This week sees the re-release of Ghosts of Proxima Centauri from progressive rock /melodic metallers Corsair through Shadow Kingdom Records who released their acclaimed self-titled album of earlier in the year. The six track EP first made its well-received appearance in 2011 and makes a nice accompaniment to their current album. For those new to the band and also existing fans it is an enterprising and appetizing look into the band leading up to the recent release.
Their second independently released record before signing up with Shadow Kingdom, Ghosts of Proxima Centauri has a majority of the elements which went into their excellent album showing the evolution was in full swing within their inventive songwriting and imagination. More as the promo for the release says ‘laid back’ than its successor, the EP still has the tools and intent to rock the passions into action as well as exploring expansive progressive expression. If someone new to the band, the record also makes a fully convincing persuasion to check out their following album, its sounds and kaleidoscope of textures igniting ones would imagine an urgent appetite to do so.
The opening instrumental Wolfrider is a pleasing and inviting start to the EP, its fiery breath and provocative sinews a strong base for the expressive melodic and sonic colouring of guitarists Paul Sebring and Marie Landragin. It is not a track to ignite the passions but certainly makes a very decent lead into the following Warrior Woman, especially with its blazing climax. The second track is a thrilling ride of intensive riffs and incendiary melodic teasing with a groove which lights up the senses. The vocals of the guitarists with bassist Jordan Brunk adding his part are decent enough though the production leaves them less impressive than they should be, but it not really an issue to be honest such the quality of the song and those to follow. Many have placed references to the likes of Thin Lizzy and Hawkwind upon the band and certainly on this track and whole release it is hard to offer many alternatives. It is classic rock from the seventies with a bite which leaves an addictive taste to its thrilling encounter and a contagious lingering temptation.
Burnish The Blades offers a slightly less forceful stance but still with an energy and intent which vigorously dances with the ear whilst dazzling it through adventurous descriptive flames from the guitar framed by the excellent rhythmic craft of drummer Aaron Lipscombe. The blues expression of the solos envelope the imagination with a pleasing burning touch whilst the song itself without reaching the peak of its predecessor is a riveting companion as is Centurion, another thought drawing landscape of creativity and colourful invention. The track adds deep character to the narrative of the guitars as they help the vocals cast the fantasy fuelled tale leaving a definite greed for more even if again it lacks the virulence of Warrior Woman.
The closing pair of Orca and Eyes of the Gods completes an impressive release which certainly deserves its second chance to grab wider awareness. The first of the pair has a wonderful additive of female vocals, their sirenesque lure into the rampant and excited groove of the song and its virulent rhythms sensational whilst the song itself and its ever twisting and bewitching invention seals the deals for the passions as it stands to the fore of the release as its best moment. The closing track which features the excellent emotive violin of Gabe Cooper, though one feels it could have been even more potent with a better feel to its heart within the production as with the vocals throughout, is a riveting heated sunset to the album, its air rich in sonic colour and creative veining to inspire and conspire with thoughts and emotions.
Ghosts of Proxima Centauri impressed on its first release and still does even knowing what immense quality followed its wake. Whether discovering Corsair through the album or this EP both are releases all progressive and melodic rock/metal fans should and need to walk the outstanding lands of.
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