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.
“Beyond Tomorrow,” the inaugural album by UK band Ruby Dawn, made its appearance in April. I never did find the time to sit down and write a review back then, but having just reviewed Steven Wilson's new album, “The Harmony Codex,” brought me back to pondering over this new and refreshing album and band. My mind went back here because the albums share an ambient resonance, but then they diverge greatly from this point forward. Steven’s album is a paradigm of meticulous production, with each note scrupulously crafted, EQ’d, and positioned. In contrast, Ruby Dawn’s work is imbued with a raw, jam-centric essence, a far cry from the "Wilson wizardry," which ostensibly would be the one to allure and captivate the listener, right? Intriguingly, for me anyway, the experience was quite the converse.
As inventive and avant-garde as “The Harmony Codex” aspires to be, it is “Beyond Tomorrow” that ensnares me, maintains my engagement, and rejuvenates my profound love for music. There’s something to be said for the spontaneous passion in music that emanates from simply situating a band in a room and pressing Record. Many of the tracks on “Beyond Tomorrow” evolved from improvisations by the band, where collective energy and drive decisively sculpted the final songs. The album navigates listeners through a labyrinth of interconnected themes aimed at awakening consciousness, challenging norms, and eventually warming the soul.
As inventive and avant-garde as “The Harmony Codex” aspires to be, it is “Beyond Tomorrow” that ensnares me, maintains my engagement, and rejuvenates my profound love for music.
Ruby Dawn concocts hypnotic and formidable ambient grooves. They blend rich, unique progressive rock sounds to create a distinctive listening experience. They intertwine emotional intensity with riveting lyrical narratives and adrenaline-inducing drive, conjuring the vibes of a fusion between Massive Attack and Pink Floyd, fuelled by fervor and zeal. The audience is whisked away on a mesmerizing, thought-provoking odyssey.
Thus, if you find yourself yearning for more meat on the “ambient bone” after soaking in the latest from SW, delve into “Beyond Tomorrow.” It's well over an hour at 72 minutes and "all killers, no fillers." If you tune into Prog Radio, you'll be entertained by numerous tracks from this entrancing album, along with those from “The Harmony Codex,” allowing you to form your own judgments. Both albums are commendable, differing in their distinct ways, but for me, one leaves a more lasting impression and a sense of fulfillment.