Patrick Skantze released his second album, under the added moniker of And The Free Souls Society, titled ‘Fiction At First View’. His first release, from 1997, was an all instrumental affair called ‘Music For My Ego's Sake’. I haven’t heard this but some reviewers say it’s close to Mike Oldfield’s work.
On this album it’s a mixture of vocals with instrumental passages, especially on the two long tracks “Gleam of Hope” and “The Plunge”, which are the two most progressive sounding of the songs. The title track is done in two forms, as the opening track in an edited form and the final track in full form.
The rest of the songs have a slight progressive feel to them, yet fall more into the symphonic, pop and art rock genres. Comparable to the works of Wind & Wuthering era Genesis, most of Steve Hackett, Neil Young and Camel‘s work.
My favorites right off the back is the title track (of which I prefer the full version), Gleam Of Hope (think of a Neil Young fronting a pre-Darkside of the Moon Pink Floyd) and “The Plunge” (which reminds me a lot of Camel’s work in the late 70’s).
If you like any of the afore mentioned bands and artists, then this is without a doubt a no-brainer, highly recommended release!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on December 12th, 2006