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Consortium Project - 'Criminals And Kings' / 'Continuum In Extremis' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/54/ba/74/2352_consortiumprojectcriminalsandkings_1339869550.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 16, 2012    
 
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Re-issues of two Consortium Project albums.

Back in 1999 singer Ian Parry set about writing and recording the first album of what later would become the Sci-Fi/alien invasion concept saga The Consortium Project. Friends from many of the best progressive metal bands in the world were drafted in to help play the music and when you can call on musicians from the likes of Vanden Plas, Kamelot, Rhapsody, Elegy etc you know you’re onto a winning start, alhough I’m not sure even then if Parry knew that the story (written by himself) would go on to encompass five albums and twelve years, with the last and concluding part (‘Species’) only being released last year. If the story arc was entirely planned, then this five album odyssey has obviously been a massive labour of love for Parry and with the quality of songs, production and musicianship never falling below par, it must also have been one hell of a lot of hard work to pull off.

Those nice people at Lion Music have therefore decided to re-release the Consortium Project albums in a re-mastered and bonus track heavy form, and if you missed out on these superb slices of prog metal first time around, then you should raid the bank for the pennies to put this oversight to rights! It would be hard to tell you about every track on the first two albums so I’ll just pick out a few of my favourites from each. Firstly from the debut album I’d look out for the epic ‘A Miracle Is All We Need’, ‘The Snake’ and ‘Chain Of Fear’: three tracks that show off the best things about the music of the Consortium Project - melody, powerful performances and big catchy hooks.

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These three tracks should make you a fan of the band’s music (if you’re not already). From the second album, I’d go for ‘Asylum Seekers’, ‘The Catalyst’, the wonderful keyboard and guitar heaven called ‘Mirror Image’ and lastly the storming ‘Poetic Justice‘. Each is a track that any prog metal fan worth their salt should adore. Both albums sound wonderful, the re-mastering bringing the best out of the band’s sound, and both CD’s come with unreleased bonus demo tracks of songs that would be included on the albums in question.

For me ‘The Consortium Project’ is probably Parry’s greatest legacy fro his recording career, his pièce de resistance if you will. His dedication to the project cannot be praised highly enough, and with albums three and four still to come in this re-issue series, we are all still in for a very big treat.

Ian Johnson

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