Reviewed by Paddy Hudspith
Vertical Alignment is a classic progressive rock act, built around the talents of songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Pete Jorgensen. 'Signposts' is their ambitious and accomplished debut, a concept album which canters through the last 100 years or so, pinpointing a number of the century's most evocative and disturbing historical events in order to draw out their spiritual significance. We are reminded of two World Wars, the sinking of the Titanic, dictatorial outrages in Eastern Europe (Ceauşescu in Romania) and the fall of Communism, and most recently, 9/11. The album includes a sweeping epic on the theme of freedom clocking in at over 12 minutes, and ends with "Kingdom Of Summer" whose lyrics are based upon passages from Taliesin, the first novel of Stephen Lawhead's Arthur cycle. Musically, this is complex prog in the best traditions of ELP or Yes, with the vocals often bringing to mind Jon Anderson in full effect. Guesting on the album are members of proggy peers Ajalon and Glass Hammer, and Vertical Alignment deserve their place alongside those bands. Although looking back, musically and thematically, they have offered an album which establishes Vertical Alignment as one of the most exciting new progressive rock acts of the 21st century.
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