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photo: Simon Howse
Image © MTS Software 2009
click on image to visit band's MySpace
photo: Simon Howse | left-to-right
Chris Cadey (keyboards)
Clive Lambert (bass)
Holly Thody (vocals)
Scott Maynard (drums)
Martin Leamon (guitar)
Image © Crimson Sky 2009
click on image to visit Holly's MySpace
Holly Thody (lead vocals)
Image © Crimson Sky 2009
(28 December 2009) Originally formed in 2002, Crimson Sky are now a rapidly emerging progressive rock band from Bristol, England. Their debut full length album Misunderstood (self-released (UK), 2009) is a collection of eleven tracks. Crimson Sky's 2006 EP entitled Only Love was released by a former lineup of the band. Now fronted today by their new singer Holly Thody (vocals), Crimson Sky includes Martin Leamon (guitars) and Clive Lambert (bass) from the original lineup. Chris Cadley (keyboards) and Ali Woodman (drums) complete the current band. Scott Maynard played drums on the album but left the band after recording completed. Crimson Sky are one of the first to join the roster for the Classic Rock Society's Winter's End Progressive Rock Festival (website) in March 2010 alongside Touchstone, who they have shared the stage with earlier this year.
Crimson Sky's singer Holly Thody was classically trained and also sang in a choir. Her ensemble made a CD and gave concerts in Italy, Venice and Sweden. More recently she's gained experience in more modern music, especially in recording. The diversified artist does session work, sings at weddings and is a trained belly dancer as well. Amateur videos currently online at YouTube reveal Holly singing and dancing in "After The Rain" performing with Crimson Sky
during their live performances in and around Bristol. Holly's powerful and well-trained vocals paint allusions to the sound of Ann Burstyn of the Canadian band Dream Aria and Patricia Tapia of Spain's (now defunct) Nexx. Produced and recorded on a 24-track studio by the band's guitarist Martin Leahmon, the studio album, although well polished, creates the ambience of a live performance.
The full length album is comprised of six primary titles, the final, being the six-part title suite. While this album will certainly appeal to a broad audience, especially with its most accessible opening track "After The Rain," the balance of the album's tempo changes, vast electric guitar solos and eclectic keyboard passages clearly reveal the band's progressive roots. The multi-textured "Thing's Die" is a great track. Listeners will especially enjoy the blend of guitar and superb keyboard work. Holly's powerful vocals perfectly track and support the tempo changes. The complex arrangement of "A Sleep That Burns" blends ballad with a fast paced progressive rock fury.
"Misunderstood I" is the instrumental--with some vocalise--introduction to the suite. The rhythmic percussion and crunching electric guitar parts produce an especially live ambience. The vocally lush movements and occasional harmonies within this suite are delightful. The ballads entitled "The Sea" and "I Do Not Count The Time." Together running almost eleven minutes, the two tracks combine Holly's powerful solo voice near alone in the verse and then with dynamic keyboard arrangements and extended guitar solos in chorus and bridges. A consistent musical theme spans the two tracks and perfectly join them into the suite.
The multi-tempo arrangement of "Misunderstood II" joins lyrical vocals with vocalise. The classically influenced piano constrast with thick guitar arrangements and powerful solos to produce an epic mid-suite number. The short and accessible track "The Space Between Us" recalls themes developed earlier in the suite. The range of Holly's voice glistens in her delivery of the marvelous chorus. Lush keyboards introduce the epic conclusion to the suite and the album in "Misunderstood III." Climaxing with vocals alternating with powerful electric guitar solos, the song fades unceremoniously to silence as it concludes. This outstanding six part suite must be fantastic to see and hear performed by Crimson Sky in a live setting.
Crimson Sky are certain to emerge as one of the UK's growing list of progressive rock acts during 2010. The album is currently available from the band as a CD-R from their website and it is also sold at their gigs. Misunderstood is also available via iTunes (UK) as a digital download. Winter's End promises to broaden the reach of the band and spread the acclaim for their debut album.