Band: Ian Parry – Consortium Project IV
Band Website: www.consortium-project.com
Label: ProgRock Records
Label Website: www.progrockrecords.com
Release Date: 2007
Many bands or artists look to a time when they might produce a “concept” album. Well how about kicking that up a notch and releasing the fourth part of a concept series! That’s the product of Ian Parry’s Consortium Product IV entitled Children of Tomorrow. For those who don’t know Parry has been crafting music for over two-decades. Going back to 1985 he started out with the hardrock band Hammerhead and then proceeded to work his way through a number of bands, working with a wide assortment of prominent musicians along the way.
For this part of the series while Parry handles the vocals he’s surrounded himself with Joshua Dutrieux (keyboards, guitar, bass), Marcel van der Zwam (bass), Ivar de Graff (drums), and Lou St. Paul (guitar). Background female vocals are provided by Rosita Abbink, Erna Auf der Haar and Judith Rijnveld. Because of the scope of this project many others are brought in for selected parts. This being the 4th part of the series, much has transpired. The story this time around if you’re just coming into it, takes place in the future where mankind is learning about the mistakes of the past and trying to chart a course to avoid making the same mistakes.
The music of the series is dramatic, panoramic and bombastic with the emphasis on heavy guitar. In some ways the structure here is similar to the work of Ayreon mixed with the style and structure of bands such as Magnum. There are 11 tracks all in the four-minute range and each of them is huge. The sound is very aggressive and expansive, with male and female choirs adding to the grand scale of the concept. Parry’s vocal style is clearly built on the heavy metal approach; forceful, perhaps even reaching, but never straining, very similar in style to that of James Labrie of Dream Theatre. Each of the tracks follows a pretty straight forward song structure but where the project becomes enjoyable is in Parry’s ability craft a simple but powerful melody. Each track is then imbued with certain hard-edged symphonic embellishments; the afore mentioned choirs, orchestral/synth strings, spoken word passages, sound effects, huge crescendos and so on.
The music of Children of Tomorrow may not be overly complex but it is enjoyable none-the-less. This style of music is one of my guilty pleasures. It’s telling a story and crafting music to propel the story along. If you’re like me and enjoy the bands mentioned or the music of bands like Pain of Salvation then Ian Parry’s Consortium Project IV is just for you. I was hooked by the opening strains and they carry the momentum to the end of the disc. Quite enjoyable.