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Supernal Endgame: Touch The Sky Volume I

It all began several years ago when John Eargle and Rob Price played for the first time together in the band Ignition. From that day forward their musical relationship was forged. After playing in a couple more bands they got together in 2000 and the idea for Supernal Endgame was formed. Fast forward to 2009 and the band's first release Touch The Sky Volume I has seen the light of day. Joining Eargle and Price is Dan Pomeroy (acoustic, electric and classical guitars, tin whistle) and special guests including Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) and Randy George (Ajalon, Neal Morse band).

Let me start by saying this is a Christian rock album so if you have a problem with religious based lyrics you will have a hard time with this release. Mixing religion and music does not tend to bother me although the heavy religious themes can get overbearing at times but I always try to keep an open mind. It is clear the band is passionate about their beliefs and the music they make. Says John Eargle in the liner notes, "Perhaps an odd concept at first glance for a hook-laden progressive rock album, but considering the vast spiritual heritage of the genre and the experiences of the musicians involved, we chose to take on this theme as an act of worship in itself." Now that we know where the band is coming from lyrically, how about the music?

Hooks, hooks and more hooks. That is what you will get when you listen to Touch The Sky. The band plays melodic progressive rock/pop with an emphasis on neo and symphonic styles. At times their music is reminiscent of 70s bands like Kansas or Genesis but with a greater slant towards AOR. Acoustic and electric guitar are tastefully executed providing plenty of melodic solos and delicate passages. The riffs can get heavier at times but never enter the realm of metal, taking a more subdued approach. There are no less than three guest violinists making contributions adding greatly to the symphonic nature of the music.

The album opener is the finely crafted "Everlasting Fanfare (pt. 1)" where piano and violin combine to create a poignant melody. Lots of keys adds a symphonic touch and the lead vocals of Rob Price are quite nice. He has a relaxing, rich voice and his singing is good throughout. The melodic prog of "Still Believe" is the album's longest offering and features soaring lead guitar and plenty of hooks. A feel good tune with a nod towards Kansas at times. Tasty guitar runs feature prominently in "Disclosure", an instrumental neo prog slice of ear candy. The album's other instrumental is the moving "Gossamer Strings" featuring a beautiful melody of acoustic guitar and violin. Touch The Sky ends strongly with "Everlasting Fanfare (pt. 2)", a song driven by Eargle's soaring lead guitar which to my ears is his best work on the album.

I give the band credit for making music they truly believe in. There is no doubt they will take some hits for making a 'worship' album but it comes from the heart and isn't that what is most important? Especially recommended for listeners of Christian progressive rock.

Track Listing:
1. Everlasting Fanfare (pt. 1) (4:25)
2. Still Believe (10:27)
3. Psalm 51 (3:54)
4. Disclosure (2:57)
5. Fall To My Knees (5:15)
6. Expressions (5:09)
7. Loving Embrace (6:46)
8. Grail (9:05)
9. In Your Hands (6:03)
10. Gossamer Strings (3:24)
11. You Reached Down (6:17)
12. At Play In The Fields (5:46)
13. Perfect Grace (4:11)
14. Everlasting Fanfare (pt 2) (5:01)

Added: December 15th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 4057
Language: english

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