Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep (2CD)

Brief Nocturnes is the band's 11th album.  It marks their return to Inside Out and quite frankly its the best album they have released in a very long time.  Chalk it up to Ted Leonard handling vocals or Neal Morse contributing writing to a couple of tunes?  Not sure.  I am definitely hearing more vitality and overt progginess in the compositions.  Ryo is going off his nut here - keys are whizzing all around - organ/'tron/the whole schmear - and Alan's guitar runs are matching him step for step.  Maybe I haven't been paying attention as closely as I should have for the past few years.  I do know that I'm enjoying the hell out of this.  Highly recommended.

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    $15.00
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  • "YES - the combined age of the five guys on stage at the Hippodrome was more than 300 years - and some unkind souls would say that feels almost as long as some of their more indulgent numbers.But everybody knew why they were here. We all knew well in advance what Yes were going to play even down to the encore, and the scene was set with the entrance music of Stravinsky’s Firebird theme - just like Yes used 40 years ago. But although there were no surprises in what they played, there were plenty in how they played.Aggression isn’t probably a word that springs to mind when it comes to Yes, but there’s plenty present - along with the shifting rhythms, hardcore virtuoso musicianship, sheer power and soaring over it all the high clear harmonies and sweeping melodies that make Yes YesOriginal singer Jon Anderson is not currently with the band - but his replacement, 43-year-old American Jon Davison, is a more than adequate stand-in, sounding uncannily like Anderson at times but adding his own touches to the songs and a friendly vitality to the band onstage. The other long-standing Yesman not present is grumpy old Rick Wakeman. This time on an array of keyboards we have Geoff Downes, who has been playing with Yes on and off for 30-plus years but whom many may know best and possibly not too fondly for Buggles and Video Killed the Radio Star.The rest of the band - guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White - are as Yes was 40 years ago - and although age may have had its impact on their hairlines or girth or ability to bop around the stage, it has totally failed to diminish their musical skills.Howe can still play lightning fast and pure, delivering faithfully favourite old solos but also bringing new embellishments and invention. And Squire showed just how important a part his melodic driving basslines have always been to the distinctive Yes sound. And when the band are playing as one they can still deliver moments that can take your breath away.It’s something of a rarity to have a rock concert at the Hippodrome - perhaps the fact the concert was being filmed meant they wanted a more theatrical setting. It seemed quite apt that there were occasional elements of pantomime - “Hello Bristol!” “Hello Steve!” - and the rather startling appearance of Chris Squire’s triple-necked bass. There was also a large screen showing films largely with New Age/old hippy themes - lots of fractals and turtles - and during Turn Of The Century what looked disturbingly like a cross between Game Of Thrones and a cereal advert. And the explosion of confetti towards the end during Perpetual Change could have seemed tacky - but it worked beautifully with the soaring optimism of the music and had the audience grinning like the children they were long ago.Highlights were too numerous to mention, but there were a few moist eyes around at the opening of And You And I; Yours Is No Disgrace sounded as good as it ever has; and the transition from the "give peace a chance” section of Your Move to the rocking abandon of All Good People might well have had a younger audience dancing in the aisles. As it was by the time the encore of Roundabout came around everybody was on their feet.It’s more than 40 years since Yes were first a huge name - able to release a triple-disc live album and have a top 10 hit with it. They and their audience may have aged a lot - but Yes still sound as good as ever when they hit those dizzyingly exuberant moments of wonder. And the audience wasn’t entirely grey-haired and wallowing in nostalgia - my 15-year-old daughter wasn’t the only youngster up and whooping at the end." - The Bristol Post
