The Inner Road is a British duo that arose from the ashes of the progressive rock formation Coalition. When their lead singer decided to quit, Steve Gresswell (keyboards, drums, bass guitar) and Phil Braithwaite (guitars) decided to record an album on their own. They had a more symphonic style of instrumental prog in mind that didn't fit the Coalition-tracks they had been writing. After many months of hard, but extremely enjoyable labour they came up with seventy minutes of music that can be heard on Visions.
Sometimes working without a lead singer has an impact on the music. The main problem is that you're not focussed all the time, but that's not the case with the music on Visions. Both musicians have the talent to create fantastic musical parts on their instruments that never get bored. The keyboard samples of female voices, saxophones and flutes give you the idea that more musicians are involved, but as far as I know this isn't the case. Only the drum parts sound somewhat casual from time to time. It's obvious that they're not played by a musician of flesh and blood, but by a computer or drum machine. I would like to advice The Inner Road to use a real drummer next time.
It's difficult to mention any favourite tracks because the quality level of all pieces is very high. Therefore I will let it alone to the listeners to decide which tracks they consider as their favourites. The style of music on Visions can be described best as neo-progressive rock. So, people who enjoy music recorded by bands as Pallas, IQ and Pendragon should check out this album, but you have to bear in mind that singers like Peter Nicholls or Nick Barrett are absent. After listening to the album several times I can only compliment these musicians for creating fine instrumental music. Well done and I'm looking forward to their next musical effort.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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