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Автор : W.A.S.P
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YEAR: 2006
STYLE: Neo Progressive Rock
FORMAT: FLAC (Image + Log + .Cue + Scans + 5% Recovery)
SIZE: 452 Mb
THE BAND: Steve Taylor / vocals; Paul O'Neil / keyboards; Julian Gregory / bass, violins, mandolin, viola; Bob / guitars; Dave Whittaker / drums & percussion

Красивенный прог в духе Pendragon, IQ и Genesis...

After cleaning up and winning numerous awards from the U.K's Classic Rock Society in 2003, British progressive band Strangefish followed that by releasing their critically acclaimed debut CD, Full Scale later that same year. Now almost 2 ½ years in the making, the band has upped the ante considerably with their second full length called Fortune Telling. For this CD the band chose to go the concept route and write music around an overall theme rather than worrying about dealing with each song individually. The thoughts and story line behind Fortune Telling basically deals with how the media has seemingly forever had a fascination with both wealth and fame, but that only scratches the surface as the band also takes the opportunity to inject the story line with other subjects as well, such as how man deals with his ongoing search for happiness in today's world of materialism. If it all sounds a bit pretentious and perhaps just another excuse for some soap box preaching and musical wanking, well I'm happy to say that this is definitely not the case.

The bands sound is symbolic of the newer elements of progressive rock yet it retains more than a passing nod to some of the finest classic bands of the genre. At times Strangefish sound like a combination of Spock's Beard and Genesis, which is definitely the best of both worlds of progressive rock. Your ears will perk up at the fantastic keyboard passages by Paul O'Neil as his solo's bristle with Tony Banks like enthusiasm and skill. Likewise guitarist, Bob's (no last name?) fretwork at times can also have visions of Hackett era Genesis dancing around your eardrums, and yet he's able to fire off many of his own distinctly sounding melodic and restrained chops in his own style. The rhythm section of drummer Dave Whitaker and Julian Gregory hold down the bottom end with apparent ease and it should be noted that while Gregory's primary instrument is the bass, he contributes some fantastic violin work to Fortune Telling and does an absolutely brilliant job on the CD's closing cut "Lighthouse Jig". This all instrumental track is one of my personal favorites. Last but not certainly least is vocalist Steve Taylor; there's obviously a good reason why he's won 3 consecutive awards from the Classic Rock Society for Best Male Vocalist. His vocals are primarily in the mid range and he doesn't stray that far stylistically, but his voice is the perfect match for the music and I heard echoes of Morse and Fish in his overall delivery.

The overall sound and production on Fortune Telling is another area where the band excels, it's clean and crisp but never comes off sounding too slick. In fact there is an overall feeling of warmth in the sound as a whole and the CD has a bit of an analogue feel to it that I really connected to, but don't ask me why. The overall packaging and layout should also be commended as it appears the band spent a lot of time ensuring that their musical vision was matched visually as well; not to mention the fortune teller fish that was included was an absolute riot, all I can say is that it's tied in to the cover image. Strangefish should definitely be mentioned in the same breath with the best of the neo-progressive bands of today and fans of prog will eagerly want to add this one to their collections. The band has a true winner with Fortune Telling, tight musicianship; top notch songs and great overall graphics and design that make for one of the best complete packages of the year so far. Let's hope we see them over on this side of the pond very soon.

Track Listing:
1. Happy as I am (8:48)
2. It could be me (7:02)
3. Random (5:04)
4. 360° (1:18)
5. Keep the exits clear (6:32)
6. Have you seen the light? (5:51)
7. Lightswitch (0:37)
8. Ignorance of bliss (8:28)
9. Reflection
1) Reflection (3:02)
2) This is Me - Part I (4:00)
10. This is Me - Part II (6:35)
11. Lighthouse Jig (Bonus - Instrumental) (7:38)

The Band:
- Steve Taylor / vocals
- Paul O'Neil / keyboards
- Julian Gregory / bass, violins, mandolin, viola
- Bob / guitars
- Dave Whittaker / drums & percussion


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Исполнитель:: STRANGEFISH

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