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Moonparticle – Hurricane Esmeralda album review

One-time Lifesigns man spreads his musical wings.


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.

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.