This CD is by film composer and classical pianist Ellsworth Hall from Timonium, MD. Since receiving a degree in piano performance and film/video production Ellsworth has remained busy scoring music and soundtracks for films, video productions and video games. Since 1976 he has also performed in a series of progressive rock groups (including Tailwind, Sabre and Logos Affinity) as keyboardist and vocalist. He performed all the instruments & vocals on the Aethellis disc and also wrote all of the songs. Musically this is very much in the vein of mid-80s Camel, Alan Parsons' best work or maybe a bit of Kayak.
Very tuneful and melodic but with an eye on the prog scene as well. The songs are well-recorded and pleasant to listen to but also have prog sections that would have been right at home on Camel's "Stationary Traveller" or Tony Banks' "A Curious Feeling". Lots of fine piano work & the occassional Banks-like synth lead dominate the keyboard arrangements. The vocals are very pleasing recalling those on many of the Alan Parsons albums or perhaps the singing on the first two Ambrosia albums. He is in the process of recording a second album with a full band which will only serve the music better I should think. This is one of those albums that I was tempted to dismiss on first listening as being too 'pop' or too 'superficial' to be taken seriously. After 2 or 3 listenings the layers started to emerge and the true beauty of the music started to become obvious!
This will certainly appeal to those who like some lighter prog records/artists like those mentioned in this review. If you like that sort of thing, then this is a really good one! We look forward to his next.