Collective Souls Together
Florian Zepf, guitarist and the conductor of The Progressive Souls Collective, is a force of nature. He was able to convince his international prog music colleagues to join an ambitious project of great quality. Aquiles Priester (ex-Angra & Tony MacAlpine, drums), Conner Green (Haken, bass), Kevin Moore (ex-Dream Theater, programming) and Luis Conte (Phil Collins, percussion) to work together on the album.
As a very special guest, keyboard maestro Derek Sherinian (Sons of Apollo) recorded all keyboard parts on the entire album. Vladimir Lalic of Organized Chaos took on the lead vocals.
Metalville are releasing the record on 11th September and I was fortunate enough to hear an advance copy.
As a result of these collaborations, Sonic Birth is a special album for those who like their metal with some more highbrow touches.
The music is dense, but memorable. It reminds me of my favourite prog metal band, Shumaun in the emotional resonance it has. “A Formula for Happiness” is superb and harks back to early Queen. The singing of Lalic is freakishly brilliant. He has a huge range and can sing every type of music, I would guess. He really makes this album special and takes the songs to a new level. I am loving every note of the release because of his vocal prowess.
The guitar work is very tasty too. Zepf riffs in relentless rhythm and churns out tasteful titbits of tinnitus-inducing textures. Complementing this supremacy of sound is the keyboards of Sherinian. He shines, he shoots, he scores! It has been a while since I have heard such a wonderful orchestra of aural extraordinariness.
Highlights of the record include the “Under Pressure” echo of “You and Me Alone“. This has a strong Celtic feel with its playful guitar work. Clannad on steroids?
“Hurt” is the hardest song on the collection. Likewise, the grinding of “Destiny Inc” is superb.
Who said that music no longer has the power of surprise? This album was not on my radar, but I was intrigued by what it would sound like. I listened and enjoyed – you should too!
Also, find more of my CGCM reviews here: Coxy