The brainchild of Seven Sisters mainman Kyle McNeill, Immortal’s Requiem holds some seriously fine progressive metal within it’s grooves…

That’s progressive metal in the true sense of the term, as McNeill mixes prog rock and heavy metal together in equal measure to create a seriously swoonsome soundscape; At it’s best, on the utterly superb instrumental Black Spire Curse, you’d be forgiven for believing you’d stumbled over a lost tape of Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett jamming with US pomp rock Gods Kansas whilst Fish-era Marillion look on approvingly. I’m not joking – it’s that good…

Of course, this is Kyle McNeill we’re talking about, so you’re never far away from a bit of Maidenesque galloping, the whole thing topped off by the man’s jaw-dropping vocal performance. I’ve said it before, and I’ve no doubt I’ll say it again repeatedly, but the man really is a sonic dead ringer for Ultravox throat/guitarist Midge Ure; This is a pleasing thing, and certainly adds a unique edge to the overall sound that other bands ploughing a similar musical furrow simply can’t match.

That said, there actually aren’t that many bands who would be able to match what McNeill has achieved with Immortal’s Requiem. He is clearly a man of rare talent and peculiar vision, not afraid to follow where his muse takes him; after six tracks of consummate prog he throws in, almost carelessly, a faultless Rory Gallagher cover; it shouldn’t fit after the complexity that has gone before it, but in the hands of McNeill it does, and that is tribute to the man’s skill and obvious love for the music of the seventies.

If you’re a fan of Seven Sisters there is enough residual evidence of that band here to warrant closer inspection even if you don’t consider yourself of a fan of ‘prog’ per se – the mid section of the epic Blood Becomes Sand, with it’s urgent drumming and melodic soloing, would easily have slotted into that band’s last album – but really all fans of thoughtful, well-played heavy rock should find plenty to get their teeth into here. A real must-hear record!

Immortal’s Requiem
releases on August 19th.