Lunatic Soul - Impressions review
|Release date:||October 2011|
01. Impression I
02. Impression II
03. Impression III
04. Impression IV
05. Impression V
06. Impression VI
07. Impression VII
08. Impression VIII
09. Gravestone Hill [remix]
10. Summerland [remix]
Some musicians just seem to have that innate ability to create spellbinding atmosphere around their work. Mariusz Duda, the front man for the progressive act Riverside, is one such individual. Impressions is the third release under his solo moniker Lunatic Soul and is a thoroughly gripping experimentation and display of this multi-talented musician.
The vocal work is interesting in that there are no lyrics. Duda's voice seemingly acts as more of an instrument which is mixed throughout a number of tracks, whether through a subtle wordless crooning, "Impression I", "IV" and "VI", which are similar to what you might find him doing with Riverside or the repetition of recorded gasps on "Impression I". This latter aspect is really quite clever as his vocals are used to imitate the sounds of the various types of percussion, acoustic picking and gentle electronic beats.
There are plenty of little intricacies littered throughout this album aimed to try and evoke a certain response from the listener. After all the album isn't called Impressions for nothing. Things like the chimes used at the beginning of "Impression III" somehow conjure up memories of childhood playthings, and the turning of pages leading out of "Impression IV" takes me back to the many hours spent over high school textbooks, flicking through the pages in vain hope that their knowledge would leap forth into my mind. This is a very personal reflection of the album, but that is precisely what this album attempts to do at times: leave an impression by connecting with your memories and experiences.
In terms of inspiration, it all sounds generally similar to what you might find on those quieter moments of Riverside releases. One obvious influence is the Pink Floyd-laden acoustic opening to "Impression VI". Otherwise there isn't much else it brings to mind, perhaps a slight inclination towards what Porcupine Tree are known for in their more solemn moments.
While each of the eight Impressions on this album have their own place, the latter two aren't as effective as the rest, "Impression VIII" in particular is a nice enough piano driven track but isn't as noticeable as those of the first half of the album.
For the most part, though, Impressions is just a soothing atmospheric ride driven by the percussion, piano pieces and acoustic guitar-work. If you're after some easy listening which rewards you with consistent plays then Impressions is yours to be had.
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