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CARPTREE


CARPTREE 

"Emerger"

By Dark Starr

This is an intriguing disc. It has some moments that are incredible. There is a section late in the disc where a few songs in a row reach amazing heights. All that said, not everything here is quite as winning. I like the music better than the vocals, too. It's not that the vocals are bad. They definitely aren't. They just don't quite win me over. Still, this is a solid set of progressive rock that has a nice balance between metallic edge and symphonic prog rock tapestry. 

Some cool synthesizer sounds open "The Fleeting Deep." The cut pounds out from there with a sound that's just on the prog side of the prog/metal divide. It drops backs down for the vocals to join, but that synth is still very prominent. This works through a number of changes. It's decidedly melodic prog. That said, it also has a metallic edge to it and is quite bombastic. The instrumental section later in the cut is a real powerhouse. It's symphonic prog with some pretty awesome keyboard soloing over the top of it. 

Keys start "Between Extremes," too, but in a mellower arrangement. The vocals join and the cut builds only a little as it moves forward. Some acoustic guitar emerges after a few lines of vocals. The track works out from there to something that's a bit like the more proggy side of Uriah Heep. This works up to a powerful section that makes me think of Genesis a bit. It drops down to mellower stuff to work forward from there. It keeps working into different sections as it continues. There is some seriously hard edged stuff later. 

"The River" comes in with mellower prog sounds that again make me think of Uriah Heep a bit. It grows very gradually. It gets quite powered up later, making me think just a little of Pink Floyd's Wall album, but with a more symphonic edge to it. The piece continues to evolve, though, working through another mellow movement before dropping to nearly ambient space. Then some female vocals emerge over the top. It threatens to explode into more rocking territory as it slowly builds back upward. It eventually builds to more of a symphonic prog arrangement. 

The section that opens "Ultimately Lifeless" has an almost playful psychedelia vibe to it. Sure, there is a definite prog edge, too. The vocals again make me think of Uriah Heep. This eventually works out to more hard rocking symphonic prog. It's another tune that borders on metal at times. It's a shifting and turning piece of powerhouse progressive rock. 

Much more of a metallic song, "Never To Return And Never Ever Leave" still has plenty of progressive rock built into it. It's a real powerhouse cut, though. It's one of my favorites here, too. It just seems to work extremely well. There are some really dramatic parts of this number. 

Much more of a mellower melodic prog cut, "Porous" is another standout. It has some great music and hooks. It's accessible and yet quite meaty, too. There is some amazing keyboard work at times here. I suppose Genesis is a valid reference here in some ways, particularly in the powered up jamming. 

They continue with the trend of exceptional music here. "Immersive Attention" pounds forward with a great blend of metallic power and progressive rock sensibilities. There are some cool shifts and changes built into this number. There is another powerful symphonic prog movement later in the cut. It has a bit of that Genesis element in some ways, but this is much more closely tied to European epic metal. The movement eventually ends this in style. 

Keyboards lead things out on "Dwindle Into Greatness." It stays reasonably mellow and symphonic as the vocals join. The musical elements driving this are a bit unusual, but yet it gets quite hard edged as it grows within that. It feels almost freeform and sparse. It builds to a more mainstream hard rock sound around the two and a half minute mark. It fires out to some of the most metallic stuff as it grows from there. It eventually works through and drops way down after that segment. This cut just feels more freeform and a bit weird. It doesn't really grab me. Honestly, I think it was a bad choice to close the set.