I was browsing the extremely cool progstreaming.com site the other week and stumbled across a band called Flaming Row. I’d never heard of them, so like all curious progheads, I thought I’d give their album “Elinoire” a spin*.
What I found was a great story wrapped in a wonderfully-realised piece of symphonic prog rock opera pomposity, but with some interesting twists that made it a lot more enjoyable than your run-of-the-mill release.
“Elinoire” was released in 2012. How it passed me by, I’ll never know. I’m eternally grateful to the progstreaming chaps and chapesses for making it possible for me to hear it.
Anyway all you really need to know is that THIS ALBUM KICKS ASS!
If you like Arjen Lucassen’s Ayreon material, then you will love this. It’s symphonic, heavily electric, melodic, beautifully-written, with superb vocals and wildly varied in its instrumentation. You won’t always get big ballsy guitars and power chords, and that makes listening to this album very refreshing. In many ways this release is less ponderous that some of Arjen’s material, making it much more fun to listen to.
And that’s what hooks me into this album. It’s not your standard, run-of-the-mill prog metal rock opera (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) There’s lots of fun to be had here due to the wide variety of genres on display – metal, country (!), funk, good old fashioned pop, but it’s all beautifully woven into the greater story, which still sticks to the big-theme melodrama that makes our favourite genre so uplifting. With song titles as varied as “Overture”, “Do You Like Country Grandpa?” and “Rage of Despair” you know you’re in for an eclectic experience!
A warning to you delicate snowflakes – there are Cookie Monster vocals in the second half of this album – in my opinion, too many – but I must admit that they’re appropriately used given the story being told.
Anyways, this one’s definitely worth a purchase. You can have a listen, and buy it here.
*This may sound like a metaphor in this day and age of digital music, but somewhere that music is on a hard disc, and that disc is spinning at some outrageous rate of revolutions per minute. And failing that, if it’s on SSD, then there’s some electrons spinning even faster, so don’t give me your pedantic nonsense, mister!