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Luminos - 2003 Seize The Day


LUMINOS - SEIZE THE DAY (2003, MARKET SQUARE RECORDS)
Neville Dean - vocals, guitars, keyboards
Anni Meehan - vocals
Lee Williams - guitars
William Sargintson - drums

Guests:
Andy Brush - saxophone
Jenny Burns - flute
Graham Lions - drums on 'Always In My Heart'


Background
Now, I'm quite partial to UK bands who ply the progressive path, interspersed with some folkier elements bordering on will-o-the-wisp dynamics. Back in the good ol' glory days we had Kate Bush, Fleetwood Mac, and Judie Tzuke. These days the scene is more eclectic, though it is still popularized by standout bands like GDAZE faves Iona and Welsh ensemble Karnataka. This time around we have the band Luminos, who are looking to illuminate us musically in much the same direction. Striking from the heart of the windswept backdrop of North Essex, Luminos approach their music with all the sophistication and careful precision of all their UK progressive forebears who have gone before. In places it has a jangly Celtic flavour, but mostly, it has traditional leanings harking back to the era of prog dinosaurs Camel and Caravan, though to be fair, you can also hear snippets of Jadis and IQ in there, and when vocalist Anni Meehan sings or shares the lead, we are reminded of bands like All About Eve and Heart, plus the aforementioned bands listed above.

The Songs
A rich tapestry of sound and influences? Definitely yes. Occasionally Luminos raises the temperature, but mostly we're in mid-tempo mode, exploring the subtle energies of this 47 minute opus. The opener 'Inner Self' would be a deadringer for a Karnataka track if Neville Dean wasn't singing and Rachel Jones was. The musical twists and turns mirrors the lyrical content to a tee, lending this track to being a strong and interesting prelude. 'A Small Boy, A Bird In History' sees Anni on lead vocals. The song is a tale of the Sudanese famine, too detailed to recount here but makes for fascinating reading. The third track 'Echoes In A Lonely City' is an instrumental, which is illustrated perfectly with a desolate sounding guitar theme throughout. 'If Only For A While' is one of the highlights of the album. Quite hard-driving this one, with the lyrics focusing on celebrating the unsung heroes in life - family members, friends.. 'Its Your Turn To Fly', a song about attaining polarity and balance in life, sees Luminos in their element.. flutes, acoustic guitar jangles, subtle keyboard layers and change-up moments in tempo and direction. Ironically, the band steal a few Rush like moments on 'Living On The Edge Of Time', while they turn up the Reverb units for the next track, the rather atmospheric 'Angel'. Similarly sweeping is the majestic symphonic arrangement of 'Always In My Heart', though the final crescendo of some sonic lead guitar combined with what sounds like a Bomb detonating is a bit disconcerting! lol..

In Summary
Without doubt, there are some lovely moments onboard, and because so many of my favourite artists have reference points throughout the album, it made it easier for me to absorb the music, unlike other prog acts which I struggle to comprehend at times. Luminos music is wide-reaching, and because of that, it's sure to capture the ears of traditional proggies, hard to please melodic rockers, plus those of you who are slightly off the beaten track into celtic and new age styles. An admirable effort, and one that will get a bit more listening time down under, especially the excellent 'If Only For A While', which is on repeat-play at the moment! The album is released by Market Square Records, and will be out during May 2003.

Track Time: 47.34

Track Listing:
01 Inner Self
02 A Small Boy, A Bird In History
03 Echoes In A Lonely City
04 If Only For A While
05 It's Your Turn To Fly
06 The Voyage (Ocean Freedom)
07 Living On The Edge Of Time
08 Angel
09 Always In My Heart

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