On so many occasions such an assembly of top notch musicians joining together into the formation of a ‘Super group’ has, in terms of recorded material proved inconclusive and disappointing, I am pleased to say that in the case of ‘The Sea Within’ we have something very special, dynamic, innovative and extremely adaptable both from a compositional and musical delivery perspective and here is hoping they will remain as a working unit long into the future.
The individual song arrangements are indeed impressive with each tune flowing seamlessly along through each segment of the composition. Of particular note is the perfect assemblage of the instrumental amalgamations at each intersection of the music. Undeniably this is a perfect example of a unit of expert musicians who are equally contributing to the overall mix in a wonderfully complimentary manner at every point of each individual track. The combinations of magical lead guitar, subtle keyboards, dominant bass and wonderfully smart drumming are ever-changing with delicate time fluctuations to which the listener becomes totally transfixed as the music swathes over and engulfs the recipient. Without doubt this music is for quietly absorbing and listening to with headphones firmly in place and enjoying without the need for energetic self-participation. That is apart from at their future gigs where waving aloft a lighter flame and joining in with your own lyrical projection (and I expect there will be plenty of that) there is no need for any head banging, going mad, or propelling oneself from the stage, this is classically orientated cleverly assembled progressive rock performed by top-notch musicians that needs to be fully understood absorbed and appreciated for the technical brilliance involved in its compositional assembly.
Maneuverability too is a phrase that can be applied whereby plenty of scope is awarded to the individual musicians to engage in short bursts of solo enterprise where for a few bars the stage is theirs but certainly where very little ‘show-boating’ is in evidence.. Despite the overall uniqueness of the music such a phrase equally applies to the blend of musical tit-bits that are sprinkled throughout and injected here and there within the scores embracing distinct infusions of jazz piano, complicated bass runs, classical ‘Yes’ phrasings acoustic ‘Genesis’ stylizations, heavy rock and more casual pop arrangements.
The last piece of the jigsaw puzzle in the formation of this band was the appointment of ‘Pain of Salvation’ vocalist Daniel Gildenlöw with his incredibly versatile vocal range, musical ability and compositional skills. There are not many vocalists who could so easily handle the complexities of the song structure with such versatility and style.
Summary: A stylish album full of interesting captivating music.
Artwork: An OK basic promo package with press announcement. So unable to judge quality of commercial packaging.
Guitarist/vocalist Roine Stolt,
Bassist Jonas Reingold,
Keyboard player/vocalist Tom Brislin,
Drummer/vocalist Marco Minnemann
Vocalist/guitarist Daniel Gildenlöw
Plus guests: Jon Anderson: Vocals (Broken Cord) Jordan Rudess: Grand Piano (The Hiding of Truth) Rob Townsend: Soprano Saxophone (The Ashes of Dawn)
Tracks -The Sea within – The Sea Within
1 Ashes of Dawn 00:06:00
2 They Know my Name 00:05:10
3 The Void 00:04:55
4 An Eye For An Eye For an Eye 00:07:00
5 Goodbye 00:05:30
6 Sea Without 00:02:27
7 Broken Cord 00:14:20
8 The Hiding of Truth 00:05:30
1 The Roaring Silence 00:08:00
2 Where are you going? 00:05:50
3 Time 00:07:12
4 Denise 00:05:10