After two demo tapes and appearances supporting Kansas and Fish, the Swiss foursome have produced their debut album comprising six tracks with two of those over 10 minutes long. The songs are comments on life's emotional ups and downs and are marked by some fine guitar and classic keyboard compositions, the synth work being particularly attractive. Camel, circa Moonmadness, are brought to mind in the opening piece, "Dawn". Organ and synth with an understated guitar are used to create a bright and eloquent awakening. "Rain on the Moon", by contrast, starts atmospherically with light touches on the cymbals embellishing the bleak organic synth sounds. A rise in tempo supports the vocal parts which are delivered in fairly heavily accented English, sounding a little like the vocalist from Italy's The Watch or fellow countrymen No Name. A moving, languid guitar solo is another of the highlights of the track which leads to a strong climax.
The lengthy song, "The Brook" is up next commencing with metallic squeaks and grinding sound effects. A piano and acoustic guitar duet enters after a moment's silence. A narrative spoken over mellotron and long sustained guitar chords tells the story of someone who falls in the water of a brook and discovers some things about himself. The title track is a soulful lament, quite beautifully delivered with a nice crescendo of organ and guitar in the outro. "The Story of Nobody" is the album's epic, clocking in at almost 18 minutes and is a very well developed composition. Rene Degoumois' vocals are at their best on this track, having to extend his range from raw rock to the soaring top end. Nicolas Gerber's mellotron-heavy layers support the slower tempos amongst the three or four key themes which are utilised. The band's ability to create imagery and atmosphere and use space as successfully as complexity is ably demonstrated in this extended piece.
The soothing "Dusk", a reflective vocal backed by a simple four note piano figure, closes this quality neo-progressive release which should appeal to fans of bands such as Camel and Anyone's Daughter – given its source, I'm a little surprised they haven't been snapped up by Musea.
2. Rain on the Moon
3. The Brook
5. The story of nobody