames the final moments.
If there is one track here that has really surpassed my most optimistic expectations for this band, that's Dream Killer !
During almost 20 minutes, this track strengthens the very high hopes I lay upon this band. It is the track where Forgotten Suns are most successful in displaying the real ability of theirs. Both in musical construction and playing capacity, Dream Killer is a monster! Despite the large amount of directional and tempo changes, they are all done with precision and with very good taste. The band also uses vocal layers at some points in the track, which sound like cherries in top of the cake. Though the whole Dream Killer is awesome, there is one little detail (in the middle of many) that really convinces me of this bands thoughtfulness: by the minute 7:50, there is a very small guitar solo just after a vocal line that is just perfect and comes to prove the evolution on the bands attention for details. This is the best track FS have ever done, and one of the finest ever in this genre, IMO.
After the first (Floating Spirit Dimension) of three small interludes (the other two in the second cd), the band experiences some more acrobatic moves. Pay the Price is also heavier, sometimes close to Dream Theater venues. It is, nevertheless, the weakest track in the album.
The second cd starts with another great song: Struggle. Like in Dream Killer, there is a lot of small pieces put together in a very satisfactory way. Working as a perfect collage of different approaches. Once more, you can also conclude about the bands evolutionary path towards maturity since their debut release...
The bridge Death starts the calmer part of the album, followed by the emotional and introspective Angels Embrace. Here the melodies are kept pretty simple but effective. It is a song filled with beautiful piano passages and female/male vocalizations. There is a popish feel to this music, and a slight commercial vibe, but again done with extreme good taste. The imagery I would associate to this music is that it feels like capturing black & white butterflies and drawing them with colorful palettes...
The final Final Sentence is even more contemplative, as the band turns acoustic and Linx vocals turn more predictable but still excellent. Some vocal lines from Fiction Edge 1 are used here, during the vocal multi-layering games, by the same time the song turns somehow more energetic and expansive.
In a style that has been growingly becoming tedious due to repetition of washed out strategies and approaches, Forgotten Suns comes to prove that there can still exist refreshing ideas and swell music in Neo-Prog. They have surpassed the reminiscent era with success and are now tightly constructing their own path. One that promises us much more great music.
Snooze is, for me, the strongest candidate for Album of the Year in the Neo-Prog category. I really haven't heard anything better (for this specific sub-genre) than this one in the last couple of years. And if you like melodic, uncompromised Prog with mild (but absolutely necessary) pretentious moments, please wake up for Snooze!
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