Certain labels seem to only release quality. Progress Records is one such case. My experience of reviewing CDs from this independent Swedish label has always been a positive one. I am, therefore, pleased to report that Adventure's latest album, 'Beacon of Light', the Norwegian band's sophomore effort, is no exception. And the old adage of "never judge a book by its cover" is quite pertinent here. Although the artwork is well designed, with a multi-cultural gathering of people flocking towards an illuminated Fender Strat, it is somewhat cheesy. Fortunately, cheese is not applicable to the music. Instead, the thirteen tracks on offer (or seven if counting song titles only) are an accomplished exercise in blending progressive, classic rock, and folk influences with symphonic underpinnings and sonically engaging results. Melodically rich in virtually every bar of music (and generally melodically original), 'Beacon of Light' is a masterful work of prog-fuelled musical fluency that flows smoothly from start to finish, expertly weaving up-, mid-, and down-tempo passages to good effect. A lengthy album, its playing time of 70+ minutes seems to pass by in no time at all, a sure sign of well composed/performed music, as one can easily become absorbed by its melodiously captivating charms. Amongst many fine performances from all the musicians involved, I feel special mention must go to Terje Flessen for his guitar work on 'Beacon of Light'. The man is axiomatically a master of his instrument from what I hear in the music, although knows how to show restraint in his playing as and when the music requires to let the melodies breathe within the context of each song, rather than opt for fretboard widdling at break-neck speeds (of which he is undoubtedly also capable). Overall, a mightily impressive second album from an incredibly talented band.
BEACON OF LIGHT
Review by Mark Holmes
5th June 2009
1-3) Something To Believe In Parts 1-3
4) The Swan
5-6) A Crack in the Ice? Parts 1-2
7) Emilie's Piece
8) Fragile Frame
9) Joybringer (For Gorm)
10-13) Beacon of Light Parts 1-4
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Melodically rich in virtually every bar of music...'Beacon of Light' is a masterful work of prog-fuelled musical fluency..."