Band Of Rain - The Dust Of Stars,
It has been six years since the last band of Rain album, but Chris Gill is finally back with another release. As has been the case with his other albums, he continues to mix it up, and this time he has provided guitar, programming etc. and has been joined by Micha Steinbacher (bass, flute, sax, multi-instruments, programming, vocals). Most of the album is instrumental, but on two of the songs he has again engaged the vocal talents of Ria Parfitt, which takes the music into quite a different direction from the rest. This is hypnotic, almost trance-like music, treading a line where progressive rock and psychedelic music meet, reminiscent of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and very early Porcupine Tree.
It is complex and complicated, and for all the times where it feels that it is driving and forceful there are others where the music just washes over the listener and allows them to relax into it. My favourite is “Indian Summer”, where the combination of flute and synthesisers provides an introduction that makes one think that it is going to be in the style of Native Americans, before it goes into traditional Indian, and then something quite different altogether. This really shows the experimental aspect of the music, as the band bring together music from different cultures to create something that is both different and enjoyable. I know that Chris is often busy working on albums by others, but I do hope that we don’t have to wait quite so long for the next one.