Different Light was formed up in Malta in the first half of the 90’s. Their first album All About Yourself was released in 1996, and at the peak of their career they supported Marillion’s former singer, Fish, in September of 1998. The next year the band split up, and after a 10-year break they were reformed in 2008, this time in Prague. In 2009 they released the first album of their second period, Icons that Weep, which is a very good example of modern and melodic Progressive Rock. This year they returned with the release of the very good The Burden of Paradise, available in digital form and physical CD as well.
The album includes 8 songs, with 2 of them being divided into many smaller parts, and has a total running time of more than an hour. The album’s characteristic is the 2 long suits, ‘In the Grand Scheme of Things’ and ‘Eternal Return’.
‘In The Grand Scheme of Things’ is the album’s opening song, a – almost - 22 minutes long suite, which is divided into 8 shorter parts. It is a typical example of modern Progressive Rock, including very nice melodies and many turns and changes. The dominant instrument is the keyboards, with the electric guitar playing a significant role as well. Personally speaking, I heard many Marillion influences here and there, but it doesn’t really matter, since the outcome is very good and pleasant to the ears.
Next comes Voice of Outside, a beautiful and melodic tune, which is one of the album’s personal favorites. Voice of the Outside is followed by the instrumental A St. Martin’s Summer, a very pleasant tune with very good guitar work, and a heavier overall sound. Although it is not a bad tune, it passes unnoticed, so to say, because of the 2 previous and the next song, which are excellent!
So, after St. Martin's Summer comes the highlight of the album in my opinion, Eternal Return. It is the album’s second long suite, divided in 6 parts. With a vibrant rhythm, beautiful melodies, sweet piano passages and nice, melodic, changes in the song’s main structure, it surely is a very good song, that “catches” the listener’s attention from the first listening.
Transient Dreams is also a good piece, but being placed after Eternal Return is losing some of its dynamic. After that, Mare Imbrium enters, which is actually the intro for the 10-minute-long Love and War, that is divided in 2 parts. Another very good tune!
All for You is the album’s closing song, a cool and relaxed melody, with piano and acoustic guitar in most parts. Not bad, but also nothing special as well.
So, in order to sum up, what we have here is a very good album, including some impressive moments, especially with the presence of the 2 long suites, beautiful melodies and a soft and pleasant sound, that can be appreciated by almost everyone, being a Progressive Rock fan or not.
In my opinion their overall sound and style reminds me of the Scottish band Comedy of Errors, but in an improved way, so to say.
The Burden of Paradise is a very pleasant and enjoyable album, one of this year's surprises, that you should definitely give it a try!
You can find more info on the band’s website, from where you can also buy the album. Take a look here: http://www.differentlight.cz/