Reviewed by Marc on 24 Feb 2014
I'm already familiar with Johannes Luley's work, since I reviewed for ProGGnosis his very good Yes/Jon Anderson inspired album : Tales From Sheepfather's Grove (2013).
Now, just about one year later, he is back but as a member of a band called perfect_beings, and they just put out their first eponymous album, that is very much positionned in the Progressive Rock genre.
Obviously, Mr. Luley holds less responsabilities for this CD than he did on his solo album. He is the band's principal guitar player, does backing vocals and shares a good part of the compositional tasks with keyboard player/lead vocalist Ryan Hurtgen, who has one of the best singing voice I have heard in quite a while, somewhat a mixture of Paul McCartney and Eric Stewart (Wow!!). They are both joined by three other very talented musicians on bass, keyboards and drums. Because of that, one of the main features of this album is the excellent musicianship and also the very dynamic and creative playing. I must also add that the production of this CD is at par with projects having much higher budgets, so listening to perfect_beings is a great audiophonic experience.
There is no obvious reference to be made with other bands. Sure, if one scratches his head quite a lot, at times names like Yes, 10CC, Genesis, Marillion can pop up, but this is never obvious and anyway, it's the case with just about any band past or present. Quality wise, perfect_beings can also be compared to these bands.
One thing is for sure, this album offers 10 very good pieces of music, varied in style (acoustic, spacey, heavy, short, long...) but the band manages to keep a common thread between them that makes perfect_being a real album, not just a collection of songs.
In conclusion, perfect_beings have produced an album that is an early candidate for my "Best Prog" album of 2014. Messieurs Wilson, Hackett, Rothery... better be in great form if they want to top this one with their next CD.
Please check out this band. Use the link on our website to go to their band page and listen to some of their music. You can also go to Progstreaming and listen, for a while, to the whole album. If like me you are a Progressive Rock fan, I'm pretty much sure that you will be blown away by what you hear. I sure was.
perfect_beings gets my highest recommendation indeed.