Pymlico - Guiding Light

(CD 2014, 51:04, Spider House Records SHRCD004)

The tracks:
  1- A Day Out(3:52)
  2- Sounds Of the City(6:43)
  3- The East Side(7:47)
  4- Wanderlust(5:40)
  5- Bobcat(6:28)
  6- Piz Gloria(6:24)
  7- Neptune(13:48)

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Everybody who reads the reviews on this website on a regular basis should by now know everything about the musical project Pymlico. The man behind it is Arild BrÝter, a rather young musician from Norway who plays drums, keyboards and acoustic guitar. One of the musicians that helps him out on those releases is his brother. ōyvind BrÝter played keyboards on the two former releases Inspirations (2011, see review) and Directions (2012, see review). Now with the third release Guiding Light he is on board as well together with many other guest musicians.

While listening to the new musical effort of Pymlico I discovered Arild did not choose to copy the music that you can find on his earlier releases. Those were filled with musical links to acts such as Steve Hackett, Camel, Genesis, Focus, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Kaipa and The Flower Kings. I wrote earlier that the music on those albums was especially recorded for all retro prog heads out there. Now on the third CD it seemed Arild looked for the more dark side of progressive rock. The songs just needed to be heard more often as well to understand the sometimes less melodic musical parts. But don't get me wrong, all of the seven tracks have something to offer in a very positive way. Progressive rock of a very high level all the way! Well I didn't expect anything else after the two older excellent releases.

The album opens with a strange kind of percussive World Music-like intro on A Day Out. It also features for the first time the Mozambican saxophonist Ivan Mazuze. Sounds Of The City is another cup of tea so to speak. A very experimental keyboard instrumental, which has elements that reminded me of Tony Banks playing on albums such as Duke (1980) and Abacab (1981) from Genesis. The song title The East Side in a way tells the listener what's next. The track wanders between influences of jazz, Arab music and progressive rock. Throughout this tune the soloists on the synthesizer (Arild), the saxophone (Ivan Mazuze) and the electric guitar (Mads Tvinnerheim Horn) are the most important musicians who play a role. On the following piece Wanderlust once again the Middle Eastern musical parts come to the surface and are mixed with Tangerine Dream kind of sequencers and World Music kind of rhythm parts. The track is followed by Bobcat which mixes fusion with progressive rock. On the next piece the tempo goes up at the start of Piz Gloria. The rocking guitar parts are wonderfully mixed with the melodic keyboard parts and direct drum rhythms. It ends with a part which reminded me of the last part of the song Shadow Of The Hierophant from Steve Hackett's Voyage Of The Acolyte (1975). The final piece on Guiding Light is without doubt the highlight on the entire album. On Neptune you hear almost 14 minutes long a kind of tribute to all the fantastic progressive rock acts of the seventies. Pink Floyd, Steve Hackett and Genesis most of all. Most of all guitarist Mads Tvinnerheim Horn sounds like Dave Gilmour in his best days! The track is a great ending of a great album!

Once again highly recommended to everybody who enjoys the music made by Steve Hackett, Camel, Genesis, Focus, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Kaipa, The Flower Kings and beyond that.

**** Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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