NAUTILUS – What Colour’s The Sky In Your World? (Cyclops)

My third choice from the label is another new band who ply instrumental progressive rock. Formed when two of the group’s previous bands split and various members joined forces, Nautilus have a more modern approach than The Gift or Abarax, and consequently their music does not have that classic prog feel about it. While it does have keyboards on it, they are used more as an upfront instrument rather than the swathes of sound favoured by prog bands of the 70’s. ‘Doors To The Dark Room’ opens the album with a three part piece which lets the band start off with the atmospheric ‘Reception’ before upping the guitars for ‘Waiting Room’ and closing ‘The Dark Room’ with some great heavy riffing. The short ‘Precious Things’ is followed by another three parter in ‘Cabin Fever’, with ‘Solitary Confinement’ being a moody, claustrophobic piece, ‘Undergrowth’ builds up from being a light acoustic tune before ‘Out Of The Woods’ bursts forth with some fine keyboard and guitar soloing. ‘Ghosts In The Wind’ starts off deceptively quiet, but soon bursts into life with some droning guitar, and brings to mind none other than Mogwai. ‘Halloween Factory’ is a nine minute epic split into two parts, one a melodic guitar piece and the other more heavy riffing. The album closes with ‘Release’, a relaxing little number with a hint of Yes in the keyboard solo. On the whole the least immediate of these three albums, but the more you play it the better it gets, so a slow burner that repays the effort.