Fireworks

Citizen Cain - 'Skies Darken' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/12/4d/e1/2657_citizencainskiesdarken_1345828824.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 24, 2012    
 
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A boundary pushing prog rock tour-de-force.

My God! “If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…” and here the surprise is that this is heavy prog. And I do mean very heavy…conceptually and lyrically, at least. It’s tantalising stuff, disturbing and remarkable in equal measure, and as a near continuous piece of music lasting in excess of 73 minutes it really does not take any prisoners or lend itself to being broken up into short, digestible pieces for listening. Oh, no. This is a monumental statement and one that has to be listened to in its entirety each and every time you wish to take the journey.

‘Skies Darken’ is the band’s sixth album, and has appeared fully ten years after their previous foray, ‘Playing Dead’. That this was not received to universal acclaim may have been a factor delaying this latest (and possibly final?) offering from Citizen Cain. Conceptually it’s about the failure of man to learn from past mistakes. Thus the skies are getting darker because of it and then it will soon catch up with humanity and a relentless storm will break.

Bass player, singer and lyricist Cyrus is the genesis (and genius?) behind the concept, and if you can manage to read his thoughts occupying the first three pages of the CD booklet, you will begin to understand the perspective underlying what you are hearing. There seems to be no doubting that he believes that Apocalypse will occur this coming 21st December! We may, of course, be witnessing some portents!

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The band is a trio, and in addition to Cyrus (whose voice is oh so redolent of early Peter Gabriel on their seminal albums) there’s Stewart Bell (keyboards, drums) who has composed the music on the album while guitars are the province of Phil Allen. There are lots of sampled sounds and pieces too, so that what one hears ranges from the raucous to the understated and all points in between (you only need listen to opening track ‘The Charnal House’ to initially encounter this range and you WILL have to pinch yourselves to understand that you are not listening to early Genesis…)

It is really not sensible to pick out further individual tracks bearing in mind the way the album has been complied, and even saying that four of the eight listed tracks exceed a length of twelve minutes is meaningless, for you will be hard pressed to notice when most of them end and the next commences.

This is a boundary pushing prog rock tour-de-force, and another one that the discerning lover of the genre would be well advised to investigate – carefully!

Paul Jerome Smith

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