Exposé Online banner

Resonaxis — Hymnarium
(Indidem IND003, 2012, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-09-27

Hymnarium Cover artIn the land down under there is a relatively new band that is producing some of most unique progressive music you will ever hear. Who would have ever thought of combining heavy metal guitar, melodic bass, hard-hitting percussion, a choral singer, and a pipe organ? Not I, but this combination works amazingly well and the result is an alchemical mixture of progressive rock, heavy metal, and Renaissance music. Given that a pipe organ is not an instrumental that is easily moved, I find it incredible to me that Resonaxis can tour and perform live! Of course they find venues with an installed organ such as the Sydney Opera House, St. James’ Church, and St. Stephens’ Newtown. The band is Brooke Shelley (soprano voice), David Drury (organist), Matt Roberts (drums), Richard Hundy (guitar), and Adam Bodkin (bass). There is an overall Gothic feel to the disc that brings immediate comparisons to Italian progressive music. The opening track “Monsignor Loss” is also a particularly gruesome song “(he) broke my sternum, reached in his hand, and gouged out a hole.” Aside from the subject matter, Drury’s keyboard skills are majestic and propelled by Hundy’s guitar work. The second track, “Hymn,” is interesting as it alternates between progressive metal and vocals akin to a Gregorian chant. The high points for me are “Wachet Auf”; “Hymn 2,” with some crazed organ playing calling to mind Vincent Price; “Mysterium,” sung in Latin, with Metallica styled guitar mixed low to allow Brooke’s vocals to shimmer; and the closing track “Akasha” with more chanting and whispered voices. Brooke’s soprano draws some comparisons to Jacqui McShee of Pentangle, and her voice works well in a choral setting or when she is harmonizing. However, as a soloist Brooke needs a bit more grit and emotion to enable her to stand out. As it is, I find myself tiring of her voice, which is unfair to the band and their music.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Resonaxis

More info
http://au.myspace.com/resonaxis
http://www.facebook.com/Resonaxis
http://www.resonaxis.com

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dennis Rea - Views from Chicheng Precipice – Classical Chinese poetry, like Japanese haiku, even in English translation, can be very evocative, carefully choosing certain details to trigger the mind to fill in an entire scene. For the most part...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues