Deluge Grander - August in the Urals

Out of print! Last copy!!! Imagine my surprise to get a package from a Silver Spring address that I recognized as being right near where my parents live! Opening it up, I find this offshoot of the Baltimore band Cerebus Effect and putting it into the player I hear...whoah! A really good, progressive rock band who combine the classic sound ala Anglagard with some more modern and avant touches (drummer Patrick Gaffney is someone I know a bit from shows at Orion, and he's a big RIO/avant-progressive fan). Good playing, good vocals, really impressively good for a first album. Highly recommended to progressive fans who aren't afraid of something that dares to more than recreate the 1970s. Hey, guys! Play a show or something soon, so I can see you play.

"Deluge Grander owes its conception to the Baltimore progressive rock group Cerebus Effect. Keyboardist Dan Britton and drummer Patrick Gaffney were exploring new material. They were joined by Dave Berggen on guitars, with Jeff Suzdal adding sax, Brett D'Anon adding bass and Frank d'Anon ably filling in several more instruments. The result was something very wonderful. The arrangements of August In The Urals are incredibly dense and layered, but the lead musician is never in doubt. Melodies and rhythms wind around each other, returning and then hiding under the thick blanket of warm keyboards and bending bass. Minor keys predominate, but what sets this album apart are the sections where the listener can "come up for air" with a turn to major chords and more upbeat, positive sounding material. The music follows a classical style with songs composed of many sections. Styles, rhythms and instrumentation change often. The composition style ranges from dark RIO similar to Guapo (especially with the driving electric piano so useful in Guapo's music) to the Scandanavian symphonic excursions of Wobbler and Sinkadus, to the more melodic sounds of Glass Hammer and even some Rick Wakeman and Van der Graaf Generator. With only five songs covering a total over 70 minutes, there is sufficient room within each selection for each player to add their own ideas. On the first track "Inaugural Bash", the listener is given a revolving set of melodies. The vocals enter at about eight minutes into the song like a choir of morticians, but then fade into the clever, intricate songlines again. When a certain chord basis and rhythm are established, some kind of melody always shows up, whether played by the keyboard, the vocals, the guitar, or the bass. Even after 26 minutes, "Inaugural Bash" fades out, like there was more the band wanted to add! The exhausting "Inaugural Bash" is graciously followed up by the pastoral introduction to "August In The Urals". However, this does not last long before the Russian men's choir vocals reappear. But they are too far back in the mix to contribute lyrically, buried by the heavy bass and mountain of mellotron. The mixing and mastering are probably the only shortfall of this recording, understandable since it was recorded in individual home studios. That said, it is quite an accomplishment based on the limits of their equipment. "A Squirrel" and "The Solitude of Miranda" continue the heavy progressive keyboard elements, evoking Par Lindh and Deus Ex Machina But I keep coming back to the comparison with Wobbler and Guapo in the complexity and heavy use of keyboards. This band is unique for American bands in that there are very few instrumental or vocal solos. This reflects on the creative imagination of the players, keeping the listener entertained for each long track. Deluge Grander provides the listener with visual pleasure as well. In the liner notes, there is a work of art depicting each song. My favorite is the pastoral scene for “Abandoned Mansion Afternoon”. The pictures are somewhat folky and simplistic, but each tries to depict the music as a picture - very difficult since there are few lyrics. Plus the lyrics are de-emphasized, although a print of the lyrics would have been helpful in connecting the art with the music. This album illustrates the advantages of great cover art. On the front cover of August In the Urals is one of my favorite masterpieces of 19th Century art - a portion of Thomas Cole's "The Voyage Of Life - Youth" showing a young person reaching toward a grand city in the sky while in a boat floating into a pastoral landscape. What is missing in this scene is Cole's original depiction of challenging rapids in the stream ahead, an allusion to the challenge of mid-life. The challenge of making this album could have been in mind when they chose this particular work of art. If this metaphor holds, the players are in heaven now!"-Brian G/
  • LabelEmkog
  • UPC737885800522
Your Price $44.00

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