Living Stilts - Shipwreck

(CD 2014 ,60:27, Azafran Media AP4121)

The tracks:
  1- Introducing The Storm(1:04)
  2- Shipwreck At Dawn(7:52)
  3- A Woman - Intro(1:51)
  4- A Woman - Part 1(1:32)
  5- Facing The Winds Of Doom(4:25)
  6- Verticle Memories - Prelude(4:18)
  7- Verticle Memories(6:09)
  8- A Woman - Part 2(1:32)
  9- A Dicer's Oath(6:09)
10- A Journey Into The Light(3:03)
11- A Woman - Part 3(1:25)
12- The Traveller(8:46)
13- Sirens(3:57)
14- Death And The Merciful Gods(8:25)

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The idea of the musical project Shipwreck comes from the Italian composer Luca Mavilia (keyboards and programming) and Vincent Spasaro, who wrote all the lyrics of this ambitious project. With the musicans Antonia Bella (vocals), Maria Tomasello (vocals), Ben McGuire (recital) and Alfredo Cassato (drums and percussion) they worked for months in their studio on these 14 tracks. In contrast with my other reviews I will just outline the main features of this fantasy story. B esides some instrumental parts, usually connecting to the story, there are a few longer pieces. The quality level is always high. The music is fascinating. Everything fits together. Both singers have a pleasant voice. They don't have to scream and the lyrics can be understood very well. So do not expect the ecstasy and dynamics of the concept albums of Ayreon or other metal hard-rockers. No it's more in the vein of the early music and concept albums of The Moody Blues and Magna Charta. Living Stilts is also influenced by the legendary bands Pink Floyd and Camel and modern British bands like Mostly Autumn and Magenta. Atmosphere is a very important facet of this album. Drama in lyrics and music is more than sufficiently present. After more than an hour listening to Shipwreck, I come to the conclusion that this is a really superb record.

***** Cor Smeets (edited by Robert James Pashman)

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