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Perfect Beings - 'Perfect Beings II' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/3c/32/c4/Perfect-Beings-Perfect-Beings-II-77-1452629784.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 12, 2016    
 
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An album to live with for a while and, yes, if you put genre-bending claims to one side, one to savour.

Perfect Beings was initially the brainchild of Moth Vellum founder Johannes Luley, who, in 2012, hooked up with singer Ryan Hurtgen and set about piecing together a band who could drag Progressive Rock into the modern era while retaining a desire to push at, and expand, musical boundaries. They released their self-titled debut in 2014 to gently building critical acclaim that culminated in a Limelight Award nomination at the "2015 Progressive Music Awards".

Keen to build on the initial success, 'Perfect Beings II' sweeps in on a wave of determination, dedication and musical creativity that sees the band – completed by former Bruce Dickinson drummer Dicki Fliszar, keyboardist Jesse Nason and bassist Chris Tristram – presenting an album that purports to be both an evolution and extension of their well-received debut.

It's certainly a confident and coherent affair – the gush of Hurtgen's song-writing ideas expertly captured and given the indelible mark of a previously fledgling and mildly experimental band who've become, well, a proper band with a sound and identity all of their own.

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It's not unusual for bands of bold ambition to cite a range of influences on their work, and certainly within its Progressive Rock idiom, '...II' does blend aspects of Progressive, Experimental, Classical, Ambient, Rock, Jazz and Pop music. But is it really "a firestorm of emotion and raw energy"? Is it ground-breaking? Are Perfect Beings really redefining and reshaping the future of Progressive Rock?

Well, one might edge towards an affirmative answer listening to 'Go', which is simultaneously rousing and ambient, with hints of eighties angularity and madcap soloing that turns the song into something darker as it progresses. The Jazz-infused Far Eastern ambience of 'The Thrill Seeker' gives one similar pause for thought, while the middle section assault of 'Cause And Effect' and sustained attack of 'Volcanic Streams' show a passion for the intense and unpredictable.

Elsewhere, however, the oh-so-Proggy 'Mar del Fuego', the gentle and moody 'Cryogenia' and the short and cinematic 'Samsara' set a context in which 'The Love Inside' (the album's longest track) and 'The Yard' (nice Jazzy guitar solo) do no more than is expected. The sad and plaintive 'Rivermaker' is a lovely track, but again, probably more evolutionary for the band than revolutionary for the genre.

'...II' has been crowdfunded via a successful PledgeMusic campaign. It was recorded at Luley's My Sonic Temple studio in L.A., and produced by Luley himself. All of which help ensure a warmth and almost family feel that lifts album and band above the general din and makes 'Perfect Beings II' an album to live with for a while and, yes, if you put genre-bending claims to one side, one to savour.

Michael Anthony

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