Like many people, I still miss EST dreadfully - so does Magnus Ostrom evidently. Magnus of course, was the EST drummer, and whilst there are parts of this album that are reminiscent of EST at their finest - the way some tracks grow and build to a crashing and powerful crescendo being one - this is a progression from EST in many ways.
Progressive is a good word in fact. When I saw Magnus at Ronnie Scotts recently with a couple of friends, we all 3 agreed that the sound could best be described as 'progressive jazz'. Some reviewers have hinted at a Pink Floyd influence and certainly some of the guitar playing - on the latter stages of the title track in particular - are Dave Gilmour like. On other tracks the guitar is more akin to Snow Goose era Camel - smooth and mellow. Neither of those prog rock comparisons are meant to be pejorative - quite the opposite - this album bridges jazz and progressive rock admirably.
The drumming, as you would expect, is excellent throughout, but its the guitars, both electric lead and bass, that represent the real leap away from the EST formula. All of the playing is first rate and the compositions are varied, some powerful - Hour Of the Wolf being the prime example - and others, such as the ballad Mary Jane Doesn't Live Here Anymore, really moving. Overall, this is a fine album. Not the new EST maybe, something rather different, but a damn fine alternative.