The Deaton Le May Project was established and set up as a 100% pure studio project by Craig LeMay (drums and percussion) and Roby Deaton on guitar, keyboards, and vocals.
Three years ago, these two American musicians released their debut album The Day After Yesterday and now they released The Fifth Element on which we are treated to eleven new tracks, including an epic suite of twenty-seven minutes long, called Elements Of Life Suite, divided into six parts. The sound of the Deaton LeMay Project truly reminds me of bands like Saga, Camel; but it also “shows” influences of Rick Wakeman and even Keith Emerson. The latter influence can be heard in Different Place In Time, which is packed with beautiful flowing and sometimes dramatic keyboard motifs and melodies; but the duo also has a tendency towards classic hard rock elements and even some AOR characteristics. To me the entire album sounds like it was recorded and made at the end of the roaring eighties, as in some songs the arrangements even remind me of Yes, Genesis and even good old Pink Floyd. The second part of the album which consists of the six-part Elements Of Life Suite is the highlight and most extraordinary song of The Fifth Element. A true prog rock gem packed with tempo changes, intense vocals, pompous keyboard textures, impressive instrumental passages, and stunning guitar work. The Elements Of Life Suite is a symphonic prog rock masterpiece and every time I listen to it, I discover something new.
So, The Fifth Element is really worthwhile for fans of retro symphonic prog rock in the veins of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes! Check it out, you will not be disappointed!
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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