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Mourning Knight: A World Of Dreams

Two years on from their debut, Westchester County, NY trio Mourning Knight return with A World Of Dreams, picking up from where their Symphonic prog with a touch of the 80s neo debut left off. Opening this second account comes the epic “A Fractured Fairytale”, a 16 minute-plus romp through sumptuous guitar work, lush and liberally sprinkled keyboards and vocal interplay that really lets you understand what this outfit are all about. Consisting Jason Brower (drums, lead vocals, piano, organs, Mellotron and synths), Norm Dodge (electric guitar and bass), Nancy Scorcia (acoustic guitar and backing vocals) and also Roo Brower on backing vocals, what strikes hardest about what this lot serve up on this opening track is the verve and intent with which it’s attacked. This isn’t ‘heavy’ music, but the impact carries heft and grandeur, while in places veering into almost frenetic territory. In truth though, this band are in complete control, weaving a piece that reminds of Chris Squire’s bass lines being sewn into a Genesis framework and then embellished by some darting keys that could come from Mark Kelly of Marillion.

“The Great Escape” arrives at only half the length of the track which precedes it, but it’s no less impressive, although by the time that we get to the slower paced and more airy “Return To Earth”, the main issue begins to take its toll. Never bad, the vocals from Brower are, truth be told, a weakness when left in more isolated surrounds and even in the more lushly furnished moments the slightly off-key longer notes do begin to snag the attention just a little too much. Now, the fix is easy in my humble opinion, because whether it’s Roo Brower or Nancy Scorcia who really moves well beyond their backing vocals status here and elsewhere, they really are rather wonderful and if it was up to me, I’d give them the full lead singer mantle and be done with it.

That all said, while the vocal issues never truly fade into the background there’s no denying the energy and regality of “Duel In The Sun”, where the guitars are cranked and the keys meet them head on, or the sheer class of the closing “The Harlequin Carnival”, which ebbs and flows in truly majestic style. The latter especially being a musical journey that stands up to repeat listens. A World Of Dreams is a really impressive album that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know - the vocals and my struggle with them have knocked a full half star off my final score, but considering that it still receives a very healthy 4/5, there’s no doubting that the music itself comes very highly recommended indeed.

Track Listing
1. A Fractured Fairytale
2. The Great Escape
3. Return To Earth
4. Duel In The Sun
5. The Harlequin Carnival

Added: February 7th 2024
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Mourning Knight @ bandcamp
Hits: 302
Language: english

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