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Band Of Rain: Arts And Allurements

Funny - the title track is one of the shortest pieces on the record, at just three-and-a-bit minutes. It starts as a hard instrumental rocker, then develops into a vocal-driven piece that would have been at home on the stage of Woodstock '69. More important - that song is representative of the rest of the music on the CD, and it heralds the direction that Chris Gill has chosen to take his music.

Band Of Rain used to be a spacey, ethereal outfit, somewhat typical of one-man projects. Pleasing music but somewhat unsubstantial. The new record is different: Gutsy, fronted by a powerful female vocalist, and bordering on a goth-rock sound. Think Pink Floyd meets Heart.

New singer Sharon Leslie has stamped her authority on Arts And Allurements. Remember the new vocalist for Flamborough Head, Margriet Boonsma? The singing is similar to her timbre - not much range, it even gets a bit gruff in places, but it's a wonderfully strong low-register contralto, melodic, and played through just enough reverb to make it rich and appealing. Think modern-era Porcupine Tree fronted by Lana Lane singing in her lower ranges.

But is isn't all about the vocals. Chris Gill has injected a heavy dose of testosterone into this album. Listen to "Monument", the 9-1/2 minute mini-epic. It has a constantly shifting structure, heavy in parts, restless, and led by those appealing vocals and strong but lazy guitar work played over an insistent, dynamic rhythm. Even the fast sections of the long guitar solo toward the end somehow seem languid.

There's a sort of Floydian vibe to this music. It doesn't sound like Pink Floyd, but it fits into that general mold: Clean instrumentation that runs from hard-rocking to lazy and ambient, nicely played, some electronica - but not too much, not enormously complex but with song structures that constantly shift and develop over the length of each track. Progressive tendencies, bordering on approachable.

Band Of Rain has progressed beyond a man with a studio and an idea to a band with a mission and the balls to achieve it. The new direction is pleasing, and it will be rewarding to watch where they go from here - 'cuz you can be sure the next record won't be anything like this one. This is nod-your-head, tune-in, zone-out stuff that insists on multiple replays.


Track Listing:
1. Their Mistake
2. The Devil's Debts
3. Stars Beneath The Sea
4. Vampire
5. Drusilla
6. Arts & Allurements
7. The Innocence
8. Pan
9. Monument
10.The Deep

Added: May 31st 2007
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: The Artist's Website
Hits: 2786
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Band Of Rain: Arts And Allurements
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-01 15:51:06
My Score:

I have listened to some of the tracks on the album from Band Of Rains myspace page and I am excited by it, you don't hear those musical ideas very often it's hard to capture atmopheres like this band do, thay will take you on a journey you haven't been on before I look forward to hearing the rest of the album.

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