Moments of Heaven (Download CDR)
6 tracks / 62.33 mins
Play Sample: 56K Dialup Broadband
Download Sample: 500K 1.5Mb
(Excerpt from track(s) 'Siren of the Sea')
Soft crystalline tones hanging in the air accompanied by bright tinkling effects low in the mix announcing the epic thirty-four minute title track. A lovely slow moody understated lead lines weaves a magical spell drawing us in. The overall feel is one of wonder and mystery. It really is gorgeous stuff. Things become increasingly dynamic and surging as if a storm is approaching. More lovely melodies emerge but the clouds still seemed poised on the horizon. The music now becomes very tranquil as if all danger has departed and we float gently on in a wonderful state of bliss, subsiding to near silence in the eighth minute. It is only with the greatest effort that you will be able to pick out the musical detail. It is as if we have retreated into our deepest thoughts and it remains like this for almost a minute until more soft shimmers appear. The feeling now is one of a sultry steamy climate full of relaxation and peace. Melodic pads begin to swell, lifting the soul to new realms of wonder. Things again momentarily subside to near silence out of which emerge shimmering tones of deep spiritual quality. The music of Heaven.
A deep metallic drone now provides the base over which crystalline tones shimmer and euphoric orchestral pads surge forward, recede then come again with new emotional energy. The mood then changes to one of mystery as the orchestrations depart and little flutey synth flourishes mix with silken pads. A lone undulating drone takes over making things feel rather cosmic. Tinkling bells add a little detail leading to subtle melodic touches that bring us to this well named track’s conclusion. Shimmering delicate melodies flutter around each other at the beginning of ‘La Danse des Papillion’s’. Deeper drones are added amongst surges of energy, like the oppressive rays of the sun. Piano notes are sparingly used bringing up pictures of dew dripping from a tree.
Next up is the first movement of ‘Three Shires Suite’. It’s all rather ‘Cornubia’ish , the way gorgeous lush pads mix with stunningly beautiful wordless ethereal vocals. The intensity of it all rises and falls as we move to the massed strings of the second movement. This has more of the feel of some biblical epic - high emotion and momentous events. The vocal colouring is still there, as intense as the surging backing, working together to impressive effect and reaching an emotional peak at around the 5 minute mark but staying dramatic right up to the third movement. This movement serves up more of the same and as with its predecessor reminded me a little of The Enid’s ‘Fand’. An absolute must have for any Michael Neil fan. ‘Siren of the Sea’ keeps up the orchestral feel with female vocal pads (the sirens in the title I presume) taking centre stage. Another emotional and dramatic number.
If you already love Michael’s work you really must get this. If he is new to you and you like the sound of what you have read here this album would be a good place to start your exploration of his music. (DL)
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