FireStorm Production / Setalight / Robust Fellow / Voron Nest (FSP 0915 / 697)
The Grand Astoria from St. Petersburg, Russia have for sure produced their most ambitious album so far. The Mighty Few includes just two massively long tracks that feature everything from heavy, doomy stoner rock through prog rock/metal, psych rock, space rock, hard rock, heavy metal all the way to folk, funk, reggae, experimental and free jazz! The instrumentation includes guitars, flute, synths, bass, electric and acoustic pianos, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, percussion, drums and then some... Even a choir! The CD and vinyl versions differ a bit, since the CD has two separate tracks "Curse of the Ninth" (28:19) and "The Siege" (21:19) and the vinyl three: A1 "Curse of the Ninth (pt 1)" (22:39), B1 "Curse of the Ninth (pt 2)" (5:28) and B2 "The Siege (Vinyl Edit)" (15:48), so the CD buyers get a little bit over five minutes' worth of more music.
Two long tracks that have some much different stuff in them might not sound that easy for the listener to absorb, and this really isn't an easy-listening experience. Having said that, you get sucked into the music rather easily, and time just flies by. I especially adore the way "Curse of the Ninth" develops and takes you on an amazing journey through space and weird landscapes. I think fans of Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson, Devin Townsend, King Crimson, Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment etc. will love this album. The vocals are now better than ever, and the playing and sound quality is top-notch. It would be interesting to see how they perform these two mega tracks live since the studio versions feature 10 persons... Check this out!