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The Sea Within: The Sea Within

About a year ago, InsideOut Music announced the arrival of a new prog-rock supergroup, calling themselves The Sea Within. The band features drummer Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, Steven Wilson, UK, Joe Satriani), bassist Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, Karmakanic, The Tangent), keyboard player Tom Brislin (Yes Symphonic, Renaissance, Camel, Spiraling, Meat Loaf) , guitarist/vocalist Roine Stolt (Anderson & Stolt, Transatlantic, The Flower Kings), and vocalist/guitarist Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation, Transatlantic), along with a few guests which include Casey McPherson (Flying Colors), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Jon Anderson (Yes), and Rob Townsend (Steve Hackett). Their self-titled debut album was just released, and it's a good one.

Quickly looking at the line-up, and one might suggest that half the group is a familiar fit; obviously Stolt & Reingold have plenty of history together, and Gildenlow & Stolt have shared many a stage together. Minnemann and Brislin are however the wild cards, both virtuoso players who perhaps were always meant to find their way into a supergroup of this nature to really let their talents shine, and they do so in a big way here. The Sea Within is a mixture of classic progressive rock, some pop, and plenty of brooding rock. Opening track "Ashes of Dawn" floats a plethora of melody, Gildenlow's always unique vocals emotional and to the point, with lush keyboards, tasty guitars, and a lovely sax solo from Townsend all adding to the immediate impact of the song. "They Know My Name" ups the prog quotient, complete with intricate drumming from Marco and a sizzling, Holdsworthian solo from Stolt. The guitar legend again shines on the passionate "The Void", complemented by a lovely Gildenlow vocal, majestic piano, and melodic bass lines courtesy of Reingold. The upbeat & groove laden "An Eye For an Eye For an Eye" follows, a killer modern prog tune packed with hooks and a rock sensibility, while "Goodbye" keeps the grooves flowing, a quirky little number with playful vocal interplay between Gildenlow & McPherson, and tight musicianship. Fans of classic Yes will love the fiery instrumental "Sea Without", complete with booming bass, legato guitar lines, acrobatic drumming, and intense keyboard work. The epic "Broken Cord" is another highlight here, filled with charming influences of The Flower Kings, Genesis, and even The Beatles, Gildenlow again showing what a great vocalist he is whether working solo or alongside both McPherson and Anderson. Casey takes the lead on the beautiful "The Hiding of Truth", a great, memorable pop track filled with sweeping Ruddess piano and Stolt's biting guitar leads.

Over on CD 2, things kick off with the mammoth "The Roaring Silence", complete with symphonic arrangements, powerhouse drumming, and another stellar vocal from Daniel. Eerie vocoder pops up on the pastoral "Where Are You Going?", as well as ominous Mellotron on the melancholy "Time" before things climax with the very Pain of Salvation-ish closer "Denise", another tune featuring some brooding Mellotron. While the bonus CD isn't as strong overall as the regular tracks on the first, at least two of these songs slot right in just fine.

Word has it that the band are scheduled to make some notable appearances on the festival & cruise circuit in the coming months, but it will be without Gildenlow & Reingold, who both have prior commitments, so McPherson and Pete Trewavas will be stepping in to fill the void. Time will tell how much staying power this new unit has, but the results here on their debut are quite strong and we can only hope that The Sea Within has similar staying power to another supergroup, Transatlantic, who manage to pop back into our lives every couple of years.

Track Listing
01. Ashes of Dawn
02. They Know My Name
03. The Void
04. An Eye For an Eye For an Eye
05. Goodbye
06. Sea Without
07. Broken Cord
08. The Hiding of Truth

01. The Roaring Silence
02. Where Are You Going?
03. Time
04. Denise

Added: July 31st 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1718
Language: english

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The Sea Within: The Sea Within
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2018-07-31 16:44:22
My Score:

Ok. Let’s talk about supergroups. Just what is one anyways? Is it a conglomeration of fantastic musicians? Does success play a role? How about notoriety? I would surmise it’s a bit of all three. Let’s get this out of the way quick. The Sea Within is a supergroup if there ever was one. Especially if we talking within the confines of progressive rock.

The project was started by Mr. Flower King himself Roine Stolt and let me tell you he has brought together a fantastic array of musicians including Jonas Reingold (Flower Kings, Agents Of Mercy, Karmakanic, The Tangent), Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani), Tom Brislin (Yes, Renaissance, Spiraling) and Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation) as well as some very special guests.

The disc begins with “Ashes Of Dawn” and its intro of moody effects. A cool guitar part starts the song in earnest along with Gildenlow’s distinctive voice adding emotion and feeling. He shows a frailty here which only serves to add to his charming style. He is absolutely great here. Stolt follows with some ‘70s inspired guitar work and some rather large organ riffage from Brislin. The ensuing saxophone solo with its subtle Floydisms, courtesy of Rob Townsend, is the icing on the cake. “They Know My Name” starts mellow with a somber piano melody. It’s a very textural beginning as the instruments slowly build. Orchestral strings along with meaty guitar riffs has the band firing on all cylinders. “The Void” begins with a gently picked guitar arpeggio and Gildenlow’s soft vocal delivery. The music builds gradually highlighted with a wonderful synthesizer solo followed with stellar guitar work from Stolt. With the catchy “An Eye For An Eye For An Eye” the band is rocking right from the start. Soaring guitar and excellent piano adds a few jazzy touches amidst the progressive bombast. With “Goodbye” the band puts forth another melodic up tempo gem this time featuring the lead vocals of Casey McPherson (Flying Colors). “Broken Cord” is the album’s longest track with elements of Yes, The Flower Kings and The Beatles. The super catchy chorus is surrounded by wonderful playing all around as the music veers in different directions. Moody and mellower segments compliment the heavier elements rather nicely. Stolt and Brislin offer up some magic on guitar and synthesizers respectively.

If that wasn’t enough there is a second disc containing four tracks that are just as noteworthy. A brilliant mix of heavy and light highlights the moody “The Roaring Silence”. On the next track “Where Are You Going?” Brislin really shines offering some lovely synth and piano excursions. The Beatles came to mind, as the band’s psychedelic pop framework is fully exposed. “Time” is another excellent track combining both dream-like textures and more intense playing. Listen for the Beatles’ homage at song’s end.

The Sea Within have created an exceptional work. Each member has brought a little something to the table, making this an exceptionally bold and moving album that all fans of progressive rock should check out.

An Inside Out Music release.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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