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Renaissance of Fools - Spring CD (album) cover

SPRING

Renaissance of Fools

 

Heavy Prog

3.04 | 5 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Being no Heavy/Metal listener it feels a bit funny to be the first reviewer for this Swedish Heavy Prog band. I received the CD to review it in a prog magazine. Even though it's not exactly within my comfort zone, I find it sort of resonates with my [darker] emotions. I really should avoid being prejudiced by a Heavy tag, and albums like this one can help me in that goal. "This album is dedicated to those who stand up against oppression - whether it's against terrorizing states or harrasment at work or in school. You are all heroes!" These words help me to understand the depressive overtones and the essence of the album altogether. I think appreciating this album is a logical next step to the fact that I enjoy PORCUPINE TREE - which has offered similar moods but in a more ambient and Floydian musical style.

Okay, let's face it: this isn't very heavy, in fact the PT association is quite accurate for the music style too. Probably this band is notably less Heavy or Metallic, or *aggressive*, than the bands (unfamiliar to me) in which the members have formerly played - PAIN OF SALVATION etc., see the band info here. Mastered by Ty Tabor - another artist name of Prog Metal, right? I think to me the real red flag about Heavy/Metal music is the in-your-face aggressiveness, and that feature is not present here. Also the use of vocals is a crucial question. I can't stand growls and such, and both David Engström (vocals) and Daniel Magdic (guitars and vocals) are decent singers that would be as credible within more regular rock/pop music too. The vocal harmonies are good, and the appearance of the acoustic guitar here and there.

The 49-minute album consists of three individual tracks and five (technically separate) parts to the title suite. Of the three, 'Scars' has the heaviest guitars while the other two have slighter Heavy elements in their vocal harmony -seasoned Modern Prog sound which is familiar from many, mainly American and Swedish bands of today's prog scene.

Spring part i., 'Prelude' (1:28), is a semi-melancholic and acoustic instrumental, followed by heavy sounding 'On Your Knees' that includes also some brief atmospheric moments and cool keyboard decorations. Part iii. 'State of Oppression' (8:16) mixes the Heavy and Prog elements skillfully. Not the most original music under the Prog sun, but at least "the Scared children choir" sounds like a less heard ingredient. The two last parts are also longish (7-8 minutes) and include several moods. The closing part 'A New Dawn' is my favourite track, full of more positive emotion and some YES-like symphonic, uplifting spirit.

Worth recommending to listeners of modern prog with Heavy elements and vocal harmonies, even though there are dozens of more or less similar bands around, and often with more Symphonic hooks. 3½ stars.

Matti | 3/5 |

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