Self released [Release Date: 31.10.14]
Progressive rock music has rarely been in ruder health than it is at present, with exceptional music arriving from all corners of the globe – both to rattle the cage of complacency of western Europe’s stranglehold on the genre and to infuse the music with infectious rhythms and fresh inspiration.
With this in mind, step forward Rainburn from Bangalore, India, who, following in the footsteps of the outstanding Coshish (whose album ‘Firdous’ I reviewed a year or so back) have every chance of making their mark in the west with this exceptional piece of work.
Consisting of five tracks and clocking in at a mere 28 minutes, ‘Canvas Of Silence’ is really little more than an EP, but, as the old adage goes, there’s good stuff in little parcels – and let’s face it, the standard length of a prog LP back in the day was little more than half an hour or so.
Things get underway with ‘Refuge’, a real taster of the joys to come with its almost R.E.M.-like chiming guitar figure segueing into a metallic riff before introducing delightful vocals (in English) and backing harmonies to die for.
This battle of chiming, chorus pedal guitar versus metallic rifferama with the overdrive pedal in full effect is a feature of the album as a whole which, together with the exceptional (and, it must be added, accentless) vocals leads to a high frequency of ‘wow’ moments.
The funky intro and fusion guitar of the title track ‘Canvas Of Silence’ is typical of the diversity that Rainburn bring to their music giving it a real freshness that is often lacking in more traditional fayre.
The real progressive sounding ‘Veil’ also has the most Indian vibe and at a time when so many western musicians are using eastern influences it is so interesting to hear the volte-face of eastern musicians incorporating western sounds into their music.
This eastern vibe continues on the rather short ‘Time Turns Around’, but the album reaches its zenith with the exceptional ‘Fragments’, the most progressive track on the album and where the duel between the two guitarists Vats Iyengar and Toshimoa Jamir becomes irresistible – nobody wins, and that’s just as it should be.
If there is a very slight flaw it’s the absence of keyboards which would have added a little something to proceedings, but this is a small gripe in what is a fabulous (mini) album, beautifully played and fully deserving the five stars it’s getting. *****
Review by Alan Jones
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 September 2020.
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