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Not the most prolific of bands, Virginia’s Ephemeral Sun has only released three albums: in 2005, 2010 and 2017. Maybe they have reached a peak, as ‘Lord of Hounds’ is hard to beat. My own comment on Bandcamp read, “Among the best instrumental prog albums I’ve heard: brilliant musicianship, lots of light and shade; will appeal to heavy Rockers as well as Symphonic Proggers.” It’s an album that reveals more with every listen, and if I have only time to listen to one track it is hard to decide, although lately I have been enraptured by the piano driven balladic 9:41 of ‘What We Should Have Said”, an oasis of calm in amongst some angst-ridden moments perhaps, on what the band describes as “a caricature of stress in five dimensions..”

The band goes on, “Musically, the past remains present: complex, atmospheric and symphonic textures across the board. As with ‘Harvest Aorta’ (the band’s sophomore release from 2010), the primary ingredient is rock, blended into metal, jazz, ambient, electronica, and more.” This time though they are looking into the glass rather more darkly. The band’s closing statement: “Ephemeral Sun encourages the walls to close in on all sides” may sound a bit claustrophobic and pessimistic. But, actually I found the whole album uplifting and life-affirming.

So as I think it’s time for another one, ‘Lord of the Hounds’ has the distinction of kicking off the occasional series of DISS’s WISH YOU WERE (STILL) HERE!

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