Review Summary: The beauty of The Art Of Navigating By The Stars lies within all the simplicity, the complexity, the melodies, the emotion, the lyrics and the overall level of artistic quality.
“The Art Of Navigating By The Stars” is a cleverly written album with very high quality song compositions. The album contains plenty of intricate time signatures, creative rhythms and a variety of excellent guitar solos! Markus Steffen’s outstanding ability on guitar is beautifully painted all over this album. Many progressive rock bands use keyboards and/or synthesizers, but you won’t find any on this album and you won’t miss them either.
The album is divided into eight different sequences just as they are listed on the album cover. Each sequence is linked with the catchphrase: “The view from here is frightening,” which is repeated at carefully positioned intervals throughout the album.
The menu is filled with layers of acoustic guitars and sugarcoated with the clean tone of electric guitars. A flute makes a momentary appearance. Although vocals rule and the guitar work is very impressive, the bass and drums are ever present and provide much of the entertainment on hand. Everything is so very cleverly prepared and skillfully tied together.
There are moments in each sequence that I can’t wait to hear and the build-up to each segment is just so well orchestrated as to give you a sense of complete satisfaction and jubilation every time they come around. I’m talking about truly unforgettable moments like; the chorus to “Stigmata,” or the classical guitar solos found in both “Blue Wide Open” and “Lighthouse,” or the very short and subtle drum pattern just before the great vocalization and last chorus to “To The Ones Who Have Failed,” or the fast paced drumming section that appears near the two minute mark of “Styx.” All of them highlights on the album and there are many more, simply to many interesting moments to list them all here.
The Art of Navigating By the Stars is a progressive rock album for the ages. I can’t imagine ever getting tired of it.