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Lee Saunders - "A Promise of Peace"
(Crystal Music International - 1995).

(Translated into English by Alfonso Algora).

For those who think that prog-rock is a difficult world, they should from people such as Arjen Lucassen or Lee Saunders, artists with a great patience and professional skill and who has released their works on their own. Lee Saunders has faced major record companies and business in general by founding his own record company, Crystal Music International to work freely. CMI has started with the release of this CD, but will continue with a lot of projects such as conceptual CD's, videos, multimedia, and films. For further information, I recommend you to read the interview with Lee Saunders, which you can find in this magazine. (The interview can be found in the 'Interviews' section of this site).

"A Promise of Peace" is a conceptual CD with a length of 77 minutes (a lot!!), and it relates directly and powerfully, of how silly war can be. Although APOP talks about WW2, the peace allegiance involves ALL, in which there are never winners or losers, only unknown victims. Lee's compromise is so high that a donation from each sale goes to a charity.

In this CD, Lee produced, composed and played keyboards, programming and sampling, with a bunch of great musicians united to record this great work. All together they do an amazing work full of quality, with a production that could be compared with the best. Once you put the CD on the CD player all kinds of Floyd-like essences (or Waters-like) flows in a natural way, never forced, with all kinds of melodies, layouts, sound effects (gun shots, bombs), voices (Churchill and Hitler), saxophones, female voices, and the amazing voice of Neil Sherwood. APOP seems to be the skill as "The Wall", in fact, my opinion is that it is better than the work of Pink Floyd.

I don't know what to tell you about the tracks because we've got everything in them, from the calm moments full of tension ("Not Just a Phoney War"), epic dramatism ("For A Thousand Years"), incredible compositions full of beauty and dramatic melancholy ("Soldier on Tom", or "Face the War Alone"), Gilmour-like moments ("Overlord"), etc... As I said, there are similarities with "The Wall" so I don't want to write a large review.

This CD is an authentic CD de luxe for your CD player, a great recording, and very natural songs for a conceptual CD that will never bore you. Lee has not "copied" any album (unlike a lot of musicians do nowadays) but he has been clever to avoid that. Also you can read the insert as you listen to the music, and you feel like you are witnessing a documentary about the war. I recommend you see Lee's web page (www.LeeSaunders.com), and to take a look at the "Track by Track" section in order to document yourselves about APOP, the WW2 and the historic context (you can learn history hearing prog-rock!!!). I'd be glad to give the highest number of starts to this work but I "stall" - because of the Floyd connections. Anyway my subjectivity orders me to play this CD two or three more times this evening. If I were you, I'' be on Lee's track because he'll be great. (****1/4) Alfonso Algora.

PS: - Jon Harris, bass player and CO-producer of APOP died in June 1999. A bad year for prog rock music. Rest in Peace.

Reviewed By Alfonso Algora.

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For those visitors that have entered to this site, directly to this page, we would like to inform you that this page is part of a series of pages, within a section that acts as a backdrop to 'The Puzzle' project. 'The Puzzle' is a musical project that looks at different events from the 20th-21st Century.

This section is part of the 'World War II' zone. 'A Promise Of Peace' tells the story, in chronological order, of World War II.

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