This is Max Hunt's first official solo release of song-based material. Hope was created during the hardest part of the Covid-19 Lockdown of 2020/21. Hunt is best known for his work with FRAGILE performing the music of YES and Siggi Schwarz & Friends.
With all live shows having been cancelled and all social interaction having been prohibited for a protracted period in Germany, Max worked on his own in the studio for many months on this release, pulling together music from the past and present into this new original album.
Max performs all instrumentation on the album including keyboards, guitars, bass, percussion & lap harp and sings lead and backing vocals. His lovely wife Gerlinde Hunt sings additional backing vocals on three tracks.
Reminiscent of Zon, Jon Payne's Asia or Mike Rutherford's Acting Very Strange, the album starts out as a collection of light-weight pop-prog but as we get into later tracks more and more truly progressive elements come to the forefront.
Dark Age Techno Dream is an excellent track with many overtones of later period Yes and very powerful drums. Ikaros actually feels like a classic 70's prog track with some influence from The Who - the track builds upon a truly inspired piano performance.
The best track in the collection is Original Design which prominently features Max's incredible keyboard work. The track builds layer upon layer and features a fantastic synth solo section.
I think my biggest issue with the album is how heavily processed Max's voice is. The use of heavy compression and auto-tune actually is distracting and really drags the album down.
*** David Carswell
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