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A Giant's Lullaby

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Album Review

A Giant's Lullaby marks a giant step since Kvazar's eponymous debut. During the four years in between, the group has developed a very personal approach to progressive rock. Once a derivative Norwegian prog band, it now seems to eschew every expectation of the genre. The music still firmly belongs to the symphonic prog rock style, but its gothic makeup has been wiped out (exit the cello, downplay the flute), modern textures have been added (sampling, looping), and — most important of all — the music has been considerably jazzed up. You never know when a song will take a jazzier turn, from Gershwin (quoted in the title track) to Soft Machine. That and the much-improved vocals make this album one of the strong propositions of 2005, with tracks "Choir of Life," "Dreams of Butterflies," "Desert Blues," and the title track standing out as particularly well written and arranged. For this opus, the core trio of Ronny Borge (keyboards), Kim Lieberknecht (drums, sampling), and Andre Jensen Deaya (guitars, keyboards, vocals) recruited the help of several musicians. The opening and closing songs, "Flight of Shamash" and "Dark Horizons," still have a strong Anekdoten/Landberk influence (the first one also features Gregorian singing). The more operatic or pompous moments evoke Rockpommel's Land-era Grobschnitt, which produces an unlikely combination with the Canterbury-esque developments. This band has reinvented itself to great effect. Recommended, despite the fact that the album has been mastered a bit too loud, leading to some signal overload in the louder sections of the first few tracks. ~ François Couture, Rovi

A Giant's Lullaby, Kvazar
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