I already knew this was a big project with almost 80 minutes of time, a superb multi canvas set of paintings by Sonia Mota, and quite a bang for the buck. I waited patiently for the physical CD so I could enjoy the whole thing in an easy chair, on my fine stereo, and in comfortable surroundings. I am happy to say it was worth the wait. I thank the various members for communicating with me through the months of production and to Colin Tench for doing such a good job in the mixing and mastering of this extravaganza.
So where to start? The above average arrangements contain many styles from four decades (70's, 80's, 90's and 2000's). In just the first 5 songs I enjoyed music reminding me of Canterbury jazz, Peter Gabriel, Quatermass, Camel, ELP, Holderlin, and so many more followed. The comparisons are too numerous to list but adventure seekers will no doubt love this debut recording by Corvus Stone.
This is a story of several musicians meeting through the internet and actually recording the album without being in the same city or studio together. While some might argue this isolates and keeps music from being heartfelt or emotionally bonded, I think in this case, we can just sit back and appreciate the joy ride. It is clearly not for those who want long grooves and standard fare. It will definitely be a godsend for those with short attention spans, hyper thinkers, people bored with song and verse, and anyone who loves many changes per minute in their music. People like me. This is not to say there are not great songs with harmony, hooks, and energy.
“Moron Season’ (track 7) begins with a beautiful vocal/music part then kicks into an unexpected excursion in the early and mid period Deep Purple (you get a snippet of ‘Smoke on the Water’ just for kicks). Following are more cool deliveries of 70's jam taken from numerous influences. Styles continue to range from acoustic picking to Atomic Rooster’s heavy use of organ (some Rare Bird nods as well), Cressida, Procol Harum, Pink Floyd, early Uriah Heep, Traffic, Wigwam, Mike Oldfield, Camel, Trace, and Tasavallan Presidentti. The music rarely sits still for even 10 seconds and you get everything from the feeling of being in a demented circus, facing grand illusions, having disconnected dreams, to experiencing psychedelic flashbacks. With all these bands I use to compare, just short snapshots at a time, what you do end up hearing is the band Corvus Stone with their own stamp. They even have a song I feel is radio friendly called ‘You’re So Wrong’ (track 19) that has very nice vocals and lasts 3:52. I can’t help but hear a Holderlin meets Rare Bird sound, which is inviting to say the least.
There is so much to love about this recording. It’s impossible to guess what comes next on your initial listen. There is such an abundance of styles throw in (even humor) and not ready to be labeled.. Progressive in the sense that it moves, it includes rock, blues, jazz, pop, classical, folk, and other sub genres, and is too varietal to pin down. This listener was not only impressed, but totally captivated, entertained, and ready to listen again. For those in love with music that moves fast, has a colossal amount of quick changes and styles all in each song, you will be fans of this exciting CD. Great skill in compositions from Pasi Koivu and Petri Lindstrom and superb arranging by the whole band. It must be noted that no one was asked to hold back, and everyone was allowed to freely play with their heart and soul. No restrictions. That’s the way music should be. Recommended!
Line-up / Musicians
- Pasi Koivu / keyboards
- Colin Tench / guitars
- Petri Lemmy Lindström / bass, various instruments
- Robert Wolff / drums
- Blake Carpenter / vocals
- Stef Flaming / guitars, vocals
- John Culley / guitars
- Victor Tassone / drums
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on January 3rd, 2013