Fireworks

Supernal Endgame - 'Touch The Sky: Volume II' http://mail.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/80/e1/30/supernal-endgame-touch-the-sky-volume-ii-96-1428178027.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 04, 2015    
 
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'Touch The Sky: Volume II' reaches for the stars.

Five years ago, Dallas, Texas outfit Supernal Endgame released a rather spectacular Prog album that took the best of Kansas, Genesis, Saga and It Bites and crafted it into 'Touch The Sky Volume I', a release which not only made a strong initial impact but which has, over the years, proved to have serious staying power.

In short, 'Touch The Sky Volume II' is more of the same and equally as captivating. The keyboard work from, well I'd tell you but three people are credited as adding their keys-magic, leads from the front, making the opening pair of 'Supernal One (Immanence & Transcendence)' and 'Different Stage' a mighty and immediate introduction. Tony Banks springs to mind and yet there's a more exuberant feel to the guitar work as it cuts through, while the vocals from Rob Price bring a Peter Gabriel-like husky authority.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Lyrically, as with '...Volume I', there's a similarity in spiritual subject matter to that of, say, Neal Morse, the themes fitting perfectly with the uplifting music. However, where SE have varied things from their previous work is the length of the compositions, four of which hover around the ten minute mark. This extended length really allows the songs room to establish a variety of attacks and approaches, which the album benefits from hugely. Of the lengthier numbers, 'Eden's Song' takes a 1980s Genesis keyboard motif and marries it to a gritty riff and soaring violin (of which this album has quite a lot, hence the Kansas comparisons), while 'White Flag' leans more heavily towards earlier Genesis to dance sprightly on the back of some exceptional drumming. Add in the shorter delights of 'Swim In Your Ocean' where flute adds a plaintive air and 'Again And Again' which again (sorry) feels like Kansas, although this time combined with Morse.

If I was to pick out one issue, then it's that the otherwise excellent production/mix is a little "bright" for my taste; initial reaction on first listen being to turn down my usual volume setting to reduce the sharpness of sound. However that really is the only complaint, for otherwise 'Touch The Sky: Volume II' reaches for the stars.

Steven Reid

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