THE COURAGE TO BE
Release date: 24/08/2018
Lux Terminus is an up and coming fusion trio hailing from Cleveland, Ohio in the United States, formed in 2016 by keyboardist Vikram Shankar along with drummer Matthew Kerschner and guitarist Brian Craft, the musicians have history as they were once band member for the rock Gravity, and a shared vision to create unique and powerful instrumental music.
On June 8th, 2018, Lux Terminus is excited to announce their long-awaited debut album “The Courage to Be” which is set to be released on August 24th, 2018. The 10 track album highlights the band’s unique blend of progressive metal, rock, jazz fusion, electronic, and cinematic influences. The album features guest performances from several acclaimed musicians: vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering, Devin Townsend Project, VUUR), guitarist Timo Somers (Delian, Vengeance), and cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne (Leprous, Musk Ox) in a 21-minute orchestral driven epic, high-octane jazz fusion, and a variety of other diverse influences including swing and electronic music. “The Courage to Be” was produced by the band and mastered by Brett Caldas-Lima (Ayreon, The Gentle Storm, Devin Townsend Project).
Prologue: The Departure (I)
The Journey (II)
The Road Home (III)
The Courage to Be (feat. Timo Somers & Raphael Weinroth-Bowne)
Epilogue: Fly (feat. Anneke van Giersbergen)
Beginning their debut album is “Prologue: The Departure (I)” introduces the band with a beautiful ethereal atmosphere from the synths and piano keys, then hearing the cinematic boom, comes in the heavenly voice and harp blending together with the flute, emphasizing the sound of celestial nature as it fades out to the next track and single “Electrocommunion”. The song comes in with a solid piano-drive and cymbals clashing while the synth trills underneath them prepares listeners for what’s about to come next, but the song teases you before the fun begins with the constant one-note repetitive piano key with that cheeky bass solo. Reaching the one minute mark, the trio holds nothing back as they give their all with the grand-piano and cymbal clashing drumming, the funk of the bass playing emphasizes the “electro” in “electrocommunion”, the ending of this track end with a rich-filled Devin Townsend progressive vibes. Next, “The Journey (II)” is the second song of the suite, opening with the leading beautiful grand piano and subtle electric guitar strums, the track transitions into a fun light-hearted energy when the drum and bass kicks in and the piano brings out more of its playful side.
Next track “Aberration” delves more into the band’s electronic side with the very eccentric bass and synth, while the following, “Miles Away”, is more quirky and fast-pace track. “Spectral Shapes” bring a strong extraterrestrial (just like the title) essence with a side of jazz-inspired sounds while the third movement of the suite “The Road Home (III)” continues the band’s jazz flow but with more of the rocky twist after the halfway point, and “Effusion” is very upbeat with strong bass guitar pulsations and prog-speed piano.
Coming to the most exciting part of the album is the self-titled track “The Courage to Be” is the longest song on the album clocking in about 21- minutes with guest musicians Timo Somers of Delain and Raphael Weinroth-Bowne of Leprous and Musk Ox. If I were to describe every moment of this track, I might as well write a second review, haha! Though too long for me to give you a short explain, let me just say it starts of with a relaxing ambiance and the atmosphere begins to grows into a cinematic Hans Zimmer-like explosion from symphonic orchestration and high octane jazz fusion. Last movement of the 4-part suite is “Epilogue: Fly (IV)” and is the album’s closing track, and it is the only song to features vocals with a very special guest, Anneke van Giersbergen, a momentous achievement for Virkam to have his musical inspiration to collaborate in his song. A beautiful piano ballad that makes you feel like you want to fly where the wind goes with a few tears in your eyes while the soft but soaring vocals soothes your soul. A wonderful collaboration that is played by their souls.
Lux Terminus continues to prove that even without vocals, a band can still manage to play excellent music, this album has definitely become one of my favorites as it is fun, eccentric while bringing in the emotional influence of cinema. A fascinating and fresh album of 2018 for the prog-rock genre, it will definitely have fans and new listeners become interested into fusion music!
I'm giving “The Courage to Be” a 9.85/10!
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Virkam Shankar – piano, keyboards
Matthew Kerschner – drums
Brian Craft – bass guitars