What do you get when you combine Pink Floyd styled progressive rock, some jazz, and a touch of metal? Why, The D Project of course! Their latest album Making Sense is another stellar display of alluring melodies housed within soaring soundcapes and the occasional aggressive passage. Band leader Stéphane Desbiens (Vocals,Guitar,Keyboard), bassist/Stick player Matheu Gosselin, and drummer Jean Gosselin have also enlisted the help of Sean Filkins (ex Big Big Train) on guitar, Claude Leonetti (Lazuli) on Léode, Giovani Orteago on sax, and Guillaume Fontaine (Nemo) for extra keyboards, among others players who contribute strings and added vocals. Making Sense is a very engaging album that provides plenty of variety, with kick off track "Rearview Mirror" packing plenty of metallic punch thanks to some heavy riffs and effective vocals, somewhat like a mix of Dream Theater, King Crimson, and Rush. The Pink Floyd influence comes seeping in on the gorgeous title track, as sumptuous keyboards, tasty guitar, soaring sax, and Desbiens' emotional vocals offer up soothing prog & jazz elements. "What is Real" is a catchy prog piece with pop melodies, and the band dives into complex prog rock ala King Crimson & Gentle Giant with "Nothing Here is Innocent". This is a highly enjoyable track, complete with haunting Mellotron sounds, nimble synth passages, searing guitar solos, and complex rhythms including some wild drum & bass solos. The more atmospheric "Missing Star" has a late '70s Genesis feel, with lush vocal harmonies and waves of keyboards creating a calming, pastoral feel, Desbiens even throwing in a scorching guitar solo that seems to pay homage to the great Steve Hackett, only to give way to another sensual sax exploration from Orteago.
The more rustic, acoustic based "Spanish Castle" has a certain medieval flair (think Gryphon meets Gentle Giant), and is quite quirky & lovely, and the band then launches into the emotional progressive pop of "Dagger", another tune with soaring vocal harmonies and well thought out keyboard arrangements. Pink Floyd meets Marillion with a little Anathema thrown in for good measure on the lengthy closer "Out of Range / Out of Line", a highly addictive yet moody piece that again sees those wonderful vocal melodies just latch on to your senses while the engaging musical arrangements sweep you away. Some really lovely flute & acoustic guitar passages here, and when the band turn things up into high gear during the middle section, look for some crushing riffs, blazing rhythms, and scorching lead guitar work.
Making Sense is quite simply a wonderful little album that has something for everyone. I love how The D Project goes from majestic, soaring prog and then to either a tasty jazz section or a powerful metallic passage at the drop of the hat, but none of it sounds out of place and it's all just so well crafted. Kudos to the band for another winner-this one is highly recommended so make sure you don't miss out.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1. Rearview Mirror (5:23)
2. Making Sense (5:16)
3. What Is Real (5:23)
4. Nothing Here Is Innocent (5:30)
5. Missing Star (7:38)
6. Spanish Castle (3:22)
7. Dagger (3:49)
8. Out of Range / Out of Line (9:34)