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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Syrinx Call (Featuring Isgaard) - The Moon On A Stick - 2018


    
“... developing towards the next level. ...”
Last year I introduced the progVisions fans to the Syrinx Call project of flutist Volker Kuinke. Volker is together with composer/producer Jens Lueck the driving force behind the music of Syrinx Call. Also on the cover of the successor of the “Wind in the Woods” album (2015) you can find the subtitle Featuring Isgaard. As you know Isgaard is the project of Jens Lueck’s spouse ... Isgaard ... the woman with the Angelic voice. The album is entitled “The Moon On A Stick” and this independent release is licensed to the Afraid of Sunlight Records label. The new album that comes in a beautiful digipak with artwork of Michael Narten is produced by Jens Lueck.
Volker Kuinke - voice (12), alto- tenor- soprano- bass and great bass recorders; Jens Lueck - Moog, piano, keyboards, programming, drums, percussion, backing vocals, lead vocals (9,10,12); Doris Packbiers - vocals (1,2,6,8), voice (12), backing vocals (3,4); Juergen Osuchowski - 6 and 12 string acoustic and western guitar, caipira (1), classical guitar (4); Joachim Schlueter - slide guitar solo (1); Jan Petersen - electric guitar (2,5,10,12); Isgaard - lead vocals (3,9,10), backing vocals (4); Katja Flintsch - violin and viola (3,4,6,8,11); Annika Stolze - violoncello (3,5,6,8,11); Monika Lewis - voice (12); Iain Lewis - voice (12)
You can find the following twelve tracks on this fine album; “Sunday Mood”, “The Moon On A Stick”, “In A Daze”, “Blue Hour”, “Traces In My Mind”, “Stillborn”, “Raqs Sharqi”, “Quantum Theory And Philosophy”, “Breath In”, “Wait For The Light Of The Day”, “Scars” and “The Man In The Spotlight”.

Like it’s predecessor, “The Moon On A Stick is an album full of beautiful melodies. The opener “Sunday Mood” breaths the relaxed atmosphere of a Sunday morning. On top of this Volker is playing wonderful alto and soprano recorder melodies. The atmosphere of the album reminds me sometimes of the lovely New Age releases on the Narada Records label. The opener is followed by the beautiful title track “The Moon On A Stick” which is more progressive art rock oriented. Besides the recorder melodies and the beautiful voice of singer Doris Packbiers you can find also nice synth solo’s and fine guitar work by ex Sylvan guitarist Jan Petersen. Another highlight is the next track “In A Daze”. Doris is now responsible for the backing vocals while Isgaard with her Angelic voice is doing the lead vocals. It is a beautiful track with real classical strings (violin, viola and violoncello) and wonderful recorder melodies. “Blue Hour” has a mixture of classical and medieval atmospheres. The classical aspect is now build by classical guitar and the violin. The next piece is very interesting for the progressive rock lovers. As I told you before Volker Kuinke was also present as a guest musician on the last album of the German Symphonic Rock formation Eloy. This track “Traces In My Mind” is a homage to Eloy. The spirit of the music of Eloy is wonderful captured by the synth (Moog) melodies of Jens Lueck and the electric guitar parts of Jan Petersen. In “Stillborn” Doris Packbiers is again the lead vocalist. A delicate song with beautiful but sad vocal melodies and a fine layer of classical strings by Katja Flintsch (violin, viola) and Annika Stolze (violoncello). “Raqs Sharqi” is a song with uplifting melodies and an atmosphere of the Arabic world. Again I have to think about the music of a musician who became famous by his releases on the American Narada Records label, David Arkenstone. The next track “Quantum Theory And Philosophy” is a song of pure bliss. It has a beautiful classical orchestration and the vocal and recorder melodies are remarkable. One of the highlights of this album. The next two tracks “Breath In” and “Wait For The Light Of Day” are sung by Jens Lueck and his spouse Isgaard. This is a winning combination together with the beautiful recorder melodies of Volker Kuinke. These two songs could not miss out on an Isgaard album. The vocal duet of the couple on “Wait For The Light Of Day” is very nice. It has even some commercial potential. After the short but very beautiful song “Scars” the album ends with a song called “The Man In The Spotlight”. With a duration of more than eight minutes it is also the longest track of the album. This is also one of the songs with a more Art Rock / Progressive Rock atmosphere and therefore justifies a review on progVisions. Because of the beautiful vocal harmonies I had to think of the Belgian band Fish On Friday which is heavily influenced by the work of the Alan Parsons Project.
With the new album “The Moon On A Stick” the Syrinx Call project is developing towards the next level. It is a homogeneous, consistent and well produced album full of beautiful recorder melodies and strong vocal harmonies. On this album you can find some tracks that are moving more into the Art Rock / Progressive Rock idiom (“The Moon On A Stick”, “Traces In My Mind”, “The Man In The Spotlight”). But in overall the music has influences of classical, medieval and new age music. It stays on the mellow side of the musical spectrum. Personally I think that the lovers of a record label like Narada could also appreciate this album. The strongest point of this album are the beautiful and often blissful melodies. Just have a listen ... and you know what I mean.
Douwe Fledderus - July 2018
rating - Licensed to Afraid of Sunlight Records

 

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