Virulently mesmeric and grippingly enthralling, Imperfect Symmetry is simultaneously a flight through expansive poetic scenery, an exploration of intimate emotions, and a fly on the wall reflection of evocative life. Certainly as the new album from Tom James Parmiter seduced senses and thoughts that is the emotive web which compellingly caught our imagination. Consisting of ten instrumental insights crafted by the undeniably impressive piano and keys skills of UK based composer Parmiter, the album is an emotional and cinematic adventure for a similarly exploratory vision of the listener. It is experimental without being inaccessible and soaked in a perpetual ambience which evolves and caresses with a poignant breath to which the colour rich melodies and descriptive hues of Parmiter’s craft, paints compelling narratives.
The follow up to the well-received 2011 album Providence, the Zube Records released Imperfect Symmetry has been two years in the making with everything from writing to performance Parmiter alone. It is an absorbing brew of classical and orchestral elegance entwined in a modern electronic and melodically twisted voice ensuring each track is an individual premise and provocative tale. It is a big step on from the more electronically sculpted Providence, revealing much more of the artist and emotional invention of the man.
The Paul Barton and Shaun Milton produced release opens with Remembrances, its full height of sound emerging from a sonic mist which instantly engulfs thoughts with dark shadows and haunting intrigue. The synths wrap ears like thick emotional smog clad in sonic insecurities, a bewitching blanket which parts and swirls in appealing squalls as tender reflective keys cast the heart of the song and its evocative pallor. From its start the track transfixes ears to emotions but brings an even deeper enticement with its melancholic beauty which seduces for a long term engagement. With guitars adding additional texture and resonance to its climax, the piece departs for the following title track to sweep majestically into view. Like a fleet footed yet confidently graceful dancer, the piano skills of Parmiter glide poetically over the senses and imagination; every key touch and flight of fingers adding layers of melodic colour to the immersive picture of the track. Percussive scatterings ignite the sky of the piece from its mid-point, the music igniting thoughts of a city skyline under explosive artistic skies with a wave of bodies beneath courting ground and emotions with radiant motion. It is a glorious proposition which leaves the listener basking.
Both Shifting Sands and Aftermath explore unique soundscapes next. The first ventures through sultry yet seemingly stark scenery, drifting with sonic abrasing and a caustic caress within the expressive breath of the impacting incitement whilst the second brings a crystalline elegancy with spatial seducing into an emotionally imposing but smiling reflection dealing with what feels like emotional conflict. Though neither track matches the heights and deep enveloping of the first pair, each provides a thought provoking, attention stealing exploration which the following Cerulean with its clear magnetic air and hand takes back to the earlier plateau. A warm seduction of arresting ambience soaks ears which from within a slow spellbinding casting of piano from Parmiter creates a beauty and resonating melodic rapture. It is the most dramatic and beguiling piece of music, sirenesque in its enchanted and emotive richness, and along with the title track, the pinnacle of the album.
Piano Interlude is as it says, a piece of music which allows atmospheres to rest whilst simply conversing one to one with the ears. The track does not light the imagination as others but certainly has thoughts enthused and engrossed before the sophisticated worldly embrace of The Serpent and the epic evocative structures and emotional grandeur of Angkor Wat lie compellingly within ears. Both tracks take the listener into further rich expanses of scenic beauty and provocative creative enlightenment, and both thrill with a simple and honest breath.
The album is completed by the breath-taking Reawaken where from a slow coming to life, a dulled opening of eyes, you can hear and feel awe struck expression in the sound and breath of the song as it expands with orchestral radiance, and finally the arcadian grace of Serenity, a piece wrapped in pastoral hues and idyllic ideation. The pair makes a restful yet also shadowed conclusion to a quite riveting slice of instrumental alchemy.
There is a one really minute issue with the album which is that the tracks do not seem to have a linking essence or theme to them so that they can also combine for one vast landscape as well as alone pieces. Maybe they do and we just miss it but they feel like a collection rather than a collective but as said it is a tiny shade on a vivaciously fascinating encounter which as an emotional travelogue and imaginative composing brought with transfixing realisation is quite sensational.
Imperfect Symmetry is availably digitally and on CD via Zube Records now.
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