Consortium Project V
Even in the digital age, with information at my fingertips, I have missed out on a great many things. I have just listened to Ian Parry's Consortium Project V about a dozen times over the past 2 days realized that I am late to the show. I could kick myself. However, I will not spend too much time lamenting, instead just raising my fist to rock. By the way, I am not taking volunteers to kick me.
Consortium Project V is the latest in the Consortium Project series. It all began in 1999 When Ian Perry assembled a crew of guest musicians to create his sci-fi power metal epic with the release of Consortium Project I. Over the years, and with subsequent Consortium releases, the saga continues with a host of guest musicians. For those of you familiar with Ian Parry and his work, this will be preaching to the choir, but those who are not, I say to you: WOW.
Consortium Project V plays power metal. Sure, purists will argue that it has a little of this and a little of that, but let us not split hairs: power metal. For my 2¢, it has that Northern main land Europe sound and I think fans of Gamma Ray, Nocturnal Rites and Angra would find Consortium Project V to their liking. The song writing and story telling is excellent and the pace of the cd is near perfect.
Ian Parry's voice is very strong. For a dude that has been rocking as long as he has, he still has the balls and the backbone to deliver a strong performance. Parry is accompanied by excellent female vocals provided by Lene Petersen and Ani Lozanova, and this is where I think the songs move into the extraordinary category. Metal has no problem expressing angst and frustration, but rarely with the exception of ballads do bands show vulnerability. But vulnerability is what these ladies bring to the table, and it provides a very nice dimension to the songs. Casey Grillo, the skin pounder for Kamelot, does what he does best (probably my favorite metal drummer) and that is provide a strong rhythmic base on which the songs are built upon.
The songs are all very strong and the pacing of "Species" is excellent. At no time did I find myself hoping that things would speed up or slow down. "Sirens" has this really excellent harmonic guitar intro, and "Silence Calling" has that excellent female vocal performance that I mentioned. It starts off very accessible before it moves into heavy and darker territory. "Oracle" has a great emotional duet. Throughout the CD, there are little production gems that have to be felt and not heard. I won't spoil it, but when you listen to the CD at a respectable volume, you will know exactly what I mean.
I am blown away completely by Consortium Project V and "Species". I regret that I am only finding out about them now as the project comes to a close. I can lament, but I choose to crank the volume and experience.
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Live Long and Rock Hard,
SpaceKev's Rating: 4.5 out of 5