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Corral - Revenant CD (album) cover

REVENANT

Corral

 

Crossover Prog

3.42 | 13 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars With the loss of both The Reasoning and Touchstone this week, it's a sad reminder of how listeners of what is frequently a male dominated genre need to embrace female fronted progressive related bands a little more! Hailing from Poland, at least Corral can now be countered among those bands, and their first album `Revenant' is a promising debut from a band with plenty of energy and musical skill. The group present a mix of accessible vocal melodies with heavy guitars, sometimes even coming across like a gutsier version of UK band Karnataka in parts, with a bit more instrumental trickery thrown in here and there! Singing in English, leading lady Agnieszka Kot has a soulful, wounded yet sympathetic quality that is hugely endearing throughout the album, and the usual progressive instrumental elements are skilfully and carefully implemented around mostly strong melodies, so the album is never overloaded with flashy and unnecessary show-off soloing.

Brief instrumental introduction `The Transcendence' opens the album with cool gentle synth washes and haunting piano, leading straight into melancholic rocker `Music in My Head' that picks up a heavier drama as it progresses. The more skittering and up-tempo `Are You Game?' reveals a catchy melody that would have fit nicely on any Karnataka album, a few added heavier bursts during the chorus, and Grzegorz Kot's electric guitar solo in the middle holds a nicely fuzzy tone to its edges. Danger and menace ripples through `Silly Na´ve', all snarling guitars, Pawel Burda's thick upfront melodic bass and thicker gothic synths with a very melancholic lyric, the repeated line `This time I'll try to appreciate what I've found' especially confronting and tinged with a desperate sadness. `Lavender Bed' alternates between snarling dirty grooving metal riffs and rising symphonic synths, but the highlight is a very clever chorus perfectly delivered by Agnieszka, making it the first sign of true greatness from the band!

The second half of the album starts to deliver some longer pieces. Although the tune of `Myself' is a little uninteresting, there's Riverside-esque reaching electric guitar solos as the band race through a string of different time changes and tempos, but the nice surprise is even a little jazz/fusion playfulness - just listen to Piotr Burda's runaway synths and cheeky electric piano tip-toes, proving at least that the band have a welcome sense of humour! Despite another somewhat unengaging tune, the rumbling intensity to `Through the Touch' is peppered with several unhinged darting up-tempo bursts. The goth-metal crowd will love the urgent ghostly piano dancing around heavy riffing guitars of `Snowy' and it's breathless frantic chorus. Krzysztof Cudny's powerful drums thunder through the album closer `His Eyes', where Agnieszka's voice is full of longing, and a touch of classical grandness is delivered by way of some dazzling piano and spiralling synth passages.

The band do fall back on slightly tired metal riffing a little too often (perhaps they do consider themselves a metal band?!), but there's great ambition and an energetic desire to impress throughout `Revenant' that is obvious and admirable. With a little maturing and honing their skills, there's no reason this group couldn't become another Riverside, combining heavy atmospheres with progressive rock flights of fancy and thoughtful lyrics. Corral are a band with so much potential, and very likely the best is yet to come from this younger female fronted band filled with exciting promise!

Three stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |

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