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Mask: Heavy Petal The Tenebrous Odyssey of Jack and Virginia

Mask is a collaborative effort between ambient musician and producer Marvin Ayres and Curved Air/ Acid Folk vocalist Sonja Kristina. Together these two extremely talented individuals have created a spectacular and emotionally moving CD called Heavy Petal The Tenebrous Odyssey of Jack and Virgina.

The music on Heavy Petal combines organic sounds with lush, layered ambient soundscapes as tribal beats kickstart the first sounds heard on Heavy Petal. Tracks such as opener "Dark Murmer" and "Global Incantation" serve almost as the perfect instrumental appetizer to prepare the listener for Kristina's vocals which first appear in the third track, the absolutely dreamy and reverb laden "Paean". By the time the fourth track "Fall So Hard" comes around, you are hooked as her exquisite vocals delivered over the rhythmic backbeat just suck you in completely. This track is probably the most commercial sounding one of the lot. Ayres delivers some utterly brilliant cello, violin and piano work for Kristina's vocals to just float over and around in the mix; everything jells and you'd swear this duo have worked together all of their lives. The tracks on Heavy Petal are sequenced and paced evenly as instrumental tacks are interspersed throughout. The duo show that they are more than just about painting ambient canvas's of sound as they switch gears smack in the middle of the CD suddenly changing to almost full on techno beginning with "Free" and continuing through to the last track "Living Inside My Head", which although not totally my bag, does provides a nice, unexpected change of pace and almost gives the listener the strange feeling that they've gotten 2 CD's for the price of one.

This is music to heighten the senses and it's no surprise that live Mask performances feature multimedia images projected behind them. If there was ever music that could benefit even more from visual imagery it's the music on the first half of this disc. For me this would have easily been a 5 star review had they stuck to the ambient sounds and moods created in tracks 1-7. The techno tracks didn't grab me and I found my attention starting to wane. However that being said, the first half of this CD moved me enough to still consider this to be an absolute treasure to listen to and if you ask me if I would recommend it, the answer would be a resounding yes!

Track Listing
1) Dark Murmer
2) Global Incantation
4) Fall So Hard
5) Healing Senses
6) Blue Words
7) Shelter Skelter
8) Free
9) Sliding Universe
10) Lambent Spire
11) Beloved
12) Living Inside My Head
13) Waking The Dream
14) Sound Of Tears Forming
15) Those Ghosts

Added: April 26th 2006
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Official Band Website
Hits: 4167
Language: english

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