Cobweb Strange - A Breath Of October

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Genterine Records (independent)
Catalog Number: CPR 1003
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:50:00

As one tries to find a way through the vast ocean of musicians that keep aggregating themselves into the new supporting pillars of the underground progressive rock and metal movement, one keeps running into bands that seem to have some seed of unrealized potential hidden somewhere within. More often than not, it takes at least a couple of albums for the seed to grow adequately, and in some cases, it just never does. Thus one is sometimes exposed to bands that keep trying and trying, but which in all honesty will never quite make it and have made more than just one person wish they would just quit. Thank God that Cobweb Strange leader Wade Summerlin never thought that of himself and stopped, because after two albums that weren't quite there yet, his band has finally hit jackpot.

That's right, save for a few complaints here and there, and the band's recurring curse of thinly weak production rearing its ugly head once again, the band's third album is not only its best effort by far, but also the one that sees this recently restructured unit finally hit the right path with confident stride. Forsaking any stylistic deviations, Wade and crew have created a moody and often stark album which nevertheless is never overbearing. Not quite very metallic, and as usual only obviously progressive in certain key spots, the band's style has found new focus in a sound that almost comes off as an opiate slumber of midtempo mystery and sleepiness. It is far from darkly depressing, dragging and slow, or too atmospherically inclined, coming more across as well-focused rock with what is often a whimsically dreamy approach, not counting the occasional foray into heavier and more direct territories.

Not only that, but the excellent swing of "Giant" off the band's debut has been brought back, Summerlin's vocals have been improved to fit the music better, and the new inclusion of keyboardist Brandi Byrum has subtly given the band a whole new lease on life with enhanced arranging and dimensional capabilities. Sure, the simple and acoustic "The Empty Shell" could have used a little more variance towards the end, but it gets its point across well nevertheless; "Pure" gets temporarily lost in its odd time signature introduction after a while, but as soon as the vocals start the band gets its act together again; and "On With The Show" isn't really the greatest of songs, but the misty "Tea For The Sleepless" alone more than makes up for that. Laconically put, A Breath Of October has a lot more going for it than against it. No better proof that there is no substitute for discipline, persistence, and hard work.

The Drowning Pulse Of The Cold Green Sea (9:02) / Giant (5:14) / The Empty Shell (5:08) / Tea For The Sleepless (6:34) / Pure (11:50) / Currents Of Nightshade (4:00) / On With The Show (6:43) / With Evening Falling (1:17)

Wade Summerlin - bass ,acoustic guitar, vocals
Holly Williams - guitar
Brandi Byrum - keyboards
Soumen Talukder - drums

Thoughts Under Glass (ep) (1995)
The Temptation Of Successive Hours (1996)
Sounds From The Gathering (1998)
Seamless Selections (2002)
A Breath Of October (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: March 9th 2003
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 1709
Language: english


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