Some albums begin so wondrously they make you run naked around the house in sheer delight. Coralspin’s Honey And Lava is one of those. Opener Sons Of The Sleeping Giant is a monstrous piece of old school prog like Yes on steroids with the drive of Led Zep in Kashmir mode and the bombast of Queen.
Here Ellie Blyth’s piercing vocals operate in territory usually reserved for chaps like Jon Anderson. Coralspin maintain this quality with prog-ballad You’re Wrong, a track edging close to cloying sentimentality, yet with hints of both Renaissance and Queen at their most lush.
The rest of the album is slightly less convincing. Mistimed and Sky’s End are pleasant, essentially straightforward rock workouts, the latter featuring staggering guitar work from Jake Simmons.
Blyth’s voice – like Kate Bush’s – may well split the audience. Blyth’s less edgy than Bush, and her contralto risks becoming repetitive and samey. But doubters should check out the elegant and beautiful Songbird, and in places she just dazzles.
Fans of keyboard-driven prog will find a serious feast here, though those first two tunes are the most likely to lead to streaking.