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Erik Norlander - Seas Of Orion CD (album) cover


Erik Norlander



2.74 | 20 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Oasis in stasis

Erik Norlander has many strings to his bow. After his previous "Heavy Metal symphony" Music Machine, he changed direction radically and recorded this all-instrumental Synthesiser Rock/Progressive Electronic album. Due to the fact that it consists solely of Norlander's electronic keyboards and Greg Ellis's percussion, the sound is naturally much thinner than on his previous two works that in addition contained guitars, vocals, bass, full Rock drums, organ, and more. The sound here actually reminded me of Patrick Moraz's in Refugee (see their very good self-titled album from 1974). Another reference point is Vangelis' best 70's works (especially 1977's Spiral - my personal Vangelis favourite), and Norlander does indeed cover Vangelis' Opera Savage Hymn on this album.

The first track Fanfare For Absent Friends is the one that comes closest to Norlander's previous efforts. It is a triumphant, up-tempo keyboard instrumental in the same vein as Neurosaur but less symphonic and more electronic. Despite the thinner sound, this is 100% Norlander as we know him. Great stuff! City Of Living Machines and New Gotham Prime are even more electronic, but still energetic and wholly enjoyable! Progressive Electronic is far from my favourite type of music, but this is exactly how that kind of music should be. So far so good!

Next up is a 22 and a half minute long track that brings the album into full Ambient mode. This is exactly the kind of Progressive Electronic I don't like. It is fine for a couple of minutes and initially brings a nice variation to the album, but it drastically overstays its welcome and quickly becomes very dull. Don't get me wrong though, Vangelis and Tangerine Dream would be proud of this one and it will probably appeal to fans of those artists, but it sure isn't my cup of tea.

Oasis In Stasis and the cover of Vangelis' Opera Savage Hymn are decent, but they don't manage to return the album to the quality of the first three tracks and whatever magic was displayed their is somewhat lost.

I can recommend this to fans of Progressive Electronic, but those coming in from the perspective of Norlander's other works should tread carefully.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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