Moonparticle – Hurricane Esmeralda album review

One-time Lifesigns man spreads his musical wings.

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Best known for his work with UK proggers Lifesigns and a fleeting association with mid-period solo Steven Wilson, Bulgarian guitarist Niko Tsonev has always been a talent to watch out for. Moonparticle is described as a ‘collective’, drawing in Wilson-approved sidemen Theo Travis, Craig Blundell and Adam Holzman to form the basis of the band, while Hurricane Esmeralda is the result of a successful Pledge campaign. Given the cast list, you’d expect the album to be briming with virtuoso performances, and on that level, that’s certainly what you get. There’s some great stuff here, not least the lazy jazzy swing of Michelangelo Don’t Stop, and the more progressively minded Winter Mountain and White Light, all proving Tsonev can construct some spledidly complex yet catchy fare. The whole thing gets off to a shaky start, however, the title track a distracting and discordant affair not helped by Die So Fluid vocalist Grog Lisee’s idiosyncratic style. However, as things progress, Moonparticle find their feet in a style that most Prog readers will find pleasing, the final track Leon’s Experiment ably demonstrating the band, and Tsonev, at their best.