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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

Crayon Phase - Two Hundred Pages - 2019


    

... Do you have any idea what it’s like to take a man’s life? ...

“Two Hundred Pages” is the successor of the debut album “Within My Recollection” of the German outfit Crayon Phase. “Two Hundred Pages” tells the story of a man who wakes up every morning without knowing what happened the day before. He is not aware that he suffers from anterograde amnesia and tries to understand his situation which appears unexplainable to him. He finds himself being abused by a crime syndicate and gets involved in criminal activities over and over again, but with his diary he starts to find out - by going back in time - how he got into this desperate situation and can get out of it again ... The album has been released on the Progressive Promotion Records label.

Raphael Gazal - vocals; Wolfgang Bahr - guitars; Arne Groschel - drums; Frank Wendel - keyboards; Peter Damm - bass guitars, bass pedals

A dark but interesting concept for this 75 minute concept album. Each song tells a different chapter of the story. The music reflects the spirit of each phase in the man’s life. The album introduces Raphael Gazal from Brazil on vocals. The search for a new vocalist took a lot of time but it was worth the wait. Unfortunately Raphael is not available to join as a long term band member. That is sad because he is making quite an impression on this fine album.

You can find the following tracks on this album; “Prologue”, “Two Hundred Pages”, “Turn Of Fortune”, “Procession | Empty Grave”, “Paralyzed”, “The Music Box”, “Retrospective”, “Salvation” and “201”.

The album has an atmospheric and mysterious opening with a short “Prologue”. A perfect introduction to the story and the first highlight of the album, the almost twelve minutes long title track “Two Hundred Pages”. The music could be described as a blend of melodic Progressive Metal and Neo Prog. You will find many rhythm changes and fine soloing on guitars and keyboards in the music of Crayon Phase. With such a great singer as Raphael Gazal, Frank Wendel can concentrate on his keyboards. And there are a lot of keyboards on this album. Besides the nice soloing you can find lovely keyboard orchestrations in this track. What a great opening of this remarkable album. The vocals of Raphael Gazal are first class and I love the broad layers of keyboards on this album. Just listen to the next track “Turn Of Fortune”. The full keyboard parts are alternated with melodic guitar work and catchy vocals refrains. The music is powerful and full of melody. In the last part the band slows down a little bit and Rafael shows another side of his voice. “Procession | Empty Grave” has a slow and somewhat classical keyboard opening which reflects the “Procession”. We can enjoy beautiful and melodic guitar melodies before the tempo is rising again. This strong first block of four tracks is powerful and convincing. There is a natural flow and the songs seems to be one piece of music. “Paralyzed” has some aggressive vocal parts that have a more Progressive Metal vibe but these are combined with melodic (Neo-Prog) synth solo’s. The music is often keyboard drenched ... just love it! Sound samples are used in a delicate way. Musically speaking “Music Box is more Neo-Prog and Art-Rock oriented. “Retrospective” is with more than twelve minutes the longest song of the album. It has a nice slow opening with acoustic guitars and synth flute. After three minutes the tension of the music is slowly building up. This song is developing into another highlight of the album. The vocal parts are very strong but this counts for the whole album. There is enough variety in the music to keep it interesting. Again we can enjoy beautiful keyboard melodies. Before the short and acoustic track “201” is closing the album we can listen to “Salvation”. A song which has a nice opening with melodic guitar and synth parts that are played simultaneously. There are acoustic guitars and classical keyboard orchestrations that accompany the delicate sung vocal parts. As the song progresses, the tempo becomes faster but it stays a blend of melodic Progressive Metal and Neo-Prog. The strong point of the music is that it always stays melodic.

Your reviewer is positive surprised by the music of Crayon Phase. The album is consistent and has no weak points. The music is a blend of melodic Progressive Metal and Neo-Prog. Often keyboard dominated. Singer Raphael Gazal is making quite an impression on this fine album.

I enjoyed listening to this album very much ... check this out for yourself!
Douwe Fledderus - December 2019
rating - Progressive Promotion Records

 

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