Supernal Endgame is an American three piece from Texas consisting of multi-instrumentalist John Eargle on electric, acoustic and synthesized guitar, keyboards, bass, percussion, second lead and backing vocals. Rob Price is the first lead singer playing the drums as well. Dan Pomery also plays the acoustic, electric and classical guitars. With the help of Roine Stoilt (Flower Kings, Transatlantic) and Randy George (Neil Morse, Ajalon) they made their debut album Touch The Sky Volume I † in the best tradition of the typical Christian progressive rock. This means worshipping the Lord in the music, but especially in the lyrics.†
Everlasting Fanfare part 1, the instrumental opener is one of the best pieces of the album, I think. After a slow start with synths and a cheerful and optimistic guitar solo in the middle-section, this piece ends very bombastic. Still Believe, the first epic piece that lasts for over ten minutes, begins with a long and powerful intro; American prog icons like Kansas and Styx are never far away. You can enjoy several breaks, tempi changes and many guitar and synth solos, but also strong harmony vocals and a violin solo by Randy Lyle. The alternately jazzy and heavy rock guitar licks at the end are a bit to vigorous for me. Next song, Psalm 51 is an up-tempo musical praise with close harmony vocals, acoustic guitars, a violin, a tin whistle and dominant lyrics. Disclosure is a bit difficult to describe; itís a short and nice instrumental track resembling the music of Peter Gee (Pendragon) a bit. Optimistic Moods and Fall To My Knees are just average AOR-songs in FM-style and I must say, with too much adoration for the Almighty in the lyrics. Expressions has the same mediocrity, but otherwise the ballad Loving Embrace is a good and mellow song with acoustic guitar, violin and a passionate electric guitar solo in the end. Itís the bandís answer to the famous Kansas- song Dust In The Wind, you could say. Grail, another 9-minute epic piece starts promising, but unfortunately the lyrics are rather irritating. So I tried to listen only to the music this time. Thereís still enough to enjoy like a violin solo, close harmony singing and several solos on guitar and synths. A fast synth solo and a bluesy guitar solo are the beginning of the up-tempo piece In Your Hands with many influences of Kansas and Styx, while Gossamer Strings is a well-performed acoustic song. You Reached Down is just an average ballad with a poppy tune in the middle-section, the archetype of an optimistic American song. At Play In The Fields starts as a track from Scottish rock band Big Country, but is also just average, while Perfect Grace is even dull. The final piece Everlasting Fanfare part 2 contains a symphonic and bombastic ending with a spacey guitar and synths sounding like launching a space shuttle into the sky.
Listening to Touch The Sky Volume I of Supernal Endgame is not always easy. Itís even quite tough and tedious especially if you listen to all the prayers and the band memberís admiration for God, unless youíre a congenial spirit. Perhaps, it would have been better if they had selected only 45 minutes of music. Soon, part 2 will be released. I pray for them that they make the right choices this time...
†**+ Cor Smeets
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