A breath of fresh air today with alternative/progressive/dark rock band Lucid Fly and their debut album Building Castles In Air, due for release 11th November. They are not your typical prog rock act – the frontwoman Nikki has a beautifully dark voice, similar to Kelsey of Kelsey & The Chaos. The band, amongst other things, played Progressive Nation at Sea 2014 (alongside Periphery, Haken, Riverside, etc) – they were one of 17 hand-picked by Mike Portnoy for the New Millennium Stage.
Building Castles In Air is one of those albums that would not be out of place either in an alternative nightclub in the middle of the night, or on someone’s iPod when they can’t sleep. The guitar riffs are both heavy and yet otherworldly and chilling at the same time. The vocals are soft and powerful simultaneously. The drums are cymbal heavy yet not too harsh or too “metal”. Whatever it is that Lucid Fly are doing with their songwriting process, they’ve nailed it perfectly.
Mascot introduces harmonies in the chorus for the first time on the album, obviously all performed in the recording studio by vocalist Nikki, but it works really well in that setting and in the song. It would be great to see how she pulls it off live.
The first two tracks of the album (Billowy and Broken and Circles Into Squares) are heavier before mellowing out at Mascot and completely chilling out at No I In Voice. Lucid Fly are incredible at exploring different tempos and styles within the same genre. Their unique sound is what pulls the entire album together.
Things pick up the pace again at Ribbons, which is well placed in the middle of the album. Visions Of Grandeur follows, the lyric video for which has been released on Lucid Fly‘s YouTube and is the first official single to be released from Building Castles In The Air.
The album ebbs and flows like the tide and the listener just bobs along with it, absorbing and enjoying every moment. The end of the album isn’t quite as good as the beginning, however that’s not to say that it’s not great too. All the instruments blend together really well, creating that unique sound that once heard, cannot be forgotten.
The final track of the album is the title track, Building Castles In Air is one of the best tracks on the album. It rounds everything off nicely, following in the same vein as the rest of the album but somehow sitting apart. Perhaps it’s the lyrical content that sets it above the rest of the album, perhaps it’s the guitar riff, perhaps it’s a combination of the two. The only criticism is that some of the songs sounds too similar, however as the listener visits the album over and over again, the differences between tracks will become clearer.