Short album reviews by The Prog Yak. No puffery here, just a simple review and score from 1 to 5 yaks! Have a new album you'd like The Prog Yak to review? Let us know.
A Poetry of Rain
In the ever-evolving world of progressive rock, few albums have captured the zeitgeist of our times quite as poignantly as Subsignal's latest offering, "A Poetry of Rain." Releasing their sixth studio album, the Munich-based German-Dutch quintet masterfully encapsulates the essence of a gloomy autumn day, with rain that not only drenches the streets but also the hearts of its listeners.
The ambiance of this album is undoubtedly influenced by the somberness of the recent years, especially the daunting challenges posed by the COVID pandemic. As guitarist Markus Steffen elucidates, the album emanates a unique blend of melancholy and solace, resonating with the 'cultivation of sadness' akin to the poets of the Renaissance. Yet, there is a deliberate avoidance of descending into abject despair, offering listeners an immersive experience of nostalgia, reflection, and hope.
With "A Poetry of Rain," Subsignal has once again proven their caliber in crafting songs that are intricate yet transparent.
Delving into new territories, Subsignal explores themes from ancient legends, adapting them to the context of the modern world. Elements of overconfidence, loss, and departure echo throughout the album, reminding listeners of the fragility and transient nature of existence. It's interesting to note that the five-year gap between "A Poetry of Rain" and its predecessor, "La Muerta," was shaped in part by the pandemic. This interlude saw shifts in the band's lineup, including the exit of long-time bassist Ralf Schwager and the introduction of Martijn Horsten, who seamlessly integrates with the band's signature soundscape of melancholy.
Musically, the album boasts of a sophisticated blend of rock, metal, and art rock. Drummer Dirk Brand's exceptional skills lay down a robust foundation, punctuated by dynamic guitar renditions and melodious keyboard notes. Arno Menses, with his captivating vocal prowess, elevates the auditory experience, making each song an intimate conversation with the listener. Yogi Lang's pristine production work ensures that the album shines in all its splendor, with each track crisply standing out yet flowing seamlessly into the next.
With "A Poetry of Rain," Subsignal has once again proven their caliber in crafting songs that are intricate yet transparent. Markus Steffen's songwriting approach, where he visualizes songs as filmic sequences, gives the album its unique character, making it original and deeply affecting.
"A Poetry of Rain" is a very strong album, quite possibly Subsignal's best, filled with some really great songs. Tune in to Prog Radio where we’re featuring several tracks from this outstanding album in our New Music rotation. Fans and newcomers alike will appreciate this evocative journey that beautifully straddles the line between reality and legend. Dive in and let the rain wash over you!