By Andrew Bansal
Fledgling Buffalo NY progressive rock group Turning Virtue released their new full-length album ‘A Temporary Human Experience’ earlier this year. Prog truly has no boundaries and limitless possibilities, so when a new band comes along with a promise to pursue prog in earnest, the genre’s fans and explorers are compelled to take notice. Inspired by the likes of prog luminaries such as Steven Wilson, with this album Turning Virtue attempt to stake their claim as the genre’s worthiest newcomers.
This 9-track effort by Turning Virtue has a decidedly modern prog feel to it, and generally paints dark, melancholic shades with its music, very much akin to the band’s main influence, Porcupine Tree. The clean singing also gives it somewhat of a dream pop touch and the group chorus vocals carry a bit of a Beatles flavor, which fits well with the guitar tone and the style of musicianship they are going for here. There is a great sense of expression and emotion in each of these tunes, and justifying its title, this album serves as not merely a set of musical compositions, but an experience in itself.
The richly melodic yet heavy and well-rounded ‘Box Of Disappointment’ comes across as one of the highlights of the first half of ‘A Temporary Human Experience’, as does the slow, trippy ‘Random’. Musically and lyrically, ‘Fall In Love With The World’ is the most upbeat tune on here, and slotted at #5, it arrives at the opportune moment as the centerpiece of the 9-track album, which switches back to its dark vibes for the remaining four tracks. Things come to an apt end with the epic, progressive, thought-provoking and masterful 12-plus minute venture ‘Salty Tears’, decorated with undeniable excellence in songwriting and arrangement.
Although not everyone’s cup of tea and not a universally suitable listen for all moods and times, Turning Virtue’s ‘A Temporary Human Experience’ aims at creating its own specific and unique environment, and succeeds at doing so. For prog rock fans, this is quite a worthwhile release, and augers well for the band’s future in this genre.
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Release Date: April 8th 2016
02. These Things
03. Box of Disappointment
05. Fall in Love with the World
08. What’s True
09. Salty Tears