Pictorial Wand - A Sleeper's Awakening

Year of Release: 2006
Label: Unicorn Digital
Catalog Number: UNCR-5027
Format: CD
Total Time: 112:11:00

I might as well say this at the beginning: This album is easily the best thing I've heard in 5 years. While it is neo-progressive in execution, everything about it feels like classic progressive rock from the 70s.

This 3 year labour of love is the brainchild of Norwegian Mattis Sörum who plays electric and acoustic guitars, el-sitar, organs, keyboards & does all the orchestra arrangements, besides writing the songs.

This is a 2 CD set comprising almost 2 hours of symphonic progressive rock. The music is extremely diverse, ranging from soft, lyrical passages to guitar crunching heavy rock. Sörum's guitars and keys dominate almost all the work. And while many other "multi-instrumentalists" are just as competent, few seem to feed off the musical creativity of the session musicians (or himself, for that matter) as Sörum does.

The music is grand and complex and like other concept operatic works, includes narration to help tell the story. Again, this is not overdone and generally complements the music. Many of the songs are pretty long and there are many compositional relationships to bind it all together.

What I like the most about the music is the presence of analogue synths, along with rich compliments of flute, cello, oboe and the violin. This is a warm sounding CD unlike the precise coldness of so much modern music today.

The concept is about a person who wakes up after a long, deep look in the mirror and finally becomes aware of his mistakes and the bad and selfish way he has lived his life. This theme is set in connection with the Seven Deadly Sins.

Both CDs are extremely strong with no weak tracks or moments on the album. Memorable melodies abound, with soothing pastoral moments that explode into dynamic rock. The abundance of ideas keeps any one musical theme from ever being repeated and at the end, the listener is rewarded with a draining, yet satisfying experience.

The artwork and packaging on this CD are also brilliant, with plenty of artwork look at while one enjoys the music.

Disc One: Prologue / The King And His Land Part 1 / The Gate Of Lost Souls / Pride - The Path Of Thorns / Envy Pt 1 - In Shadow / Envy Pt 2 - Broken Glass / Wrath Pt 1 - A Wandering In The Dark / Wrath Pt 2 - The Beast Within / Gluttony - Corrosion Of Flesh

Disc Two: Sloth Pt 1 - Retrospective Visions / Sloth Pt 2 - Red Sunset & A Drowning Fly / Greed Pt 1 - The Golden Path / Greed Pt 2 - Warning Not Heard / Lust Pt 1 - The Temptress Of Unchastity / Lust Pt 2 - A Sleeper's Awakening / The King & His Land Pt 2 - Pensiveness

Mattis S?rum - electric and acoustic guitars, el-sitar, organs, keyboards
Tomas di Sansimone - drums
Idar Eidsaune - bass
Paal Selsjord Bj?rseth - piano, organ, harpsichord
Per Christian J?rstad - cello
Synne Teiseth Norbeck - flute
Staale Storl?kken - synth solo
Sigrid Inderberg - flute
Hanna Haugan - cello

Featuring the voices of : Petter Selliseth, Ingrid Strid, Lise Granden Berg, Gry Tonslien, Eva Marianne Olsson, Stian Lekness, Martin Adams Kvam, Nina Utbj?r Guldal

A Sleeper's Awakening (2006)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin NO

Added: May 21st 2006
Reviewer: Richard Zywotkiewicz

Artist website: www.pictorialwand.com
Hits: 876
Language: english


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