Rainbow’s End is a hugely creative exploration of a particular concept. The concept is expressed additionally by means of a colourful comic book accompanying the music, but with or without this, the music throughout feels like a pretty incredible story.
There’s a very sincere and captivating prog-rock sound to the collection. The progressive element appears almost instantly, in the form of complex and skillful instrumentals; the sort that can surround you in thought before even the briefest mention of a lyric. And then the whole thing begins to take shape, and it’s wonderfully unusual and interesting to experience.
Day in Day Out is blissful few minutes of vintage sounding, atmospheric rock. The track that follows it, Mirror’s Frame, is significantly more experimental, and the change takes you through a little bit of head spin. The song embedded in the music is big. It’s a welcome melody, a beautiful duo of vocals that fill the room with an addictive chorus of sound. It becomes clear pretty quickly how impossible it will be to predict anything that follows. The track has a saxophone solo, funk inspired keys, a rhythm change, and an overall output that feels like a fair few different situations all at once. The progressive nature of the music is consistently evident, it continues throughout the collection, and it’s a manic and exciting whirlpool to involve yourself in.
Rainbow’s Begin has a real sense of wonder about it. A rapid energy emerges alongside a fairly mellow and dreamlike array of synths and sounds. As the vocals appear, even more is added to the soundscape – it’s both haunting and comforting somehow, which is a brilliantly bizarre effect, refreshing, and notably familiar by this point as the Hollow Water sound. The guitar solos that dip in and out of the project are on form every time – never do they fail to satisfy. The vocal melodies too, particularly huge in this case, slowly building and surrounding you until it’s all you can think about.
This album is, in many ways, a creative adventure in audio. It’s more than just music, composition or songwriting. It’s dramatic, intense, intricate in detail and design, and never complacent or predictable. Listen to the high energy of the bass line and the beat in Gathering Sunbeams For The Future. Listen to what follows as the song develops. You can hear the emotional shift in the sound – the entire mood changes, rises, takes yours with it, then provokes to you think very deeply about the world. It makes for a fairly epic and important moment within the album.
The Quantum Mechanic and The Map Collector is a work of art in itself. The song is beautiful, a superb use of melody and structure, great storytelling, fantastic lyrics – so many of them, and not a single one wasted – plus a rather striking and stylish display of vocal performances, and then everything that Hollow Water offer instrumentally surrounding and lighting up each of these elements. It makes for a massive hit of high quality escapism.
The immense output of this project is vast and varied in content and expression. The progressive rock power is strong and never ceases to present itself, but there are frequent doses of indie involved, occasional ounces of jazz, funk, and perhaps even alternative folk when you really listen to those lyrics and ideas. Rainbow’s End puts forth a fairly indie-reminiscent string of melodies. Straight afterwards, Trick Of the Light takes you on an experimental and all encompassing, trip-hop like (but more organic) journey, yet still with that same creativity and that same familiar vocal drive that passionately highlights the various issues. Immortal Portal in a way continues the work that Trick Of The Light began. The atmosphere feels similar, though the energy increases, and this is part of why it’s so crucial to hear an album such as this in full – the complete project, as a single unit – it’s a pretty incredible experience.
In Solar Beacon the leading vocal appears a little closer, more intimate perhaps; the softness of the verse melody contrasts effectively with the quickness of the beat – as well as the chant or tribal like chorus vocals. And of course, instrumentally, the emotional exploration continues at full throttle. It’s instrumentation with a definite freshness to it, not blatantly similar to anything else, to my knowledge, and each part very skillfully adds a new and unique dynamic to each and every song. Amazing musicianship.
The album is a more than worthy experience for music fans of all preferences. It may work well in the background, perhaps, but it’s much more effective when really paid attention to – you can let the music do the work, the character that shines in the voices, in the lyrics, and in the musicality; you can trust it all to take you somewhere far from your mind’s current moment.
Finishing up with We Changed. This World Didn’t, the project officially leaves it’s mark. On a personal level, it’s one I’ll be listening to again, without question. Download it, take it home, listen to it in full – repeatedly perhaps, whenever you need something that is unapologetically real, yet inescapably dreamlike at the very same time. In great keeping with the concept, this is your portal to another world, at least for a while.