Drifting Sun – Forsaken Innocence

2021 (self released)

1: King Of The Country (11:36)
2: Insidious (8:08)
3: Dementium (9:10)
4: New Dawn (6:48)
5: Forsaken Innocence (Part 1) (10:51)
6: Forsaken Innocence (Part 2) (14:52)
7: Time To Go (2:28)
8: Hand On Heart (bonus track) (4:48) *
* only on digital and vinyl editions

The heavy neoprog band Drifting Sun was founded in 1994 by keyboard player Pat Sanders and bass player Manu Sibona (a.k.a. Manu Michaël). Both musicians have left their native country France to try their luck in the United Kingdom. At first two albums are made after which the band is non-active from 1999 until 2013. Thereafter four excellent new albums are released with a new line-up on which especially keyboard player Sanders and guitarist Mathieu Spaeter are at the forefront. But then! In the fall of 2021 “Forsaken Innocence” is released, album number seven. A band who surpasses themselves, OK, but this is absurd. “Forsaken Innocence” is a merciless piece of art.

The album has a killer line-up, by hearing the epic opening track King Of The Country you can do nothing else than agree. The vocals on the album are by Verbal Delerium frontman Jargon and I will surprise you: he sounds even better with Drifting Sun than with the Greek band. His vocals are not only warm en expressive, regularly he has got some catchy melodies, as you can hear on the opening track. Guitar and keyboards are coloring King Of The Country in an awesome way. It’s bombastic, then you hear a Mark Kelly (Marillion)-like keyboard tune, the piano is sparkling to shine a lot of light through the dark music, there is some folk with a guest appearance of Eric Bouillette on violin and there is a roaring guitar solo. The music is heavenly layered en therefor the vocals are a real treat. A big part is also that the bass-player can go to the utmost of his ability and because, none other than, John Jowitt is present you can assume that quality is guaranteed. There is another musician to be exited about, drummer Jimmy Pallagrosi. With his resolute blow he already impressed on the live dvd of Frank Carducci, a spectacle where also guitarist Spaeter shines.

Subsequently Drifting Sun comes with Insidious, because of a strong vocal-line this can be counted as one of the most succeeded tracks on the album. Everything that sounds good about this band is just a little better here. This is to be defined as a sort of heavy version of Echolyn. This song has a beautiful intersection with broken chords from the electrical guitar en pretty high wordless vocals. How the band leaves this passage again is world-class.

After the jaunty Dementium, with guest musician Ben Bell on the Hammond organ, and the somewhat light-footed New Dawn the band comes with the two-piece title track Forsaken Innocence. Over 26 minutes of prog heaven, WOW. Part One is magnificent: a well balanced concatenation of musical genius with a brilliant guitar solo as a highlight. I want to make a remark that no musician is showing off here, this is best to be heard in the instrumental Part Two.

The album closes with airy Time To Go, at least the regular cd. The digital and vinyl version have an extra song. Hand On Heart lasts four minutes, but I’m so devoted to the seven songs on this disc, I’m anxiously trying to keep out the extra track.

List of the century material.

Pat Sanders: keyboards
Mathieu Spaeter: guitars
Jargon: vocals
John Jowitt: bass
Jimmy Pallagrosi: drums
Eric Bouillette: violin (1,5)
Ben Bell: Hammond (3)
Gareth Cole: guitars (4)

© Dick van der Heijde 2022