Ephemeral Sun - Harvest Aorta
Proggy Instrumental Rock
4 songs (69:24)
Release year: 2010
Ephemeral Sun
Reviewed by Khelek

I am not very familiar with the whole instrumental metal/rock scene, mostly because if I want to hear instrumental music it's usually from a specific person like Joe Satriani or Andy McKee. However, every so often I delve into this genre to hear something new or just to relax. Ephemeral Sun caught my attention with their unique album title and cover. Once I put the album on I knew I had found a band that really knows how to create some atmosphere with their music, and I was very surprised to learn that these guys are not signed. It's not extremely unique music, but if you're looking for a chill instrumental/atmospheric rock album to relax with, this will give you plenty of enjoyment.

Springsong begins with simple, heavy riffs and synthesizers. Piano soon comes in and blends nicely with softer electric guitar and bass. I really like some of the even, calm bass used in the first half of this song. The mixture of serene guitar wails and piano is really well done too. For the most part it's a pretty upbeat track, and doesn't get as atmospheric as some of the other material on this album. It's just 13 minutes of some interesting guitar playing from Brian O'Neill and the synthesizers/keyboards of John Battema that lend more of an epic feeling to the music at times. Not really a standout track though. Prism begins with a heavier guitar riff and drums that sounds like something off a doom album. This soon gives way to the calm bass notes and synthesizers. The wailing guitar solos of O'Neill. Once again it's a good track to just sit and relax to, but it doesn't create the deep atmosphere I really want to hear on an instrumental album like this. Memoirs is the shortest song on the album at under 5 minutes and begins with the soft piano that was present in the two previous tracks, with some calm backing synths that create a very serene atmosphere. Melodic electric guitar soon comes in to step up the energy, but keeps things peaceful. This is beautiful music that you can just sit back and chill out to. The final and title track is definitely my favorite from the album, and at almost 42 minutes it deserves the most attention from the listener. It begins with upbeat keyboards and some heavy guitar and drums. The feeling I get is of a space ship getting ready to take off or some other world-changing event beginning. The wailing guitar solos of O'Neill do come in after a couple minutes, but they are less emphasized here and soon piano takes over. I cannot even begin to describe everything that goes on in this song, but there are deep, spacey atmospheres that you can really become immersed in as well as some much faster parts that involve trippy sounding keyboard passages and heavier riffs. All of these elements are blended very skillfully and never seem out of place or leave you feeling confused. Sometimes this song reminds me of Dream Theater's later instrumental work, and I can certainly hear Petrucci's guitar influence here.

In the end all I can really say is that if you like instrumental rock, this is probably something you'll enjoy. Long songs that allow you to just sit back and enjoy the music. It's an easy album to listen to, but if you give some time you'll continue to notice things you didn't hear on the first or second listen. It's about getting back to basics with guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards, but using them to create epic soundscapes that are a rarity these days. This is great music to just sit back and relax to or go on a long drive with.

Killing Songs :
Harvest Aorta
Khelek quoted 80 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:54 pm
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