Corvus Stone: Corvus Stone II

Stone the crows! What a mixed bag this is...

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Corvus Stone is an on-going project featuring a core of British, Finnish and American players which grew from an almost accidental meeting of minds online.

Their second album is the epitome of the term ‘mixed bag’. Brief opening track, The Simple Life has gentle, sunny, melodic late-60s airs, which contrast strikingly with other structured pieces. Among them are the atmospheric and sombre Dark Tower, the distinctly Santana-esque Scandinavians In Mexico and the brooding Camelus Bactrianus. However, there’s an almost wilful looseness about some of the material here – definitely not for those expecting tight, punchy arrangements with catchy choruses. Many tracks have their charms: Boots For Hire has its gruff, evocative vocal section; A Stoned Crow Meets The Rusty Wolff Rat offers light tuneful keyboards and guitar soloing. But these drag on too long and risk sounding like some pub rock band airing their prog pretensions in protracted rehearsal jams. Although there is much to be said for eschewing predictability and conformity, Corvus Stone II demonstrate that a lack of unified vision or direction can lead to a wearisome listening experience.

Gary Mackenzie

Gary has contributed reviews and news features for Prog Magazine for over a decade now. A fan of prog and heavy rock since childhood, his main areas of interest are classic and symphonic prog, prog-metal and modern acts bringing in fresh influences to the genre. He has a professional background in youth and community work, he teaches drum kit in schools and is a working musician. Gary was the drummer in semi-legendary NWOBHM band Praying Mantis for a couple of years and has been a member of indie-prog-pop-art-rock combo The Mighty Handful for more than twenty years. He loves cats and skiing, and has a Blue Peter badge.