They say that the second album is the hardest to make. With Perfect Being's debut album being so well received the bar was well and truly raised for the Los Angeles band.
Following on from their prog predecessors, the band are unashamed to experiment with sound. From the get go we have a cuckoo clock and the zest of a Spanish influence in Mar Del Fuego (fire of the sea). Cryogenia sees Ryan Hurtgen's dreamlike vocals matched against a harpsichord before moving into a fuller band sound which relishes in sound space. Ryan's voice becomes almost hypnotic on The Love Inside. Despite being a piano based track, the vocal draws you into the wider musical world of the track. Volcanic Streams utilises Chris Tristram (bass) and Jesse Nason (keyboards) to construct a disturbing and exciting force of nature. By the time Johannes Luley's Gilmore inspired guitar switches course midway through we are left presently disorientated but thankfully safe from the eruption.
Go, has a 80's musical influence but is layered with sonic textures and another terrific bass line from Tristram. Rivermaker is a stunning track that is made beautiful through it's sparseness and silences. Although when the band join to add a fuller sound they remove the stillness of the track which disrupts the flow a little. Cause and Effect demonstrates the band's raw and frenetic prog energy at its best leading us slowly in with haunting vocals and wistful keys before breaking out into a violent musical interlude that throws us out of balance, but you get the impression they are afraid to continue with that musical line a bit longer.
Perfect Beings second outing is definitely an enjoyable listen, with plenty to revisit but there's certainly room for the band to expand their sound and continue their current evolution into musical perfection. Roll on album III.