Hot on the heels of last year’s debut album A Rare Thunderstorm in Spring, Perihelion Ship have already returned with a new full-length album.
I was originally drawn to the band’s debut album by their arresting cover art, and the artwork adorning To Paint a Bird of Fire is no less striking.
Musically the band continue with their blending of 70s progressive rock elements and heavier, more extreme elements. I can still hear an influence of older Opeth, although this is probably a less pronounced than it was on their debut album.
Much as I did on A Rare Thunderstorm in Spring, I very much enjoy the band’s use of Hammond organ and mellotron. Mixed with the heavier parts of the songs these really pop out and have real presence, but without drowning out everything else here.
The songs are well-written and quite enjoyable. While not too dissimilar in style to their debut album, it’s apparent that the band’s songwriting skills have progressed nicely, with To Paint a Bird of Fire demonstrating increased levels of confidence and maturity.
The band’s singer sounds more confident than ever too. His voice sometimes has more of a theatrical slant to it this time, as well as allowing more of his personality to shine through in his performance.
There’s not too many bands that can pull off progressive noodling and technical aggression in the same song, without it coming across as forced, pretentious, or worse. I’m happy to say that Perihelion Ship are able to do this quite easily and make it sound like the most natural thing in the world.
Perihelion Ship, partially due to their sound and at least partially due to their album covers, always strike me as an exotic, colourful, and fascinating band. To Paint a Bird of Fire does nothing to disabuse me of this notion, and I’m happy to continue to call myself a firm fan of their style.
Make sure you check this out.