State Of Grace III - Review
Continuing his State Of Grace series, Paul Schwartz has really produced something great with this third work. Like the previous two albums he continues to use the voice of Lisbeth Scott and a host of guest musicians for an excellent original sound. Like the album would imply, there is an overall spiritual theme to the album and with eleven excellent tracks, there is plenty for fans new and old.
Using both Latin and English texts, this album delves into beautiful, soothing spiritual sounds kicking off with "Christe Redemptor" in a stunning neo-classical style. Scott's vocals are captivating through this piece as well as every selection on this album she graces. The beautiful choral opus "Agnus Dei" has quickly become a favorite from this album with a guest choir and musicians. As you continue listening you can see how solid the compositions on this album are and realize that it's often the composers behind the music and the bands that are the real strength. Of course the help of the excellent musicians and vocalists finalize the entire sound. The excellent instrumental pieces are stellar in their own light because of these powerful compositions. This shines through on pieces like "Lux Aeterna" and the finale of the album "Soledad" which is an excellent violin and piano duet.
Though this style may not be "in style" anymore in the pop scene, it's definitely something that has timeless value that people in the scene of Heavenly Voices, gothic and ethereal music know. Regardless of the slight "pop" style in "Center Of My Heart", it still remains captivating, though "To You" delves into the deeper, more emotional center of the soul on this album to be completely captivating. "Salve Regina" is a sort of climax to the album as the last true vocal piece with Rebecca Luker taking a turn with her spell-binding voice. Each of these pieces form a common thread and bond on this disc.
Though the overall style doesn't fall completely within the gothic-related genres, the excellent vocals and neo-classical compositions launch it well within the realm of the ethereal and Heavenly Voices style that readers here should really enjoy.