Paul Sadler is apparently the vocalist/guitarist of UK progressive metallers Spires; unfortunately I’m unfamiliar with this band, so I can’t comment on how similar Paul’s material is to his main outfit. What I can comment on, however, is the 51 minutes of music there is on Soon to Be Absorbed, and I can attempt to describe just how good and how accomplished it is.
So, Paul packs a lot into this album, and it’s clear that not only does he have a lot to say, but he’s a damn talented chap too, (as his songwriting attests to). Musically, he sings, as well as plays the guitars and keyboards. Joined by a very able drummer and fretless bassist, as well as a guest cellist and violinist, the entire experience of listening to Soon to Be Absorbed is one of quality, professionalism, and rich, luscious textures.
The music takes aspects of old and new influences into itself, resulting in an album that feels at once contemporary and classic. We hear a range of styles across the running time, incorporating a variety of moods and styles. Progressive rock is the obvious reference point, but we also get elements of the folk, ambient, acoustic, and technical styles too, (along with a hint of metal here and there).
The songs are well-written and arranged, offering a feast of musical delights to savour. There are moments of instant appeal, but the bulk of the material is designed to be a slow burner, building in impact and emotional resonance the more you listen to the songs; as such, there’s a real sense of pleasure and satisfaction to be had in getting to know a work like this.
I’m impressed by the artist’s voice. Singers are frequently the weakest link in endeavours such as this, but not here; here Paul delivers a strong performance across the album and has a very likeable and capable voice that moves like fluid through the music.
This really is a very good album indeed. Intricate and engaging, it’s a compelling piece of work and a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
Very highly recommended.