Synaesthesia - Synaesthesia

(CD, 2013, 52:07, Giant Electric Pea GEPCD1045)

The tracks:
  1- Time, Tension & Intervention(22:08)
         - i) The Big Freeze
         - ii) An Excursion
         - iii) Past
         - iv) Present
         - v) Future
         - vi) End
  2- Sacrifice(5:21)
  3- Noumerion(3:35)
  4- Epiphany(6:48)
  5- Good Riddance(3:30)
  6- Technology Killed The Kids(3:01)
  7- Life's What You Make Of It(7:28)

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Synaesthesia is a new, fledgling prog project that has already caught the attention of some significant heavy hitters. Central to the band is twenty-year old multi-instrumentalist Adam Warne whose mentor is Mike Holmes (IQ), who not only produced the album but invited them to be the support act at IQ's annual Christmas Bash at Cultuurpodium Boerderij in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands. Holmes asked Rob Aubrey to engineer the eponymous album, the majority of which Warne composed and played on, accompanied by guitarists Nikolas Aarland and Ollie Hannifan.

Warne's confidence is such that opener Time, Tension & Intervention is over twenty minutes long and split into six movements. It's ambitious with some striking passages, which shift from acoustic and electric guitar-led episodes to striking synths. Sacrifice rocks along at a decent pace and there are a couple of engrossing instrumentals Noumerion and Technology Killed The Kids, that gives Warne a chance to demonstrate his musical and compositional credentials with some sharp melodies and interesting arrangements. Epiphany, Good Riddance and Life's What You Make Of It carry on the album's overriding theme of falling in love, breaking up with recriminations and then finding love again.

Warne's keyboard and synth work demonstrates a great assurance and presence. However, the album's weakness is his voice, which doesn't possess the power or originality to really 'sell' the songs or to give them some emotional depth. It's a promising debut though, which draws on the musical pallets of influences such as IQ, Porcupine Tree, Frost* and Muse. Another notable point about it is the artwork which was created by Freyja Dean, daughter of the legendary prog illustrator Roger Dean.

*** Alison Henderson (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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