|14 Jun 2010||Musea Parallele||MP 3100|
Though this mysterious project has just released their sophomore album, here am I taking my reviewer shot at their debut.
The Art of Madness is a concept album about how lunacy can be a creative state of mind, mused by the works of art produced by mentally unstable people.
The Psychedelic Ensemble project is the idea of an apparentely notoriousU.S. musician who (may have) invited a few guest instrumentists in order to create music which stands as a modernization of the vintage prog/psych style. Contemporary yet very reminiscent, sipping inspiration from the always fruitful harvests of Pink Floyd, Genesis, David Sylvian and even (at a certain point in the album) early Tom Waits, among other legends of the Progressive (and other styles) rock.
The music here is tremendously representative on how those different influences can combine into a hybrid and very creative result. The best description that I can come up with is that this is an extremely fluid album. As the music seems to flow like an adventurous river: It has its still water parts, where the calm singing and playing envelops the listener in long contemplative baths. While in other parts the river wakes up travelling in serpentuous rapids through scarps in a surreal landscape. Here is where the music really visits the psychedelia and reserves some strange twists, normally to find its way back to the calm streaming parts.
Most times acoustic and contemplative, other times strange and challenging, the music is kept interesting to fascinating, as the album tends to grow on the listener at each new listening experience.
As the concept itself points at, the music seems to visit the conturbated and unpredictable mind of a creative madman, representing the strangely clear thoughts entwined with the emerging artful turmoils within the artist’s mind.
There is a crescendo of psychedelic parts as the album voyages to its end, as if the level of lunacy and delusion is growing in the mind of the deranged artist. With it, the creative level also uprises. It is also in these details that one notices the true depth and conciseness, as well as the thoughtful development that the man behind this project successfully imposed.
This is an extremely well achieved album, both in concept and musically wise. A sonic piece of art that should be experienced by any Prog-Rock fan, especially those who like some psychedelic experimentation in their sympho based prog.
The name chosen for the project and this particular release is fully assertive!