29 October 2021 (released)
22 October 2021
I first heard about Drifting Sun a couple of years ago when a friend, Ben Bell, told me he was playing some keyboards on their then new album ‘Planet Junkie’. That album turned out to be a very special piece of modern Prog music and I’ve been looking forward to ‘Forsaken Innocence’ ever since.
Drifting Sun have actually been about since the early 1990’s when founders Pat Sanders (recently relocated from France) met up with American Rafe Pomeroy and started writing together. Since then they have put out a number of albums and EPs and this is their latest.
As with ‘Planet Junkie’, this is a superb and original Prog album but it has many facets of the classic Prog bands while retaining a very individual sound.
The band’s line up has changed over the years and now consists of Pat Sanders on keyboards, Jargon on vocals, Matthew Spaeter on guitars, John Jowitt (bass) and Jimmy Pallagrossi on drums. Ben Bell adds additional keyboards, Gareth Cole, guitars, and Eric Bouillette violin and guitars.
The thing that strikes me about the album is that they are not afraid of producing a palette of sounds that includes elements of folk, classical, rock and even jazz, often including many different forms in the same tracks. There is a strong keyboard bias to the sound but the guitars have plenty of their own place in the music.
Unlike a great number of the current Prog fraternity, Drifting Sun don’t descend into metal guitar riffs and so their music has a very complex sound, working up and down the scales and constantly keeping the listener on the edge of their seat. The songs are (mainly) long but they never seem to be long for the sake of it. The title track runs over 25 minutes but runs through many different pieces to keep the listener’s focus. The track is huge in scale and fast paced so that by the end the listener feels as though they have been on a journey – albeit one that you just want to get back to start again and experience that wonderful rush of emotions and intrigues once more.
The playing throughout the album is quite fabulous. Jimmy Pallagrosi’s drumming is powerful and impactful, Mathieu Spaeter’s guitar playing is a real delight and the mix of electronic and analog keyboards makes the music all the more exciting. Jargon has a great voice, capable of a great range and perfectly suited to the music.
There are a number of very good Prog bands around at the moment but I have to say that Drifting Sun are making music that works on just about every level and of all I’ve heard this year ‘Forsaken Innocence’ is definitely the best of them.