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CD Review: October Project

October Project's self-titled debut CD is a collection of songs brimming with evocative imagery. Images of ghostly figures, dancing shadows, and rivers of light are set against a background of gentle orchestral arrangements, rippling guitar and keyboards. The band includes a collection of musical backgrounds and influences that have come together to form a seamless entity like no other.

Mary Fahl is the voice of October Project. On stage, with her pale complexion, dark hair and piercing eyes, she appears as otherworldly as an elemental spirit of air and water. Her voice, however, is rich and full with the elements of earth and fire.

That remarkable voice is what gives such vibrant intensity to these songs, but the lyrics here have a life of their own. Musician, actor and lyricist Julie Flanders pens the words that flow like Victorian poetry. One of October Project'’s gifts is the ability to combine Flanders'’ often rather somber words with melodies and musical arrangements that caress like an autumn breeze.

The tender “"Eyes Of Mercy"” was inspired by the pain inflicted on the children in the Bosnian civil war and is sung with the words of a lullaby and the melody and musical accompaniment of a gentle love song. "‘Now I Lay Me Down"’ sounds innocent on its surface, but the words conjure images of Louis'’ lament in Interview With The Vampire. "”Ariel”," "“Return To Me”," "“Wall Of Silence"” and "”A Lonely Voice"” are songs of love’s' longing and regret that are bittersweet and heartbreakingly beautiful.

October Project is probably the only contemporary band to combine the timeless elements of richly romantic lyrics, full vocal harmonies and lush arrangements in the context of what is still essentially a very potent rock ensemble. Their first album is truly a unique and inspired treasure.

© 1995 Muse Magazine
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