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Parzivals Eye: Fragments

RPWL has been one prolific band. Since 2000 the band has released seven albums and has seen the emergence of Blind Ego, formed by Kalle Wallner, and now RPWL bassist Chris Postl has created Parzival's Eye. His first CD, Fragments, has just been released and should be well received by fans of RPWL. Postl has some great musicians joining him for this project including RPWL band-mate Yogi Lang (keyboards), Magenta's Christina Booth (vocals), Pallas's Allan Reed (vocals), Ian Bairnson (guitars), Hannes Weigend (drums) and Ossi Schaller (guitars). It should come as no surprise the music of Parzival's Eye bears a resemblance to RPWL, as well as other bands such as Pink Floyd and Alan Parsons. The guitar playing of Ian Bairnson may have something to do with the latter reference.

This is excellent progressive/art rock with the occasional meandering into the world of pop that will have those seeking melodic music very happy. There are many orchestral moments and the keyboard work of Yogi Lang is very good. That being said, by no means is the guitar forgotten as there are many beautiful passages and melodic leads.

"Longings End", the album's longest song, starts the CD off the right way as it is surely a highlight with its cool Floyd-like intro, spoken word samples and beautiful vocal harmonies that would give The Beatles a run for their money. With its moody and dreamy sections this song boasts a variety of influences, from Genesis to Floyd to Parsons and probably a few more. The heavily orchestrated "Signs" is pure ear candy and that is meant as a compliment. Alan Reed's vocals are excellent and in a perfect world this one would see plenty of time on FM radio. The vocal harmonies are truly exceptional. The title track begins with soft guitar arpeggios and tender vocals bringing me back to 70s period Floyd before giving way to harder edged guitar chords and a ripping guitar solo by Schaller making this an album highlight. The moody sounding "Meanings", sung by Booth, is a synth dominated mid-tempo number with more fantastic vocal harmonies. The lovely "Skylights" proves to be another winner with its gentle guitar and delicate vocals. Various symphonic elements weave through the song's fabric before ending with the soft striking of piano keys. The rest of the songs are equally as strong with not a dud to be heard.

This is an outstanding first album from Chris Postl. A high class affair that should turn some heads in the world of progressive rock. Simply outstanding!

(originally reviewed for www.progressiveears.com)


Track Listing:
1. Longings End (13:24)
2. Signs (4:32)
3. Fragments (6:06)
4. Face My Fear (4:49)
5. Meanings (3:42)
6. Skylights (7:33)
7. Disguise (6:24)
8. Chicago (6:01)
9. Where Have Your Flowers Gone (4:41)
10. Through Your Mind (4:24)
11. Wide World (6:34)
Bonus Track
12. Another Day (9:59)

Added: September 21st 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 4064
Language: english

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Parzivals Eye: Fragments
Posted by Alex Torres, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-09-21 12:01:51
My Score:

Parzivals Eye is the band name for RPWL bassist Chris Postl's solo project. He teams up with vocalists Christina Booth (Magenta) and Alan Reed (Pallas), as well as guitarist Ian Bairnson (Alan Parsons Project). The music is close enough to that of RPWL for fans of the band to enjoy the album to some degree: exactly how much depends on whether they angle more towards the progressive or the commercial, AOR, side of music.

On balance, I would say that Fragments leans more towards AOR than progressive. It's a long album, coming in at over an hour even without the bonus track (a cover of RPWL's "Another Day"); but it seems to me to be divided into two halves. The first half, all the way through to and including "Skylights", is "progressive", with the compositional structure being typically more complex. From "Disguise" onwards and noting that "Chicago" is actually a cover version (and, it so happens, courtesy of Christina's beautiful vocal, a rather stunning one!) of a Graham Nash song - I noted a tendency for simpler structures and the feel on this latter half was of well-constructed AOR.

Interestingly, I prefer the latter, "tending-to-AOR" half of the album; the simplicity seeming to free up the composition of melody and catchy rhythm, so that Postl delivers a sequence of very impressive songs, culminating in "Wide World", which is totally gorgeous.

The first, more progressive, half of the album is marked by some stunningly beautiful passages and instrumentation use for instance, picking out a couple of moments from quite a few highlights, the melodic symphonic passages on "Longings End" and the mellotron on "Fragments" but the flow of this musical joy is interrupted by changes of tempo and mood that don't really add value musically; almost as if Postl has felt the need to do something different because this is "progressive"; it's prog-rock "by numbers". It is when he is freed of those constraints that the second half of the album opens up like a flower.

So, there are some fine moments in the opening section without the "album-feel" ever developing, but from "Disguise" onwards there is a consistency of compositional approach that, although not as progressive, is altogether more pleasing.

Overall, fans of RPWL's music will find plenty here to enjoy whilst they wait for another album from their heroes.




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