Drifting Sun - Planet Junkie

1996 saw the birth of a band called Drifting Sun, when they released "Thundering". Including this new album they have released 6 albums sofar. Throughout the years we at TVRDO played several tracks from their previous albums, so it was about time we put the band even more in the spotlight by voting their new release as Album of the Month. The band is Pat Sanders(keys), Mathieu Spaeter(guitars), Manu Michael(bass) and Will Jones(drums). For this album they had some help from a trio of fine vocalists by the likes of Marc Atkinson (Riversea/Moon Halo), Colin Mold (Karnataka) and Joshua Corum (Head With Wings) after losing original lead vocalist Peter Falconer last year to health complications. On the album also guest performances from Ben Bell (Gandalf's Fist/Patchwork Cacophony/Broken Parachute), Eric Bouillette (The Room/Nine Skies), Conrad Cheng and Sarah Skinner (Red Dirt Skinners). Karen Koski has done the amazing album cover.

Again Drifting Sun treats us on this album with high class Neo-Prog. The guest vocalists are given three consecutive tracks whilts Pat doing his vocal play in between.

First up is Marc Atkinson's trio of songs (man, I love his moody, soft and warm voice, listen to any album of Riversea, and you know what I mean). "Within Your Bones", is probably the most, I dare say the word, "commercial", out of the three. For that matter I raised the song to our friends at Glassrock.nl radio as a rising classic for the upcoming month. A very powerful song, a great opener for what is to come. Great lyrics: "Don't give up on us and the future we're dreaming of". The sax by Sarah gives it a Supertramp feeling, but that thought is soon gone when the soaring guitars by Matthieu and the keys by Pat come in, making it an excellent finish to the song and you have to resist not playing it again. Don't hold your breath, the titel song of the album is followed, layered with Marc's astounding vocals and again those guitars. Man that Matthieu sure knows how to grab you attention. Then a moment of reminiscence, "Missing", taking a step back from all that fire in the first two songs. Even further reminising is "Life" a brief instrumental on piano by Pat in memory of his father.

Then a trio of Colin Mold's vocals starting with Night-Time Sorrow. I've read somewhere his voice is a mix between Peter Gabriel and Justin Hayward, I think I must agree. Another "slow down the Mood" song, clocking just over three minutes. A beautiful piece of composing. Stay with Me follows. We're entered the more soft melodic part of the album. It seemed both Pat and Colin seemed to have coalesce as one in creating these pieces, kindred spirits in so many ways, definitely far from being rock stars but most definately dedicated musicians. I love that beautiful acoustic guitar playing in the song. "To Tame a Star" is in my opinion one of the lesser tracks on the album. Haunting but a bit predictable. "I will be King" follows, an instrumental with Ben Bell in the spotlights with his Keith Emerson like organ playing, and exiting solos from the rest of the band. Certainly a song where you cannot sit still.

Certainly on the trio of songs Joshua Corum is featured the mood of the album goes a bit mellow. Mind, nothing wrong with that, it's providing accessible music also for the-non-prog fan. Nothing wrong with that! The more people we can gain into prog the better it is!  Joshua has a higher-pitched voice and a slightly American tone. Certainly "Born of a Dream" fits that description, whilst "Diogenes" is a more complex song and so far I didn't get into it. Ask me again in a couple of months. However the final track of the album is a beauty "Everlasting Creed". The high pitch voice of Joshua and sometimes distorted makes it haunting, and I think that was excactly the idea. Listen to the lyrics and put yourself in your current position at work. "Run Me over", "Fuck me over", "Guilt is written all over your Face". Certainly a song where the lyrics definitely appeals to me, since it pin pointed my thoughts on the way these days the appreciation of the work force in any company is coming about. IT's NEVER ENOUGH!

   

A very enjoyable album, which addresses the curent situation on our planet to a teeth. Listen to the lyrics and definitely to the display of craftmanship by the musicians.

Rating 5 out of 5

Review © 2019 Frans Verweij