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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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The Underliving
By Priscilla Hernández
Label: Yidneth
The Underliving tracks
1. In the Mist
2. The Underliving
3. Feel the Thrill
4. Through the Long Way
5. Dont be Sad
6. In my Mind's eye
7. Off the Lane
8. Storm
9. The Aftermath
10. The Wind Song
11. Ode to the Silence
12. Northern Lights
13. Morning Light
14. At the Dream's Door
15. One Last Hope
16. Totonika Nova
17. Good Night Kira
Between the Cracks of This World Exists..
Once again Spanish composer/singer/producer Priscilla Hernandez has outdone herself on a musical project of enormous proportions. Her latest release, a fifteen track extravaganza called The Underliving is an experience that not only crosses over several genres, but also many senses as well. Her artfully crafted drawings in the accompanying 52-page booklet are amazing and her added features of bonus and hidden tracks are unbelievable. I really liked her previous release Ancient Shadows, but this one is exceptional. Hernandez's voice is similar to Candice Night, a warm contralto with a soothing timbre that never falters. Her music is sometimes contemporary, sometimes Celtic and always satisfying.

The Underliving is a bit darker than her previous release, Ancient Shadows. Her talent for story songs and creating imaginative worlds is unsurpassed in the fairy world. This album the second installment in her Yidneth Series, and frankly, I just cannot see how it could not be successful. The Underliving is a place that hides between the cracks of two dimensions, sometimes earthly, sometimes otherworldly. It is a dream world on the edge of reality. You will have to listen to the music just to be sure. Although the listings are for seventeen tracks two of them are bonus tracks and there is a hidden track making it eighteen in all.

In The Mist opens the story with the elements you would expect from a supernatural mystery, haunting vocals mix with ominous soundscapes and the story unfolds. You can only find answers if you take the chance and begin your journey. The risks are worth it.

The title tune, The Underliving is a foreboding tune. The song is an enticement from unseen elements inviting you to take the first step on your journey into the unknown. The concealed entrance is somewhere between your waking fears and your subconscious. The haunting voices ask what do you fear?

"We lay in blackness so old and weary, unquiet and waiting. Gushing darkness turn to dim amber dying fireflies."

Through the Long Way quickly became a favorite. It is a cautionary tale of the first order. The heroine is urged to the path that fate has provided and warned not stray. The character asks for a sign, a glimmer of light perhaps as an omen that she is on the right trail.

She asks The Storm for help and the journey continues. The theme with Celtic elements centers the character. She asks for power to see as the storm. For above, below and all around so that she may anchor herself to the real world. Great cello by Svetlana Tovstukka.

"Hush! Hush! and then you’ll hear.. the songs that silence hears," is the subject of a beautiful instrumental, perhaps used as a respite on your perilous journey. The song is called Ode to the Silence and features a gentle piano theme.

Northern Lights is certainly a Celtic melody with the flute lead, bhodran-like percussion and sweet vocal. It is the symbol that she has been waiting for and the direction is obvious. And through the arduous night she is encouraged by the tune Morning Light. Life may be uncertain, but the sun will always rise to make anew day.

The journey is almost complete, but you are allowed One Last Hope. The question that remains is will you find the answers you were seeking and return to your starting place, or has all of this just been a dream? Only by holding on to you reality will you discover the truth. And the truth lies with the Underliving.

The album features the unique talents of many artists that include Hector Corcin on percussion, Biel Fiol on cello, Kelly Miller-Lopez on harp, Gaston Iungman on guitar and Louisa John-Krol on vocals. Priscilla Hernandez played keyboards and more than a dozen instruments and sang lead vocals.

Frankly, Hernandez has created an incredible imaginary world, something approaching the epic mythologies of Celtic literature. Her music is lush and her orchestrations are magical. The Underliving is the complete musical; music, themed artwork, packaging and prose. I enjoyed it immensely.
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 2/10/2012
 
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