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(69 min, Mellow)
TRACK LIST: 1. Out of Place 5:39 2. Burning Inside Me 5:43 3. Schizophrenic Playground 10:08 4. Always Knew 3:34 Chain of Actions (5 to 11): 5. Intro 1:58 6. I Heard of a Place Called Earth 10:07 7. Ghosts of the Lost Planes 1:54 8. Solitary Star 10:07 9. Instrumental 6:51 10. Moving Engines 4:05 11. Time Has Been Broken 7:05 All tracks: by Sonic Pulsar. Produced by Flores & M Moroni. LINEUP: Hugo Flores - vocals; guitars; keyboards; sampling, programming Carlos Mateus - lead acoustic & rhythm electric guitar Nuno Ferreira - bass guitar
Prolusion. "Out of Place" is the second album by the Portuguese project, SONIC PULSAR, which was formerly a duo of Flores and Mateus. Their debut outing, "Playing the Universe", was released two years ago.
Analysis. The newcomer, Nuno Ferreira, is an excellent, truly professional bass player, well matching with the project's founding members, whose mastery, by the way, has notably matured since their debut effort. "Out of Space" is a major step forward in comparison with "Playing the Universe". The positive changes touched every aspect of Sonic Pulsar's creation - the composition, the arrangement, the technical skill of each of the musicians, their joint performance, the sound quality et al. Gone is the huge resemblance between them and Eloy, and only two songs here: the title track and Moving Engines (both representing modern Space Rock at times bordering on Space Metal) contain some traces of influences of the band's benefactor. There are no really weak tracks on this album, though two of them: the affirmative ballad, Always Knew, and the plain spacey music instrumental, Ghosts of the Lost Planes, sound both rather trivial and traditional, especially in comparison with the others, the aforementioned two included. The CD is too long in general, so their inclusion was unnecessary in my view. All of the other, still unnamed, seven compositions (and they run 55 minutes) are excellent, full of original decisions and innovative ideas. Another short instrumental piece, Intro, is both coherent and eventful enough to be regarded as a full-fledged composition and is an apt intro to the following track, done in the same style, Space Metal with distinct symphonic tendencies, which, in turn, is the album's primary style. It's spread on the five longest tracks on the album: Schizophrenic Playground, I Heard of a Place Called Earth, Solitary Star, Time Has Been Broken and Instrumental, ranging from 7 (the latter two) to 10 minutes (the first three). The first and the last of them are instrumental compositions, distinguishing from the other three by almost exclusively fast and intense maneuvers and a very dense sound (I'd say it's like a wall of sound). There is no lack of large-scaled instrumental arrangements on the songs either, and they are also richer in separately developing soft symphonic passages, provided mainly by piano and string ensemble. The remaining composition: Burning Inside Me is almost free of keyboard patterns. This is Space Metal in pure form, though musically, it's as diverse, complex and mesmerizing as the previously described tracks, i.e. most of the material.
Conclusion. Quite simply, "Out of Place" by Sonic Pulsar is one of the best Space Metal works I've ever heard. Highly recommended. Only don't confuse this style with a heavy Space Rock, whose brightest representatives are Hawkwind. Pulsars, Quasars, unlike poles...:-)
VM: Agst 5, 2005
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