I would give them a high score for such a great band name. Island Noises is the seventh release from German progressive/art rock band Poor Genetic Material. Island Noises is two CD concept album, after a fashion, as it's based upon William Shakespeare's The Tempest. However, this is not a retelling of the story. Rather it 'explores certain ideas, atmospheres and characters plot of the original play.' Scored over two discs, listening to Island Noises can be a daunting task. But those who persevere will be richly rewarded.
The first disc consists of six tracks, five around six minutes or less and the last at nearly 20 minutes. The prog within is more traditional, with little modern nuances. A Dance So Strange is more like dynamic melodic rock. Let Them Beware offers a heavier twist. The final cut, the title track, is epic, and not just because of its length. The composition weaves through movements with both effortless grace and surprise. My instincts tells me it's a musician's piece, and the listener is merely voyeuristic observer.
The second disc does not have a lengthy epic, although it is marked by several longer songs. Poor Genetic Material repeats much of the same formula from the first half: sometimes complex arrangement propelled by melodic rock sensibility. Yet, listening to Banquet of Illusions, In a State of Grace, or Fountain of Innocence, there's a stronger more ethereal atmosphere across the second side. While I'm not sure if it's necessary to begin with the first disc, listening to the second disc and its more digestible, shorter, chunks might help the listener, new to PGM or progressive rock in general, to enjoy this work.
This leads to (possibly) the only drawback to Island Noises: it's long and there lots to absorb. Critics of progressive music, rock or metal, often complain of the nearly self-indulgent excessiveness that appears as a genre truism. Frankly, I don't think that (excessiveness) applies here. Poor Genetic Material's Island Noises is genuinely creative and intriguing; with patience it becomes a delightful listening experience. But, hey, I love progressive rock. Strongly recommended.
Poor Genetic Material's Island Noises is genuinely creative and intriguing; with patience it becomes a delightful listening experience.
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