August 1, 2021

Spirits Burning Disc Review – ‘Evolution Ritual’ (2021)

Spirits Burning – ‘Evolution Ritual’
(June 4, 2021, Self-produced)

Spirits Burning is the name of the project that is configured as a musical collective in which its members rotate at each release, which has been running since

Spirits Burning is a musical collective formed by the American producer, Don Falcone who through the years, brings together members of Blue Öyster Cult, Hawkwind, among other musicians from the world of progressive as Daevid Allen from Gong or former members of Van Der Graaf Generator to record instrumental discs that are framed in progressive rock.

In its beginnings it would be the same Don Falcone who would play in the band with other musicians and over the years would add to the names already mentioned to support the recording of the group’s extensive discography. This is how album after album the formation changes, which allows the project to sustain its continuity and its musical innovation.

The project has been recording since 1999 in a joint effort of Don Falcone and the different musicians who build each album. That is how Spirits Burning accumulate next to “Evolution RitualHis plate number 16.

But let’s get to the music. The album opens with the theme that gives the album its name “Evolution Ritual”, Opening with a combination of berimbau, percussion, guitar, saxophone, and an Electronic Wind Instrument (from now on EWI) an electronic musical instrument that we could call it an electronic flute, with which flutes, saxophones, oboes and clarinets can be simulated, allowing a wide spectrum of work.

The theme has a percussion that sounds throughout the composition, in addition to the different wind instruments making their appearances and being the main sound line, including a solo that comes from the EWI and another from the saxophone. Before that, the acoustic guitar played the main role, which later joined the wind instruments.

On the second track we face “Caves”, A composition that starts slowly with a violin that stars in the whole piece, being accompanied by some guitars, as well as digital sounds and flutes, all contained in a more mysterious aura. In contrast, the third song, “The Laws of Umber”, Is a festive theme with the saxophones taking the rhythm and leading the way with some sections of the drums as a break, to then give way to a solo of the sax that makes this a great song.

With these three songs, we can see that we have an album where there are synthesizers, acoustic and electric guitars, violins, violas, organs, flutes, saxophones, oboes and clarinets, the EWI, cello, bass, harmonicas and other arrangements. They are not always all present, but the different combinations make each song an unrepeatable experience compared to one another.

The Dream Find”The fifth track has a restless and upright piano that clearly wants to be the protagonist and that is accompanied by a violin and other stringed instruments, who are the central part of the composition. The keyboard is at times reminiscent of Frank Zappa’s Synclavier works on his 1986 album, “Jazz from Hell”. Another outstanding topic is “Far & Away the Lands Escape, Bias of Recency”In which the stringed instruments are accompanied by percussion in a mixture of rhythms from India and the Far East.

Shadow Language”Is a work that has an eclectic opening with all the instruments appearing and leaving the scene, while we enter a composition that in its opening is more reminiscent of an environmental-orchestral work. Then we go straight to the guitar, which is accompanied by the strings of the violins and the cello, as well as other arrangements that make this a song that invites you to listen to it more than once.

Alternating Universes“Is another eclectic theme, which circulates between the flute, the bass, the drums, the percussion, the trumpet and the saxophone with that same festive aura that we hear in”The Laws of Umber

Evolution Ritual”Closes with“Night of the Moon Dial”Composition that has epic overtones which is achieved together with the prominence of the violin, the banjo and the different arrangements, giving the album a remarkable closure, showing us a review of the album’s ideas.

This album is an amalgam of rhythms, instruments, sounds, exploring from progressive rock to rhythms from different cultures, creating a varied, wide sound that goes from Genesis a Dead Can Dance, and which is clearly inspired by the sounds of Blue Öyster Cult Y Hawkwind. The sound featured in “Evolution Ritual”Opens the possibilities of expanding the proposed ideas and presenting a material that continues the line exposed in the album.

luis sanchez herrera Luis Sánchez Herrera (Twitter: @tunelprogresivo)
Journalist. Collaborator of
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