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Lunatic Soul: Impressions

Despite being a member of one of the biggest progressive metal acts on the scene today, the music you'll find from Mariusz Duda's Lunatic Soul is just about as far away as you can get from anything related to metal. Lunatic Soul clearly is a project with different intentions than that of Riverside, with its reflective and emotionally compelling style of new age often leaning more towards dark ambient than anything rock-oriented. Though the wordless, atmospheric, and experimental nature of Impressions may not be a guaranteed success for all fans of Riverside, it's clear to me that Mariusz Duda struck gold with this spectacular effort. Those who enjoyed the first two Lunatic Soul albums should find no difficulty falling in love with Impressions.

Mariusz Duda is best known for his spectacular vocal pipes as the frontman for Riverside, but his singing is used rather sparingly throughout Impressions. His vocals don't pop up too frequently, and when they do, his singing is used only to provide an additional melody rather than any lyrical concept. The almost entirely wordless nature of the album leaves every listener with the opportunity to create their own story to match the introverted style of the music - I actually think this aspect of the album allows the listener to connect with what Mariusz Duda is creating on a more personal level than one would ever imagine. The music is rather dark and repetitive, with the vast majority of the focus aimed towards creating hypnotic atmospheres and beautiful subtleties. While Lunatic Soul never prides itself on creating overtly technical music, the talent of these three musicians is clear right from the beginning. Everything from the lush acoustic guitars, transcendental synthesizers, and subtle use of digital effects is executed perfectly, and the crystal clear production makes this listening experience even more authentic.

While the highly atmospheric and emotionally demanding style of Impressions guarantees that it should never be used as background music, it's surprisingly quite accessible. I found myself entranced by the album even during my first listen, and every future spin has only deepened my affection for the music found on Impressions. While it may not be for everybody, the music that Lunatic Soul creates is highly original, transcendentally mystifying, and extremely professional - take it or leave it, this is one of the best progressive albums of 2011. 4 stars and a warm recommendation are very well-deserved.

Track Listing:
1. Impression I (5:29)
2. Impression II (4:04)
3. Impression III (7:03)
4. Impression IV (3:57)
5. Impression V (5:02)
6. Impression VI (7:33)
7. Impression VII (3:13)
8. Impression VIII (4:24)
9. Gravestone Hill (remix) (3:51)
10. Summerland (remix) (4:26)
Total Time 49:02

Added: December 23rd 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Lunatic Soul Website
Hits: 2740
Language: english

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