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CD Reviews

Consortium Project V - 'Species' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 04, 2011    
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One hell of a way to go out.

It's 1999 and Ian Parry (Elegy/solo) puts together the band known as the Consortium Project, their first album 'Criminals & Kings' came out later on that same year. The band played/play a mixture of sophisticated progressive metal and hard rock with some gothic elements thrown in for good measure. Since the release of the debut there have been four more albums with 'Species' being number five. The albums tell a connected concept story about alien invaders taking over the earth, and it has taken twelve years, but the story that started in 1999 is now at an end with this the last album in the sequence telling of the comeuppance of the aliens.

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Cleverly, over the years Ian Parry has used the best musicians in the business to record the music on the Consortium Project albums. The guitars on this new CD are handled by Stephan Lill of Vanden Plas who is on superb form, as is Kris Gildenlow of Pain Of Salvation whose bass drives the tracks along, and the drumming of returning CP bandmate Casey Grillo of Kamelot is immense. Yet the star of the show is Ian Parry who sings his heart out, it's as if he knows that this is the last time he will get the chance to grace a CP album. So songs like the opening salvo of 'Life On Earth' and 'Origins Of Mankind' showcase a vocalist at the top of his game. On this album Ian has written the final part of the Project's story, which is about how the women of the Earth save us from the aliens, so we get a lot of male/female vocal interplay on the songs. And using the vocal talents of Lene Petersen of Infinity Overture and Ani Lozanova of the Ani Lozanova Project, we see a stroke of genius because the two ladies voices bring a wonderful warmth and depth to the tracks on 'Species', which may have been lost if it had just been all male vocals. Other songs on this concept album to look out for are 'To Earth And Back', 'Sirens' and the compelling 'Silence Calling', all of which are powerful progressive metal songs with sharp melodic edges, that all work well within' the framework of the album, but also as stand alone tracks.

Twelve years in the making, five albums down and the Consortium Project is at an end, and I for one am very sad at its ending. Going out with an album as strong as 'Species' though is a great swansong and fans of Ian Parry and the band will get a massive jolt of electricity from this album. One hell of a way to go out in my opinion. If you're new to The Consortium Project, have no fear as Lion Music will be reissuing the first four albums sometime later this year, so get saving those pennies.

Ian Johnson

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