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As you might have noticed we are called Metal-Discovery. I would be very hard pressed, however, to recommend this next album to your average metal fan, but if your taste is more diverse and you sometimes appreciate the very lightest side of ‘Prog Rock’ or even ‘Ambient’ music then the debut release from Midwich Assembly might very well take you on a fantastic voyage of discovery! Only formed in 2010 by founder David Atherton, Midwich Assembly had played their first gig within three weeks! David is joined by members Chris Atherton, Dave Parkinson, Paul Bibby (also the producer of the album) and Tim Hans Smith. They have very rapidly found a pretty unique and special sound to their music.

One of the first things I noticed was the band name. To ‘discover’ that it was influenced by John Wyndham (one of my favourite authors) and his novel ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ intrigued me, as did the album artwork, which is mysteriously haunting (I feel something is lurking ‘out of shot’ even though the image itself is not unusual). Musically, that theme of slight ‘unease’ continues. It is very eclectic and evokes a lonely sadness in me but the melodies emanating from the speakers are ultimately beautiful to behold.

I have to review this album based on my broad ‘Rock’ upbringing so the influences I notice will almost certainly be different to yours; however, the bands that spring to mind are Barclay James Harvest, Emerson Lake & Powell (not Palmer), Jethro Tull (Crest of a Knave era) and later Marillion. There are also ‘Neo Prog’, ‘Folk’ and ‘Classical’ influences and the press release notes that others have said Depeche Mode amongst others. I couldn’t comment on that but passages of ‘Electronica’ are contained within some songs. There are also several short spoken word passages and field recordings which add immensely to the overall feeling of the album. I cannot pick out individual tracks because this works so wonderfully as a ‘complete’; in fact, much of the music would work extremely well as a film score.

Apparently, live, the band use what could be described as ‘Steam-Punk’ visuals which, in my opinion, sit very well with what I’m hearing on the CD. Music creates such different emotions in us all and that is one of its magical qualities. This will almost certainly not appeal to everyone but I will sum up my feelings by quoting a line from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, which also happens to be the first line of the track ‘Astronomer Royal’...”It’s Full Of Stars”! Midwich Assembly are definitely a band full of stars and if ‘Bewilderland’ is anything to go by I am hungrily anticipating what diverse menu they can serve up in the future, whenever and indeed wherever that might be.
Dead Fly Recordings
Review by Rick Tilley
17th Sept 2012
1) The Morning Sounds Under Hushed Skies
2) Catch the Lights
3) Astronomer Royal
4) Bewilderland
5) Stranger Than
6) And Then the Summer
7) No Comedy
8) My Friend, The Rain
9) Shadowtown
10) Another Glorious Day
11) Everything Has To Happen
"It is very eclectic and evokes a lonely sadness in me but the melodies emanating from the speakers are ultimately beautiful to behold."