(All Album Reviews by Windhawk)
Soniq Theater is a German band consisting of one member, former Rachel's Birthday keyboardist Alfred Mueller, and since 2000 he has released his music as self-released albums under the Soniq Theater moniker. This Mortal Coil is his fourth album, and was released in 2004.
The music here is obviously dominated by keyboards and synthesizer; or as it is stated on the CD: Keyboards, e-drums, percussion, sampled instruments and virtual orchestra sounds. As with all releases I've come across by Soniq Theater so far, it is easy to hear that these are sampled instruments and the overall sound on these compositions is a bit cold and sterile due to that.
The style explored on this release comes across as a mix of soundtrack music, symphonic rock and neo-prog, most times mixing elements of all styles in the individual compositions here. The structure on many of the songs are rather free, constantly moving from one segment to the next, and the various themes explored aren't revisited as often as one might be used to from more conventional tunes. This is especially so for the longer compositions "Bridge to Eternity" and "Mariana Rift".
Personally I found the tunes to be a mixed affair - on this release as on many others by this artist. The general sound and approach on these albums do make songwriting more challenging; and it takes skill to make these kind of tunes sound good and interesting throughout. On this release, I'd recommend the curious to check out the tunes "Flashpoint" and "Pacific Coast Highway" in addition to the already mentioned longer compositions "Bridge to Eternity" and "Mariana Rift" - all of them compelling compositions in their own right.
Fans of symphonic rock will probably be the ones best suited to enjoy this release; especially those among this crowd that finds the thought of listening to an album created on the premises mentioned in the start here as compelling.
My rating: 67/100