OK kidseses...I'm sitting here with a copy of the debut release from Atlanta proggers, Lord Only. I've spun it quite a few times in the last few days and ah reckon it's time to breakk the ice and recommend it to the rest of you lot.
What does it sound like? To me, it sounds like Hemispheres era Rush and Drama era Yes combined with a bit of Sieges Even/Fates Warning style darkness. They have an integrated group sound, though. It's not like you can listen and think, "OK, they get this bit from this album, and this bit from that album." except for the closing instrumental track, "Versatile Residue (A Boy And His Ant Farm)" which does seem like it was designed to be Lord Only's answer to "La Villa Strangiato", but in a humorous "wink nudge" kind of way. There's a twenty minute epic called "Nosferatu" here and some of the other songs segue into each other and give you a feeling of continuity.
Is it any good? Well, yeah...otherwise I wouldn't bother writing this review. The bassist, John Tuner, is quite good and moves beyond the shallow aping of Chris Squre and Geddy Lee that you often find in this particular arena. All the band members seem quite accomplished actually, but they don't rub it in your face in Dream Theater fashion.
There are no shredtastic two handed tapping, whammyific guitar solos or 900 mph double bass drumming, and that's a big plus in my book. The music is quality and I think the lyrics are notably thoughtful and interesting, which has become a little bit of rarity for modern prog.
If there's a glaring weakness it's that I sometimes think the lead vocals lack a bit in the character department. That could just be my preference for quirky, melodramatic (and often English) singers talking, though. I think they sound great on the harmonies and sometimes the lead vocals work quite well, but other times they just don't quite make it for me.
Overall, this is a solid first album and Lord Only have definitely marked themselves as a band to be watched.