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Pattern Seeking Animals - 'Pattern Seeking Animal' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     April 29, 2020    
 
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Absolutely brilliant quality.

As a Spock's Beard fan I was immediately drawn to this new venture as it includes three present/past members of Spock's Beard, with the other being John Boegehold (keys) who has been a significant writing contributor to Spock's Beard since Neal Morse's departure.

Boegehold claims to have explored some different avenues to Spock's Beard with this release, and to a certain extent that's the case, but to my ears there's plenty of crossover between the two. This isn't a surprise given the personnel and the writer. However, you'll not find me complaining as this is a terrific Prog album. They differ in some of the keyboard sounds deployed and also Ted Leonard's lead guitar playing; he's out of the shadow of the virtuosos in his various bands and demonstrates considerable ability in this area.

'No Burden Left To Carry' has the feel of a Spock's Beard/Kansas hybrid, and it's a nine-minute Prog extravaganza chock-full of melodies, adept solos and splendid vocal arrangements; the same goes for 'The Same Mistakes Again' which also features some wonderful orchestration. It's immediately evident that this release is something rather special.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Orphans Of The Universe' is another highlight; it has Pink Floyd traits during the opening section, and as soon as the chorus arrives it's instantly stuck in your head, while the instrumental section is pure Spock's Beard. Dave Meros' rumbling bass is delicious throughout and it's prominent again on 'No One Ever Died And Made Me King' which is a melodic gem with an unforgettable chorus that's all driven along by Jimmy Keegan's wonderful drumming.

'Fall Away' is a beautiful power ballad that hints at Journey and Kansas on which Leonard excels with both his vocals and soloing, whereas 'These Are My Things' is about hoarders and is lyrically very clever with another killer chorus. 'We Write The Ghost Stories' has a certain otherworldly quality, while 'No Land's Man' (sic) bounces along on another fine melody and terrific chorus.

They manage to mix long and short form material seamlessly, and the album closes with the epic 'Stars Along The Way' which starts in a sedate fashion before building then progressing through various phases in stunning fashion.

The plan is for Pattern-Seeking Animals to release an album a year which has me licking my lips in anticipation if this absolutely brilliant quality is maintained, and I suspect any fan of Spock's Beard, Enchant, etc. will be of a like mind.

Gary Marshall

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