SUBSIGNAL – Paraiso [Deluxe Edition 2CD] (2013)
German melodic progsters SUBSIGNAL were founded back in 2007 when Arno Menses (Vocals) and Markus Steffen (Guitars) left Sieges Even. When we presented here their 2nd album two years ago, few readers paid attention to this excellent band. Let me tell you are missing something musically great.
Now it’s your opportunity to redeem yourselves with Subsignal’s brand new piece of work “Paraiso”, and better, with its ‘Deluxe Edition’.
The music in “Paraiso” is fascinating, varied and melodic, interweaving beautiful vocal melodies with flawless musicianship perpetuated through a unique blend of diversity.
There’s elaborated, elegant arrangements reminding you of a multitude of different bands such as Saga, Fates Warning, Haken, Porcupine Tree and some classics like Yes in a lesser degree.
I feel with each release the band adds more of a melodic rock feel, which blends amazingly with the strong neo prog sound.
The short intro piece “Time and Again” starts off the CD with a ticking clock followed by the soft swells of synth strings and whispering vocals introducing us into the journey. Then title track “Paraiso” kicks in, growing on intensity with elastic dynamics. The chorus displays the band’s captivating vocal harmonies and immediately entrances the listener.
“A New Reliance” has more edge with stabbing keyboards throughout ala early Dream Theater, changing gear later via shining acoustic guitars playing under piano lines. A short but substantial guitar solo closes the song in a gracious way.
The almost melodic rock / neo prog “A Heartbeat Away” starts off with a mournful sounding lull of despair. The verse is back dropped by acoustics, however when the second verse kicks in the thunderous drums take over.
Next track is the most beautiful piece on the CD: “A Long Way Since The Earth Crashed” takes you on an emotional, melodious joyful musical rollercoaster. The chorus is catchy and inspiring, while a pure musical adornment is laced throughout the song from the beautiful keyboard intro to the guitar solo and vocals leading out the track.
A commanding piano intro leads into a strong guitar rhythm on “A Giant Leap Of Faith” where the two instruments take turns highlighting the musical backdrop throughout the piece. The midsection of the song sounds mystical and you can envision a fantastic wide landscape before your eyes, a cool wind putting you at peace.
“The Stillness Beneath The Snow” takes you to a Trevor Rabin territory with electric guitars blending distortion with a clean set-up, all covered by a pinpoint of harmony vocals very cleverly arranged. Think eighties Yes with a bit of the more commercial Porcupine Tree at certain points. Brilliant track.
The beautiful and talented Marcela Bovio, lead vocalist from Stream Of Passion, trades vocals with Arno in “The Blueprint Of A Winter” a surprisingly commercial ballad with some Marillion / Saga feeling. Both voices fit perfectly together and they give the song a lot of atmosphere.
“The Colossus That Bestrode The World” follows and brings back ‘rock’ into the album. And great neo-prog rock I’d say. A kinetic, dynamic track with sharp guitars, orchestrated synths in the background and vivid rhythm section. Another highlight.
“Swimming home” rounds off this really good third record from Subsignal. This is the longest, proggier and also the most diverse sounding song on “Paraiso”. From start to finish going through melodic ethereal passages to an elaborated midtempo rich in instrumentation, this composition takes the listener into every aspect that makes Subsignal what they are.
“Paraiso” is a wonderful progressive rock album from Subsignal. Whether you like a more melodic sound or a more elaborated prog approach, you will be pleased.
Apart from their superb musicianship, they know how to write great songs which never get banal or repetitive. It’s a very accessible material, but you will discover new details with each round. There is a lot of musical discovery here for the listener.
If you don’t have enough, this Deluxe Edition comes with a bonus CD recorded Live in Mannheim last year, not only including songs from the previous albums, but also showcasing how good Subsignal sounds alive.
01. Time and Again
03. A New Reliance
04. A Long Way since the Earth Crashed
05. The Stillness Beneath the Snow
06. A Giant Leap of Faith
07. The Blueprint of a Winter (feat. Marcela Bovio)
08. A Heartbeat Away
09. The Colossus that Bestrode the World
10. Swimming Home
Bonus CD: Live in Mannheim 2012
01. Intro: The Weight Of The Stone
02. Echoes In Eternity
03. My Sanctuary
04. The Sea
05. Feeding Utopia
06. Walking With Ghosts
07. Where Angels Fear To Tread
08. Embers – Part I: Your Secret Is Safe With Me
11. The Trick Is To Keep Breathing
12. Qutro: Themeland
Markus Steffen (ex-Sieges Even) – guitars, add. programming
Arno Menses (ex-Sieges Even) – vocals
David Bertok – keyboards
Ralf Schwager (ex-Dreamscape) – bass
Danilo Batdorf – drums
BUY IT !