Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Progressive Rock
Release date: 4 February, 2013
Playing time: 53:44

I'll be honest that I've had trouble rating this debut album from Lifesigns. This three-man outfit includes the likes of Nick Beggs on bass, John Young on keys, and Frosty Beedle on drums. These three are fairly well known, especially Beggs with his dynamic approach to bass and Chapman stick. The problem, then, is how to review an album created by three music veterans.

This album is deceptively simple. Its five lengthy pieces come across as light and fluffy most of the time, but inside their hearts beat with fiery bass lines, sweeping and atmospheric keys, and delicate drumming. This album thrives on heady technical performances, but somehow remains simple and accessible, too. Beggs is his usual self with inventive and incredibly interesting bass offerings. Indeed, this is definitely one of the best bass performances of 2013. Young offers keys with elegance and skill, playing everything from outstanding solos to subtle touches. Lastly, Beedle plays his drums with expert precision and appropriation to the music type. Indeed, this album is full of intricacies and subtleties. On top of these musicians, a great group of guests is involved, such as Steve Hackett with his ethereal guitar.

Alas, though, the strengths of this album may also be what keeps it from being a complete masterpiece. Subtlety. This album might be too subtle at times, to the point where passages seem to have nothing happening at all. I found again and again that a track would start out really well, have an outstanding middle, and then finish strongly. However, the minutes that provide transition between those parts are pretty uneventful and downright dull at times. Another strength is its guest lineup. However, the lack of an actual guitar players detracts from the overall feeling of the album slightly. The music often lacks a fullness or satisfaction. Don't get me wrong, though. This is an excellent album in almost every way possible, from interesting lyrics and great harmonizing vocals to skillful instrumental sections and extremely catchy rhythms.

The tracks themselves are somewhat varied. From the organic "Lighthouse" to the desperate "Telephone" and the elegant "Fridge Full of Stars" (my favorite), this albums starts off very well. It doesn't let up, though, as the sweeping "At the End of the World" and the funky "Carousel" finish the album on a really high note. Throughout these tracks, we are treated to incredible variety in keys and really infectious melodies. I am especially impressed with the vocal melodies at the end of "At the End of the World". Once you hear it, you will be singing it for hours.

So, how does one rate this type of album? It has its flaws, but they are small and don't really ruin the experience. On the other hand, the music is masterfully composed, professionally performed, and simply beautiful in ambiance. On one hand, some passages drag on without really going anywhere. However, then an infectious keyboard melody or bass line will rear its head, and the song will have changed in an instant to something glorious and divine. Overall, the album is worth everyone's time. It has the right amount of tastiness to keep the listener interested, and the album will grow and grow like a weed within your mind. This album is truly an excellent addition to the prog scene.

01. Lighthouse
02. Telephone
03. Fridge Full of Stars
04. At The End of the World
05. Carousel


Label: Esoteric Recordings
Distribution: Esoteric Recordings
Artwork rating: 85/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 3 February, 2014
Website: www.lifesigns.me