Drifting Sun are a band that escaped my attention, because their first two albums were released during a period in which I hardly listened to any music apart from what happened to be on mainstream radio. Had they not released a new album this year, I would probably not have missed them for quite a while, because they are not among the bands that are mentioned on a daily basis. Now that they did release an album, and I have heard of them, I may was well tell the world how I feel about it. [acfw id=2]
Listening to the album it is clear that the band knows how to build up a song. The title track Trip the Light Fantastic opens the album with piano and high pitched but clean vocals. It fills up with the other instruments over the first half and becomes more guitar driven in the second half – until the piano returns. A similar build up is found in Five Fever, but here the first half is mainly piano and synths.
Completely different to this are The Wizard (with a 70s hard rock feel in the guitar playing, and matching vocals) and the Pendragon like Tormented (fiery guitar opening, prominent bass and keyboards in the vocal parts).
Lady Night and The Last Supper are two longer tracks. The former has great vocal work and pulsing keyboard in places, and seems to be mixed slightly different than the rest of the album (bass and keyboards stand out a bit more).
Last Supper also has a pulsing riff at it’s center, but much more prominent than Lady Night. The guitar and organ really work together here, not surprisingly many reviews of this album compare this to old Deep Purple work. There’s a lot more going on in this somewhat haunting track than I want to explain here – it’s ‘hearing is believing’ I think.
A separate mention goes to the four short tracks that separate the longer ones. Peach Blossoms and Sunsets are the first two, which have a slightly classical feel to them. The have to bow for the other two though. Ode to Nevermind has a great (electric and acoustic) guitar and bass interplay, and XXX Forever reminds me in a way of a certain Mr. Hackett and Mr. Banks. Without these short interludes this would be a completely different album.
Summarising, this album is very likely not the most renewing thing in the world of rock. That’s no disqualification though, because I’ve heard more quite appealing ‘retro’ albums over the past six to nine months. Retro is perhaps not even the right word, the band makes music in a style that has been around since early Marillion, Pendragon and other similar bands, but despite an occasional hint to even older times, with a modern touch to it. The compositions work, the vocals are absolutely great and I love the keyboard work. A worthy album to include in 2015s collection.