*** Outrageous CD of prog rock from Richard Youngs’s and Andrew Paine’s Ilk, Canticle is a long promised follow-up to the group’s 1998 CD Zenith, which was released on Youngs’s No Fans label.
Unlike Youngs’s more “minimalist” solo records, Ilk drapes his songs and voice in thick layers of heavy jams, and then piles on the production tricks, vocal layers, Steve Howe-style leads, synth bleeps, and other racket in beautifully intricate arrangements.
Canticle is clearly influenced by the classic UK progressives but unmistakably contemporary. “A Guiding Principle” and “Landsong marry Youngs” and Paine’s multi-tracked voices with over the top full rock-band arrangements. “Honour’s Prospect” mixes mystical narration with some searing fuzz-guitar, and is followed by the bass-heavy march of “The Weight of Stars.” “Tilling” shimmers and echoes, leading into the spacey and cosmic “Outward & Homeward.” The folky “Of Souls” serves as a fittingly simple epilogue to the suite. Veronica Rennie’s cover art completes the package in highly appropriate style.
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