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Green Violinist: More Thrill And Never Ending Blessing

Taking inspiration from the Charles Chagall painting for his band name, this debut effort from Green Violinist, titled More Thrill And Never Ending Blessing (not that you'd know it from the CD or packaging...) also finds Belgian band leader Vincent Dufresne using that painting to form the basis of the concept behind his band's first outing. In essence the idea is to add more "thrill" into everyday life, turning every second in to "never ending blessing". Odd then, that on the whole this album is understated and almost maudlin in nature.

Think Anathema, think Riverside, think downbeat latter day Marillion and you won't be far away, yet add a surprisingly commercial, almost poppy edge and you'll be even closer to the sound presented here. Although don't expect much to fall into the realms of "cheery". This is an album content to work at its own mid tempo pace, never feeling rushed, but then as a consequence never achieving vitality either. Dufresne, who contributes fine layers of dense, atmospheric keyboards, possesses a confident, if restrained voice and while his vocal works perfectly with the music, it never offers up the variance in mood, tone, or emotion that say Hogarth does for Marillion. In the end the mix of extremely fine musicianship and crafted songs comes across as slightly sterile, with the unwavering and seldom varying attack becoming almost crushing in places. Whereas the finest exponents of this dark, deep, brooding style of prog use occasional bursts of blaring guitars, or deftly dashing drums to offer a counterpoint, Green Violinist are more minimalist; piano and acoustic guitar based themes often swaying against the vocals and keys to good, if unspectacular effect. The result being captivating, but only in short samples. Spend a good length of time with this album and rather than become good friends who know and trust each other, a distance seems to grow between you and the songs that make them feel remote and isolated. There is still plenty to be impressed by and the odd burst of strings ("Any Words You Say Won't Be Enough"), or thumping bass drum ("Bad Inheritance") does attempt to pierce the gloom, but without any real sense of success.

More Thrill And Never Ending Blessing is an album that always leaves you feeling like it possesses more memorable character than it reveals, with every listen (I've given it more than a few) giving the impression that one more visit will suddenly find the hidden beauty often hinted at. Unfortunately, even after a few weeks of perseverance that much longed for epiphany remains elusive. Possibly those with even more patience will reap richer rewards...

Track Listing
01. The Great Scapegoat Seeking
02. Velvet Road
03. Shy People
04. Do Worry Be Sad
05. Human Connection
06. Any Words You Say Won't Be Enough
07. Bad Inheritance (A Song To Cure)

Added: April 9th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Galileo Records
Hits: 1993
Language: english

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