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Different Light: The Burden Of Paradise

I would suggest that seven years has been a long wait for the third album by Different Light to arrive, if it wasn't for the fact that there was a thirteen year gap between that album, Icons That Weep and their 1996 debut All About Yourself. Maybe we should be congratulating them on picking up the pace??

What we definitely should be congratulating them on however is the wonderful neo-prog/AOR crossover that makes up that third offering, The Burden Of Paradise, the band's sweeping themes backed up by grandiose atmospheres and surging keyboards. Interestingly singer Trevor Tabone's voice bears – during this album's more melodic moments – a striking resemblance to that of Kevin Cronin, leading the likes of "Happiness" to suddenly sound like REO Speedwagon! Factor in some sumptuous layered backing vocals and driving, but always melodic guitars and what Different Light are best at could be seen as out and out syrupy AOR – if it wasn't for the fact that they're also a top notch 80s keyboard inspired Prog band! The proof coming from the track that "Happiness" segues into, "The Stalker Walks" proving a piano led delight, the clever mix of intricacy and accessibility this band's real strength. Hence t's easy to focus on the wonderful keyboard work, also provided by Tabone – just listen to the shimmering "Pascal's Wager" for proof, but let the track develop and a Gilmour meets Rothery guitar solo courtesy of Petr Lux suddenly, but subtly, steals the show. Add in rock solid performances from bassist Jirka and drummer Petr Matoušek (presumably they are brothers?) who both make their Different Light debuts here and across this enigmatic, captivating album, there's simply not a foot put wrong.

All the aforementioned songs come from "In The Grand Scheme Of Things", one of two lengthy suites on the album. The second being the equally impressive "Eternal Return", while the third multi-parter shows up as the two-piece "In Love And War". Add in that there are a further five stand alone tracks and not only is The Burden Of Paradise excellent from start to finish, but it's also tremendously good value. Lyrically the album is deep, involved and yet married to the musical ethos of Different Light, there's little doubt that The Burden Of Paradise is a hugely uplifting experience. If you like bands such as Arena, Saga and It Bites, yet also find a place in your heart for the smoother sound REO Speedwagon, Toto or Boston bring – yet are prepared for a band that somehow reminds of all of that but sounds exactly like none of it – then you'll take great pleasure in bathing in this Czech outfit's gloriously Different Light.

Track Listing
1. In the Grand Scheme of Things
i. The Schemer Wakes
ii. Letters for Alice
iii. Happiness
iv. The Stalker Walks
v. Pascal's Wager
vi. Out of the Goldilocks Zone
vii. Together There
viii. The Schemer Sleeps
2. Voice of Outside
3. A St. Martin's Summer
4. Eternal Return

i. New Promise
ii. At First Light
iii. Nectar Junky
iv. A Carpathian Day
v. Default Setting Escape
vi. Waking Moment
5. Transient Dream
6. Mare Imbrium
7. In Love and War

i. Love
ii. War
8. All for You

Added: June 26th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Different Light online
Hits: 2366
Language: english

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