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  • We've had a hell of a time getting our hands on this album but its finally here and more than worthy of your attention.  In fact this is an album that is going to ride high on many 2014 top 10 album lists.This is the first full length release from this six piece band based out of Bergen, Norway.  The core sound of the band is rooted in classic progressive rock.  Think in terms of the aggressive side of Van Der Graaf Generator and King Crimson.  But there is more at play here.  A strong jazz element is at play as well.  I'm reminded of Jaga Jazzist and perhaps a bit of Frank Zappa and Mr. Bungle.  There is no doubt we are going to hear quite a bit from this band in the future.  BUY OR DIE!"An impressive album of refreshingly unique music that crosses many sub genres, including space-psychedelia, symphonic, heavy prog, avant-jazz and experimental/post metal. Wonderful vocals, very tight interplay among all band members with no one member or instrument really standing above any other--though the presence and performance of the saxophone is highly notable. This is complex music played so tightly. And the astonishing 14- minute epic, "God Left Us for A Black Dressed Woman," must be heard to be believed.1. "Oh My Gravity" (9:49) starts as a jazzy stop-and-start piece that picks up in intensity in the second minute before shifting to a melodic ballad in the vein of the heavier side of FROGG CAFÉ. The male vocalist sounds to me like something between RADIOHEAD's THOM YORKE and TODD RUNDGREN. Around the six minute mark the spiraling, swooning music sounds a lot like some of the louder stuff from MOTORPSYCHO's The Death Defying Unicorn. This feel continues into the seventh minute when organ and horns take turns embellishing the staccato music. The bare-bones, bluesy final 45 seconds is bizarre but so cool! A powerful and surprising opener to this unusual album. Very high marks for compositional prowess and instrumental performance. (9/10)2. "Wind Shears" (6:32) opens in a very psychedelia/spacey 1960s way. Then at the one minute mark it settles into a jazz groove with first sax and then jazzy guitar and Hammond organ filling the lanes over the rhythm section. Clavinet is added for a GentleGiant-like bridge before a polyrhythmic KING CRIMSON "Discipline"-like weave appears to support a brief ghost-like vocal. At 3:20 the sound gets much heavier over the same arpeggiated weave, nearly drowning out the still-soloing sax and organ. This is just like TOBY DRIVER (Kayo Dot/Maudlin of the Well)! At 4:05 things get quiet and sparse again, with the music vacillating from soft and delicate to heavy and abrasive. A very melodic kind of psychedelic big band section plays out for the final minute. Again, bizarre but so cool! (9/10)3. "Eschaton Hero" (8:29) opens with some guitar, keys & sax riffs repeated over latin percussion. At 1:00 everything settles down into another quiet section with a delicate vocal in Stian Økland's upper register. Beautiful chorus/bridge at 1:47 gives way to an unpretentious bass solo before settling back into the delicate vocal music. Same awesome bridge at 2:49 leads into a heavy section into jazzy chaos--all performed over the most simple, calm drum play. At 4:52 it gets even heavier as it plods along for a minute in support of a fuzz guitar solo. Finally the drums start to play--to match the frenzy of the rest of the band--then everything stops so the band can yell "Yay!" Then a variation on the previous frenzy picks back up until 7:05 when everything settles back down into the soft groove of the initial vocal section for a dirty sax solo before letting Stian finish the song out in his high voice. Well conceived and performed, just not my favorite. (7/10)4. "Extraction" (6:34) begins with another odd intro of two or three parts before settling into the vocal support section--which begins heavily before falling into another RADIOHEAD-like bluesy section. At 2:20 a neat Hammond section leads back into the heavy full band section that opened the vocals, then, again, drops off for the beautiful support of a multi-voice- supported section. At 3:45 a very smooth, stripped down electric guitar solos, until there is a full return to explosiveness at 4:20. A bouncy "O Yo Como Va"-like Hammond section at 4:40 gives way to a kind of Latin weave before falling back into the heavier rock weave from the first vocal section to end. (8/10)5. "God Left Us for A Black Dressed Woman" (14:12) opens with another KC "Discipline"-like weave that morphs and flows, polymorphs and grooves for two and a half minutes before decaying into a simplified form for a bluesy ROBERT PLANT-like vocal section. This song's amazing vocal performance could also be compared to some of the finest MATTHEW PARMENTER/DISCIPLINE works. Some incredibly powerful sections in this song--especially the multi-voice vocals in the eleventh minute and the following heavy full-band part. A very DISCIPLINE-like soft section then ensues with a slow build to an awesome crescendo and frizzed finish. The song evolves, shifts, twists and turns and surprises throughout. Again there are several parts that remind me of MOTORPSYCHO's Unicorn. Without question this is one of the best prog "epics" of the year! (10/10)Aside from the above references to Motorpsycho, King Crimson, Radiohead, Toby Driver, Matthew Parmenter/Discipline, the overall impression this album leaves me with is similar to that of DIAGONAL's eponymously titled debut album from 2008. SEVEN IMPALE's City of the Sun is a wonderful collection of masterfully composed, executed and recorded songs.A 4.5 star album that I can't see giving anything less than five in that it is a treasure for the ages!" - Prog Archives
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