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Seismic Cry - 2011 - "Fleeting"

(63:06, ‘Seismic Cry’)



1.  Once upon a Dream 6:35
2.  More of You 6:25
3.  Holiday 3:48
4.  Far from Me 4:26
5.  Polaris 6:11
6.  Floating 6:35
7.  So Short Goodbyes 3:28
8.  Carnival 6:46
9.  Atonement 5:55
10. Like Cleopatra 2:15
11. Happy Endings 10:41


Philippe Gaudet – vocals; keyboards; guitars
Anne-Sophie Mongeau – saxophone, flute
Mathieu Catafard – percussion, v-drums
Mathieu Poirier – v-drums
Tony Sharkey – vocals

Prolusion. SEISMIC CRY is a brainchild of Canadian musician Philippe Gaudet and is a project rather than a real band. “Fleeting” is its third album to date, following “Reverence” from 2006 (which I haven’t heard) and “The Hopeless Flair” from 2004.

Analysis. By your leave, I’ll begin with a quote from my review of the band’s first release: “Most contents of the second half of Seismic Cry's debut CD show that the outfit is capable of pushing the boundaries of ambient and new age and creating real progressive music. Hopefully, they will continue to evolve”. Unfortunately they didn’t, at least judging by this output, on which they play alternative rock, new age and ambient music (mainly with Philippe’s guitar and synthesizer in dominant roles), at times mixing the styles on the same piece. The album is made up eleven tracks, almost all of which are in pace slow-to-moderately slow. Only its ‘frontier’ items, Once upon a Dream and Happy Endings, are influenced by a real progressive rock band, namely Pink Floyd, but while the last of them reveals some breaks for instrumental sections and is at least prog-tinged, another is an expressionless bi-thematic tune, only reproducing the aura of the English band. The four tracks that follow the disc opener, More of You, Holiday, Far from Me and Polaris, all merely alternate sections with harder and softer arrangements (quite a few of which are just louder- and quieter-sounding ones, though) without any shifts in pace, so everything there seems to cry out for more coloring, etc. Referring for the most part to so-called Alternative, these four have more than a little in common between themselves, so it was a flaw to place them one after another. Another flaw, this time concerning the entire album, is the use of programmed drums, which makes this, initially very simple as well as highly repetitive, music sound more monotonous. (OK, according to the CD booklet, two of the band members play v-drums, of which I have no idea, though anyhow, at least in this case, those sound robotic, not unlike a drum machine.) One of the following pieces, Carnival, is on all levels similar to the previously described ones, save the fact that it never really rocks. I can’t use any points of comparison regarding these five, which is simply because the style they are done in is beyond my interests. The new-age-like pieces, So Short Goodbyes and Like Cleopatra are each built around the acoustic guitar passages, which are subsequently joined by flute and synthesizer respectively. Floating and Atonement both now appear to be sympho-ambient, now almost jazz-ambient in nature – in the latter case thanks to the bright saxophone solo by Anne-Sophie Mongeau. Perhaps the most distinctive soloing voice on the album, she plays not on all of its tracks unfortunately, as is the case of the other musicians listed in the line-up above (as well as in the CD booklet, of course), except for the project’s helmsman, Philippe Gaudet. I see I didn’t say anything about vocals, while no less than two thirds of the album’s tracks are songs. Well, the singing is overall fairly good, but is somewhat-to-strongly lacking in originality. In this respect, I was most often reminded of Radiohead, The Beatles (when hearing most of harmony vocals) and Pink Floyd – it’s clear when, I hope.

Conclusion. Most contents of “Fleeting” don’t belong to progressive rock music. Occasionally the musicians try to experiment with a bit more complexity and a bit more contrasting atmosphere (most notably on the last track here, Happy Endings), but don’t dare to push through. I’m sure I will not want to listen to the album again.

VM=Vitaly Menshikov: June 16, 2012
The Rating Room

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