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Friday, July 15, 2016

Sharon Knight - Portals review

Year : 2016
Genre : Massively Fantasy-Driven Soft Rock
Label : Independent
Origin : United States
Where to check it out: >here<

Buy it now

Festival Favorites Sharon Knight and Winter are internationally touring musicians in the mythic-Celtic vein. Their penchant for combining fierce and gutsy bravado with ethereal beauty, a hearty dose of fantastical lyrics, and an obvious love of storytelling has inspired their own style, “Neofolk Romantique”. This often sound less Celtic and more “Folktales that ran away with the Faeries at the turn of the century and took cover in an old trunk bound for the circus, which was then commandeered by pirates.” This suits them fine.

Portals is a mature, undeniable, artistically ripe release that channels the charms of massively fantasy-driven escapism/romanticism with genuine creative grace, originality and musical aptness amidts its premiere acumen. The intention to deliver top tier songcraft, remains an unrelenting staple throughout this intoxicatingly ornamented sonic journey, and this is the central reason that the disc worsk so well. Read on to know more.

Luckily, this ever-present abundance of constant audio-stimuli always arranges itself into rigorous formations of elegant structure, bowing to the will of clearly identifiable harmonies and rhythms. The album features every type of sound worth mentioning in the context of smartly varied dynamics, yet the main characteristics of the individual tracks willfully submit to the ethos of exigent bonfire/caravan music, - there are expections, but those are the peak points, actually - albeit by the most prominent and highest standards possible.

The title of the disc is a precise rhyme devoted to the very agenda of the delivery, denoting the mere effect the arrangements subject the listener to. Each and every one of the compositions will open a differently shaped portal on a high-fantasyesque reality frame, and, even better: the spin is 100% free of self-congratulatory "look, what we can do!" ego-gimmicks or artistic posturing delivered amidst the comfortable boundaries of such a safely agreed-upon make-believe environment.

Sharon Knight and Co. does not ASK you to believe in that place. They grab you by the ear and TAKE you there instead, whether you like it, or not. And you will love it.

The shape and form of the music always comes first on this effort, while the sub-sets - synonym: performers - responsible for it, are mature enough to not take themselves all that much dramatically serious in the process of creation. Oh, their playing is immaculate, by the way, but they are mature enough to know that this is JUST sufficient. Nothing else is to be added. This optimally playful demeanor serves the engines of fantasy/imagination with an inescapably undeniable level of efficiency.

As hinted, the abundance of sounds is a central element on this journey, and, hilariously enough, the band exhibits an unusual level of readiness to challenge-, even to lovingly mock the standard, everyday/average "normal" fantasy tropes and related narrative rhetorics when it comes to the mere anatomy of musical structures. With certain songs, like, in the great tune "Conjurer", the band invites the folks of fantasy to rock out like there is no tomorrow, and the results are supremely badass, and hilarious. It is the music you would expect if Gandalf was a rocker and he was about to show off that he still has it. The resultant music is akin to the best moments of Heart from the '70s, and this is no small feat to pull off.

The willingness to incorporate bluesy/rocky sentiments - even a hint at impending doom - into the fantasy fabrics, is a reocurring theme on the release, and it never fails to deliver the ball home with undeniable elegance and musical value.

All in all, the disc is a serious and immediate recommendation for pretty much all music lovers, as the music on this disc is exclusively about THE music, and this is the most you could hope to get from a release. Go soak some ears!

Check out the album here.

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