Sunn Creative [Release date 13.10.19]
It is all change again in the ESP ranks as drummer Mark Brzezicki and vocalist Peter Coyle depart and in comes vocalist/lyricist Damien Child, with bassist Pete Clark and drummer Greg Pringle (Pete Townsend, Bernie Marsden) completing the line-up. The one remaining constant is Tony Lowe who writes the music, as well as handling the guitar and keyboards parts.
Despite the changes in personnel the sound of ESP remains, that of progressive symphonic music. In addition this album sees Child uses his experience of West End theatre on the spoken parts of ‘New World Disorder’.
‘The Rising’ recalls Saga, with waves of keys and the melodic vocals of Damien Child floating effortlessly on the top of the music. One of the most impressive songs to date from the band. Not far behind is ‘On Lunar Tides’, where the ten minutes of the songs seem to fly by. This one has a dreamy feel, similar to Tim Bowness and again Child’s vocals are a highlight.
Lowe’s ear for a symphonic sound is highlighted on ‘Stranger In My Skin’ which also sees Child hit the high notes. Indeed the whole album sparkles with musical, lyrical and vocal delights.
Lowe and Child seem to have both drawn each other’s talents and created the most rounded, enjoyable ESP album to date. Here’s hoping this partnership continues onto album number four. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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