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“Rich, free-form alternative musings and instrumental compositions resulting from a flood”
The Helio Sequence is preparing to release their fifth full-length album, Negotiations, and it is an endeavor sure to please the band’s long-devoted fan base and those just finding out about the PDX group. The album culminated the wake of studio disaster – it was victim to a minor flood – and as such is the band’s venture into uncharted territory. The result: a richer and more vibrant effort, one void of the cleaner, more digitally enhanced sound they’ve been known for.
There is a shift in recording style and creative process that proves fruitful here, giving them a more free form and improvisational style. The 11-track album is fueled by unabashed heartfelt lyricism and a variation of tempos, chord progressions and sound. “October” is an anthem about the “what-ifs” of a relationship, simple in composition and with a melody that builds to an infectious end. “Harvester of Souls” takes a less up-tempo approach with a more raw sound and “Silence on Silence” and “Negotiations” utilize space and introspection.
It is inevitable that a band will grow and evolve with time, but the evolution is not always successful. In the case of the Helio Sequence, evolution and change have produced something truly impressive. It’s been four years since the band’s last album and with a more detailed focus on production and arrangement, Negotiations is an excellent addition to the group’s discography.