Drifting Sun – Safe Asylum – 2016
King of Hearts (8:44), The Hidden Truth (6:31), Intruder (10:42), Alice (7:32), Wonderland (8:34), Gods (6:07), Desolation (5:29), Retribution (3:54), Emphasis (For Sienna Joy) (Bonus Track) (1:11), Vagabond (Bonus Track) (3:40)
My first impression upon listening to the very beginning of this album was 1980s sci-fi drama. Then I looked at the track list, and I quickly picked up on the Alice in Wonderland theme. The album art also reinforces the mystery and fantasy of the music, and it adds to the mystique of Drifting Sun.
The English band dates back to the early 1990s, when keyboardist Pat Sanders moved from France to England. After forming a band, Drifting Sun released a couple of albums, but they put the project on pause after 1999’s On the Rebound. In 2015, Sanders decided to revive the band with Trip the Life Fantastic. The band is now composed of Peter Falconer (vocals), Dan Storey (guitars) Pat Sanders (keyboards), Manu Michael (bass), and Will Jones (drums).
Falconer’s vocals set a high bar for this band. His voice is smooth, warm, and mysterious. The band lives up to his voice masterfully. The guitar is clear, with layered keyboards, supporting bass, and drums full of chops. The production is also quite good. In short, Safe Asylum is what you would expect from a progressive rock album in 2016.