Corvus Stone - 'Corvus Stone' (Melodic Revolution Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Michael Anthony   
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 03:40

corvusstonealbumThere is a scene in the US sitcom Frasier, when Frasier tries to explain his taste in furniture, decor and art to his father, Marty. It's a style called 'eclectic', he says. The idea is that if you put enough good quality pieces together, then regardless of the style or period of origin they will somehow fit. Corvus Stone seem to take the same approach to their music - mixing styles and approaches both within and across the twenty one tracks of their eponymous debut.


I say debut, but Corvus Stone is a collection of seasoned musicians (and an artist) with enough current and previous form to fill a whole week of Über reviews. Namely, Pasi Koivu (keyboards), Colin Tench (guitar), Petri Lemmy Lindström (bass), Robert Wolff (drums), Blake Carpenter (vocals) and Sonia Mota (artwork).


'Corvus Stone', the album, is a highly competent and, for the most part, extremely enjoyable blend of 1970s prog, classically inspired rock, and jazz rock fusion. Often laid back and funky, sometimes bright and breezy, occasionally rambling and moody, Zappa, Camel and Uli Jon Roth fans will find it an easy listening experience. Those who like their rock served up in more predictable bite size chunks may find it a bit more of a challenge.


Although largely instrumental the variety helps hold the listener's attention. One minute you're grooving to something that could have been a '70s TV theme (or "European porn music" as the album is tagged on the Corvus Stone bandcamp page), the next (as on 'Pilgrims' or 'After Solstice') you're put in mind of early Deep Purple, when Blackmore and Lord were at their most experimental and exciting. Having said that, only four tracks have vocals, which is a bit of a shame, as for me they add to the quality and interest of the music in every case. (One of these is a cover of the Black Widow track 'You're So Wrong' featuring John Culley, the original Black Widow guitarist.)


Much of what is done here conveys a sense of fun. The album artwork by Sonia Mota combines gothic fantasy with comic book humour. There are hints too of Wagner. Ah, I hear you ask, the great composer or the X-Factor contestant? Well, judging by the look of the 'Ice King' artwork, I'd say both!


Titles like 'Moustaches in Massachusetts' (more excellent artwork) suggest an intent to rival Budgie in the 'so bad they're good' song title charts. Make of 'JussiPussi' what you will! There are musical jokes too, with 'Moron Season' incorporating a snippet of the 'Smoke on the Water' riff, and 'Scary Movie' bursting briefly into Fleetwood Mac's 'Oh Well'. All of which suggest that the band don't take themselves too seriously.


If I have a criticism it's that clocking in at 79 minutes and 28 seconds, Corvus Stone is probably a bit too long. Value for money perhaps, but it's a lot to digest in one sitting and I'm not sure how much thought has been given to the 'total listening experience'. (The sleeve notes suggest that the album would have been even longer were it possible to fit more music onto one CD!) But I don't want to be too negative here. Corvus Stone aren't the only band to cram 80 minutes of music onto a disc because they can, and this is an album you can dip in and out of.


According to the CD booklet, "What started as a side-project for Pasi, Colin and Petri has become the collaboration of our dreams."  Guys, I've got to tell you, those are mindfuckingly weird dreams you're having! I'll take two.


To pick up your copy of 'Corvus Stone' - CLICK HERE