EDISON SUIT – Persistence Of Vision

Melodic Revolution 2023

To square the circle in the eye of a quarter-century storm, almost-forgotten Los Angeles proggers return with a fresh perspective.

Persistence Of Vision

Too often too balmy, California never felt like a safe environment for an adventurous ensemble of art-rock affiliation, which is why quite a few followers of this collective stopped waiting for their next album a long time ago; after all, the group’s sophomore effort “ß” was out in 2006, marking six years since “The Ones Who Keep The Machine Functioning Smoothly” had found Mark Smith and Barry Wood introduce their intoxicating sonic brew to the world. Circling back to the band’s beginnings and distilling “Persistence Of Vision” to a fully instrumental palette, the American duo and their friends well justify the fans’ wait on such an outstanding opus of highest emotional charge, rare, arresting exquisiteness and utter eloquence that require no words to pass the musicians’ messages to the listener. It’s simply breathtaking yet sparse enough to seem translucently breezy, in a defiantly Californian way.

Flying into focus on a mightily reverberating piano chord as if to pick up where The Fabs’ “A Day In The Life” left off, “Eyes Of Dust” first concentrates on spectral percussion and ghostly violin before painting guitars and organs onto this cosmic panorama and gradually letting six-string riffs and synthetic passages in turns rage and pacify the ether. But when the aural images are firmly grounded, and folksy strands manifest themselves and inform “Darkness Gives Shape To The Light” with a rather vigorous, raga-tinged electric twang, there’s no stopping the melodies’ wonderful worry. And once Smith’s acoustic strum and Wood’s lap steel spice up the flow, “Deeper Into A Nether Empire” edges further towards a crystalline, stereo-busting soundscape in which fingers meander over fretboards and keyboards surge, blending electronica and natural chimes as per the players’ original agenda, so one may only surmise whether what they hear is what they think it is. Of course, Barry’s throbbing bass and spaced-out ivories chasing Mark’s filigree through “Breakers On The Beach Of Skulls” won’t render the number’s heavy rumble hazy, while the former’s Chapman Stick and the latter’s EBow banjo give “The Breath Of Gaea” a magnificent chamber aroma instead of expected exotic scent, whereas “Vultures Of The Void” and “To Wound The Autumnal City” add danceable groove to the hefty, sci-fi-and-hi-fi of the record’s route.

However, the gorgeous quietude of the interstellar, though country-tinctured, “Chromatic Mist” can blur the audience’s line of sight, yet the Eastern-flavored “Conceptual Mechanisms” shows how elegantly this ensemble are able to rock – as opposed to “Wednesday’s Gray Hand” which covers earth-shattering bottom-end with gossamer lace of celestial frequencies, or the stygian “Cryptical Windings” whose bouncy, brilliant surface would be a perfect accompaniment to a “Solaris” screening. And then, there’s “A Myriad Paths Of Entropy” to throw a bluegrass-embroidered techno punch for a finale and eventually prove that the hour of “Persistence Of Vision” hasn’t been wasted; on the contrary, it should enhance people’s lives – and, spun again and again, enrich the world with magic.


January 20, 2024

Category(s): Reviews
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