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Perfect Beings: Vier
Perfect Beings - Vier CD Album Review

Perfect Beings: Vier

Melodic Progressive Rock
4.5/5.0

California's Perfect Beings returns with their third album, Vier, now in the comfortable arms of major progressive label InsideOut Music. Perfect Beings create melodic progressive rock built upon the genre's classic roots from the late Sixties through early Eighties, a kinship to King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, Bowie and so on. Then they drop in their own eclectic musical themes like jazz fusion, avant garde rock, and classical music. You'll find the usual instruments, such as guitar and synths, but also those of brass and woodwind.

Perfect Beings Band Photo

Perfect Beings

Vier, is a mammoth project in four parts, initially composed for a double vinyl recording, where each part is heard as one continuous score on each side. The four parts have curious and mysterious names, perfect for progressive rock. The four parts are Guedra (perhaps a reference to the Moroccan dance meant to attract a mate), The Golden Arc, Vibrational, and Anunnaki (possibly a nod to a group of "gods" that appear in the mythological traditions of the ancient Sumerians, Akkadians, et al). Now, of course, I have a digital promotional download rather than the vinyl. Unfortunately, this format adds small gaps of silence between songs, so I'm not quite getting the intended listening experience. Additionally, Vier, in its four parts, is a lengthy listen at 72 minutes; it would be a feeble effort to comment all the songs. Nevertheless, I'll hit some personal highlights.

First, I found my self drawn to the songs where there was a greater guitar presence such as Guedra's Patience, something of twist between fusion and prog. Or The Golden Arc's For A Pound Of Flesh, dense with synths in parts and having a fine solo in the end. Additional spry guitar work can be found within Anunnaki's Lord Wind and Hissing The Wave Of The Dragon, another Metheny-like mixture of jazz rock prog fusion.

After this, my next listening adventure was catching the notes of brass and woodwind. Hardly an exercise in futility, but you do need to pay attention as the additions can be subtle as within the aforementioned Hissing The Wave Of The Dragon. (I'm pretty sure I heard it in the middle.) More obvious insertions come with the saxophone within Everything's Falling Apart, Patterns Of Light, and Enter The Center. To be honest, I'm not quite sure, in some songs, whether I was hearing a saxophone or possibly something like a clarinet or oboe. No matter, it's all good.

Perhaps my favorite piece here is The Persimmon Tree which begins The Golden Arc cycle. It's a lighter song driven largely, at the start, by a strong piano line, yet the whole arrangement reminds more of classical music as woodwind and brass are heard with symphonic synths. Alternatively, there's some wildness here as well with the crazy, almost cacophonous, aptly titled Everywhere At Once, complete with some screamo vocals.

Needless to say, Perfect Beings' Vier is an ambitious, impressive, and intriguing work of eclectic and melodic progressive rock. It's also a challenging listen that will require both your time and attention, but you will be rewarded in the end. Recommended.



CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

Perfect Beings' Vier is an ambitious, impressive, and intriguing work of eclectic and melodic progressive rock. It's also a challenging listen that will require both your time and attention, but you will be rewarded in the end. Recommended.

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