The rhythms, sounds and atmosphere of nature are the underlying themes that run through the latest offering from Gareth Page, interspersed with political comment and references to the modern, industrial world.
The opening track on the album, Brocken Spectre, begins with the sound of wind lashing through the landscape, and this ominous, haunting quality continues throughout the piece, overlaid with a poetic lyric, itself seemingly affected by the ravages of the weather.
Large parts of the album take the form of a tone poem, evoking various moods and, as the title suggests, reflections.
Excess Diffraction moves through time signature changes, beginning with the sound of breaking glass before shifting into a more introspective guitar arpeggio and keyboard wash and concluding with a reprise of the opening organ and bass figure. Ripples tells of the pressures of modern life and how institutional bullying can have dramatic and unwanted consequences. The abstract sound-sculpture of Ripples is developed in darker form in the following Herstmonceux, which creates a collage of early Pink Floyd-style keyboards, sounds from nature and disturbing screams and cries of an other-worldly nature.
The title track is a long, sprawling piece that segues between church organ fanfare, quiet reflection and more up-tempo passages. This is followed with the clear political message of A Shadow Falls which overlays aggressive-sounding marching chants from NHS demonstrations with plaintive guitar and keyboard backing, mourning the current situation of the health service as it descends into privatisation.
Broken Spectre 8' 18"
Excess Diffraction including Introspection 11' 38"
Ripples (Cause, Actions and Consequences) 5' 54"
Herstmonceux (In Search of Distant Galaxies) 11' 55"
Shadows and Reflections including Stained Glass and Introspection reprise 11' 40"
A Shadow Falls 3' 45"