Lunatic Soul – Walking on a Flashlight Beam

Riverside’s Mariusz Duda has once again released another ethereal album with his solo project of Lunatic Soul. Walking on a Flashlight Beam is supposed to be the prequels to Lunatic Soul I and Lunatic Soul II. Duda continues to explore the twilight realm between life and death with this release. The sounds of waves on the beach juxtaposed with mysterious, ominous electronic sounds in the long introduction of Shutting Out the Sun opens up Walking on a Flashlight Beam. This spacey beginning evokes plenty of early Tangerine Dream until this limbo gives way to acoustic guitar midway through the song as ethnic electric guitar—reminiscent of Dead Can Dance—and Duda’s soft vocals take hold. Atmospheric keyboards leads into stronger ethnic rhythms until the song abruptly ends. In my opinion this is the strongest track on the album. Overall, Walking on a Flashlight Beam reminds me of that feeling of when you wake up in the early morning and just cannot sleep again. Numerous times you are on the verge of sleep, but each time you are fully awake again. The same can be said of this album’s music. Shutting Out the Sun is like the joy of being asleep, while the rest of the album is trying to return to that moment—still quite good, but never quite reaches that peak again amidst all the limbo. Cold begins with more mysterious electronic sounds, which have a very dark and appropriate tone throughout the album. Acoustic guitar is also prominent, as well as Duda’s stellar bass lines that drives the song. Gutter is another example of the bass playing of Duda, which really drives this song, in addition to the strong ethnic rhythms. The second half of the song feels very much like a rocking jam session propelled by the bass guitar and drums. Treehouse has more of an optimistic and upbeat feel, of which the melody reminds me of a Porcupine Tree song. Pygmalion’s Ladder—the longest song on the album—showcases a variety of instrumental passages that marches across the full spectrum of Lunatic Soul’s sound. The title track closes out this album with another optimistic track that feels as though it has found some closure. Walking on a Flashlight Beam is a solid album from Lunatic Soul. It does an excellent job of crafting an otherworldly and spooky atmosphere, particularly on Sky Drawn in Crayon. It continues Duda’s mastery of creating limbo in sonic form as though you really were walking on a flashlight beam in some ethereal realm. This album demands the listener’s utmost attention in order to fully appreciate its intricacies, which can be easily overlooked if distracted. As such, Walking on a Flashlight Beam is not a catchy album, but one that will ask for work from its listener to get the best out of it.

Genre: Progressive Rock
Country: Poland
Label: KScope
Release: October 13, 2014

01. Shutting Out The Sun
02. Cold
03. Gutter
04. Stars Sellotaped
05. The Fear Within
06. Treehouse
07. Pygmalion’s Ladder
08. Sky Drawn In Crayon
09. Walking On A Flashlight Beam

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