Farpoint is a South Carolina prog rock band featuring "Dave Auerbach on guitars, Dean Hallal on vocals, Kevin Jarvis on guitars, keyboards, and vocals, Jennifer Meeks on vocals, and flute, Frank Tyson on bass guitar, and vocals, and Rick Walker on drums, and percussion". Kindred is their fifth studio album, but the first for 10T Records label. They have been performing together for over ten years and have established a strong following of dedicated fans.
"We are thrilled to become a part of the 10T family, and honored to be listed among 10T's incredible roster of artists," says Kevin Jarvis. "As a completely independent band for over 12 years, it's nice to find a record label that believes in our music enough to make an investment in it, especially when the label obviously maintains such a strong emphasis on the artistic integrity of the music they release" (http://10trecords.com/farpoint-release-%E2%80%9Ckindred%E2%80%9D/, 2011).
This was my introduction to the band and I'm happy I was chosen to receive a promo copy. Meeks vocals and flute, Walker's bass work and all of the guitar work is wonderful and well planned and organized. Jarvis does not get enough time on keyboards for me, but when he does he uses it wisely. Hallal's vocals get better as the album progresses, but he's best with Meeks supporting. Meeks' flute is a must and every time it's included you have a highlight song. 'Water of Life' and 'Vacant Halls' could be on any of the best prog albums of the year. They stand up that well. The message they are delivering is wonderful and needs a forum. With 10T's support they should grow and help put Charleston on the map of prog.
'Calling Out' opens with strong drums delivered by Walker and great bass and electric lead guitar. Then Hallal's vocals "I'm calling out to you 'cause our time is almost through". A clarion call to everyone's fear of the end of days. The immediacy in the sounds of the music matches the message being delivered. Hallal's vocals along with Meeks supporting, helps welcome all, as the cool guitar and key solos begin midway through. A great warning and opener for the album.
'Still Water' is full of wonderful acoustic guitar and a slower pace. Meeks vocals and flute help add to the warmth being delivered by the music and Hallal's vocals. Christian prog messages delivered full of great sound with plenty of emotion in the keys and guitars. Walker's drums are already becoming a great feature of this band early on in this album. Meeks flute work really lifts the sound higher.
'Unity' is a great instrumental break in the action allowing all the musicians a showcase to display their talent. Tyson's bass guitar sounds open and dominate the track well, before some great acoustic and lead electric blend in to lift the sound even higher. Walker's drums are right there supporting well.
'Another Day' starts with a great electric guitar opening riff as Hallal and Meek's duet begins. "Tell me what you think of deep inside your mind. Time will open the world around us and show us what we can find". A vocal driven song with great support of drums, bass and lead electric and acoustic guitar.
'Water of Life' opens with a vocal duet by Hallal and Meeks, with Meeks flute flowing on shortly thereafter. She continues to carry the wind, with that flute and great percussion and drum work following her. The intricate guitar work is also a standout, as is the power bass work that Tyson provides. The song is full of a good, over three minute, instrumental opening before the vocals return. After the vocalist join we get a launching flute episode that even Ian Anderson might be happy to hear. Meeks and others join in singing in unison, creating an almost choir – like sound. The acoustic guitar work here is very intricate and warm as it matches with Meek's flute work and Tyson's whistling. A wonderful acoustic track and Walker joins in with soft drums. Easily the best and proggiest track on the album. At 10 minutes, it is the epic and everyone knows how I love the epics. It has everything; great lyrics, flute solos, acoustic guitar and a folk/60s feel to it.
Jarvis keyboards shine at the opening of 'Live for Him'. Hallal's vocals lead the band as the rest of the electric and acoustic guitars join in with Meeks supporting on vocals in the background. Walker's drums pat some fantastic rhythms along with Jarvis' keys. There is a very good lead guitar solo mixed in, with Jarvis' keys bouncing off it.'Indian Summer' is a short instrumental with flute and acoustic guitar that will warm your heart. A perfect interlude.
'By My Side' opens with great acoustic guitar and bass matched with drums and Meeks singing lead vocals as the others support her with backing vocals. There are some nice lead electric solos with great backing bass.
'Vacant Halls' is another of the best songs and highlights of the album. I guess maybe because the band really uses the talents of Jarvis on keys and Walkers' percussion to the best of their abilities. Meeks and Hallal's vocals are at their peak on this track. The guitar soloing and bass support is the best on the album. The acoustic guitar work adds great flavor to the piece. This track is also one of the proggier pieces on the album. The piano and flute add so much to the sound.
'Freedom Road' is a rocker opening with a Styx kinda rhythm. Hallal's vocals are not the best on this track. The guitar and drum work are good though. If it were me, I'd have had 'Vacant Halls' as the epic closer. This one should have gone before it. Jarvis adds some keys to help lift the sound and Tyson adds some cool bass chords as well. This might be the weakest song on the album, and for me not the one to close the album with.
- Calling Out
- Still Water
- Another Day
- Water of Life
- Live for Him
- By My Side
- Vacant Halls
- Freedom Road