Lunatic Soul
Walking on a Flashlight Beam


3.0
good

Review

by OmairSh USER (22 Reviews)
November 11th, 2014 | 35 replies


Release Date: 10/13/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "There’s something that draws me in"

Mariusz Duda, the man behind Lunatic Soul (LS), has had a pretty prolific career thus far. He has been especially busy since 2008, where he has released an album almost on a yearly basis with both his main band Riverside, as well as his solo project LS. 2014 brings us the fourth installment of Mariusz’ more experimental project, entitled Walking On A Flashlight Beam.

For me personally Mariusz has reached Steven Wilson and Daniel Cavanagh status, whereby every music project with major contributions from him is on my “must listen to” list, and I have been eager to hear this album since the initial announcement was made. Mariusz claimed to be moving away from the oriental elements that led him to form Lunatic Soul in the first place, and towards more alternative realms. While I had hoped for him to traverse across more dark and ominous paths, I trusted that Mariusz would still conjure up some interesting results.

The first thing that struck me about the album was the song lengths. There are four songs over the eight minute mark, with the centre piece being the 12 minute “Pygmalion’s Ladder.” Seeing this produced both feelings of apprehension as well as intrigue. I enjoyed the musical styles of previous LS albums, but I found it difficult to imagine these styles being effectively stretched for the song lengths present on this record. I observed a variety of conflicting feelings throughout the duration of Walking On A Flashlight Beam.

The album starts off strongly and the opener “Shutting Out The Sun” got me excited by fulfilling some of my expectations from the album. There are eerie sound effects that remind me of the Silent Hill OST as well as gorgeous acoustic guitar work and immersive vocal layers. The next two tracks are also good compositions, and it’s when I got to the third track that I started to truly notice what Mariusz meant by the “alternative” direction he was taking. There are a host of interesting instruments used on the album, but overall it feels less experimental than the preceding albums. The majority of the songs have a little more structure than we’re accustomed to with LS music. There is a significant presence of Mariusz primary instrument, the bass guitar, as well as his vocals, the drums and of course the acoustic guitar.

Impressions was the first LS album without lyrics, and with this album's release remains the only one without them, as Mariusz has decided to properly sing again. While his vocal melodies are good, only a few of them really stood out as very memorable, which was a surprise to me. The compositions are relatively streamlined and there are a number of strong melodies on offer with some songs being reminiscent of Steven Wilson’s singer-songwriter compositions, while others are more haunting in nature, and some melodies even have a Middle Eastern flavor. The musical transitions are smooth and none of the elements are abrasive or jarring. There are a few new elements to the music, but also a lot of trademark features.

After listening to this album several times one thing really strikes me, I don’t remember too many melodies. I was surprised that I felt this way about an album that is over 60 minutes long. The songs aren’t taxing to listen to; on the contrary, I found it quite easy to sit through most of the album, yet for some reason I couldn’t remember a lot of it. The album doesn’t really take any risks either, and this may be one of the reasons for my supposed memory loss. It is by no means a weak album, but unfortunately it lacks some of the qualities that could to take it from being good, to being great. Regardless of these weaknesses, it still is a good piece of work and it will probably delight people who are curious about this style of music.



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user ratings (86)
Chart.
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
OmairSh
November 10th 2014


14636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dIoBU-mJ64



The Fear Within: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL3o7W_PwAU



Album's good but I expected more. Hopefully he'll come back stronger with the next Riverside album

Digging: Judas Priest - Firepower

Mythodea
November 11th 2014


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh dude, I missed this review. Excellent, have a pos. Album just needs time. The 'memory loss' thing was an issue at first. After no more than four listens it's more than rewarding. I'm thinking it may be his best LS yet, with LS I coming close.

Mythodea
November 11th 2014


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh, so this review came out today. Well, this explains it.

makrand
November 11th 2014


52 Comments


As always, wonderful write up. Cheers!


OmairSh
November 11th 2014


14636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks a bunch guys.



@Myth: I normally give an album 8+ listens before reviewing it. It has peaked for me currently. I think perhaps I should distance myself from it for a while and come back to it later. I think the debut might be the best for me right now followed by Impressions



@makrand: I see you lurking haha

OmairSh
November 11th 2014


14636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks homiedawggbrosef



Yeah I know what you mean, I wanted this to be dark and twisted and eeevil. Still coo though.



I think Riverside has begun working on the next album, so that should be something to look forward to!!

makrand
November 11th 2014


52 Comments


Haha. That's what I do on this site tbqh. Didn't know this was coming out tho! Will check when done with exams. Cheers!

ksoflas
November 11th 2014


1266 Comments


Nice review man. Pos'd.
I will check it for sure.
After all in Mariusz we trust.

OmairSh
November 11th 2014


14636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks man. Yeah for sure check it out. As you can see the majority of the ratings are 4 and above so its just me and a few others being negative Nancy's :P

Mythodea
November 11th 2014


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Marius is indeed a very talented man. But SW level?

OmairSh
November 11th 2014


14636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

SW level in terms of me absolutely having to check his work out. Quality wise there is still a little way to

go. Plus SW has like 1000 side projects so it would be unfair at this point to have an ultimate comparison

between the two musically

Mythodea
November 11th 2014


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think MD only has Riverside and Lunatic Soul. Of course I could find out with a quick search, but your answers will come with recs, so...

OmairSh
November 11th 2014


14636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah those are his main groups. He has been a guest vocalist on a couple of other albums by Polish bands

menawati
November 11th 2014


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review, some of this album is really good

Mythodea
November 11th 2014


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Okay then, good I'm not missing any major work he's done. We'l see then. Till now, though, all his discography is pure quality. Not one album I would ''eraze''.

OmairSh
November 11th 2014


14636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks mena, yeah there definitely are some interesting parts here.



@Myth: Yup you're up to date :-). I'm actually going to check one of the album's he's guested on because it has gotten some good reviews, and actually has over 50 ratings on sputnik. Indukti's debut album.



@Cap: brosef ov sputnik

Jethro42
November 11th 2014


15607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, posd.

The Fear Within is a great song, but I'm not sure Lunatic Soul is my thing. Let see.

OmairSh
November 11th 2014


14636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks Jethro. It's worth a shot that's for sure

Jethro42
November 11th 2014


15607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pygmalion's Ladder is such a superb song. I love the sound of the band, but I feel there are couple of compos that would need more work. Band is more polished but quite reminiscent of Amplifier at some point imo, even if the latter is more hard rockish. Maybe it's just me.





bloc
November 11th 2014


54409 Comments


Thought this was sooooo damn boring, even more so than the previous albums

Digging: The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike



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