CD REVIEW: Seconds Before Landing - The Great Deception
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Seconds Before Landing
Genre: Ambient, Chill, Dub, Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Future Sound of London, Curve, Tool , King Crimson, Liquid Tension Experiment
Technical Grade: 8/10
Weakness: Winded Songs, Genera Identity Crisis
"Seconds Before Landing", the ambient rock collective, formed by musician and composer John Crispino, has released its first full length album. The 14 track concept album, entitled "The Great Deception" features original music from Crispino, with a number of guest talents, from notable musical followings. "King Crimsons" Trey Gunn appears and plays Warr Guitar on several tracks. Also appearing is legendary bassist, Tim Bogert, from Beck Bogert & Appice, Cactus, and Vanilla Fudge.
The CD lifts off with “What Could It Be” a spacey ambient intro piece that serves up industrial-type rhythms, with pulsating moog bass painted against mesmerizing yet colorful canvass of music and sound that comes at you from every which direction. Track 2 “Welcome, To the Future” presents a striking yet kaleidoscopic scope of sound featuring grooving rhythm with psychedelic guitar and walls of apocalyptic melody that flow and ebb its way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Solitary Man” serves up methodical rock vibe against hypnotic keyboard and synthesizer accents with from Crispino. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear classic elements of Electronica, Ambient, Chill-out or dub music, yet with an Alternative Rock aftertaste. You will also notice lush layers musical instrumentation layered everywhere from impressive percussive accents, to effective beats and rhythms, to pulsating moog and bass segments, to psychedelic guitars, ambient horns, impressive guitar solos, synthesizer and dynamic organ and keyboard accents layered along the way. The music itself is extremely unique, highly original, and not easy to pin down. I suspect some of Crispino's musical influences are: Future Sound of London, Curve, Tool , King Crimson to Liquid Tension Experiment. The soundscapes are interesting, infectious, and hypnotic. The musical landscape flow and ebbs extremely against the dynamic scope of the music. From hypnotic “Instructions” to heartfelt “Alice Springs” and "I’m All Alone” to mesmerizing “Innocent” to grooving “They’re All Round You” to rocking "Elmendorf” to melodic “Down on Me” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with track 14 “Message in a Filed” the perfect finale piece for a catalogue like this.
All songs over 4.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. The vocal touches could be more effective and pleasurable. It's fair to say the CD suffers from a mild case of genera identity crisis and spreads itself way to thin across to many musical styles. I recommend Crispino narrow the fairway slightly with respect to his overall style and sound.
Overall this release from Seconds Before Landing has some very impressive moments indeed. The Great Deception is a very dynamic yet interesting catalogue of music. The music is highly original and not so easily pinned down during the first go around. It's strong suit is the amazing musical depth, rich sonic layering, and Industrial-type beats and sampling. The musical textures are compelling, and full of variety. Crispino clearly displays some brilliant production touches. He is a visionary and as an enormous amount of creativity was required to write these songs. Seconds Before Landing is definitely a dynamic and progressive musical project that offers a lot of musical variety and vivid sound imagery.