Perfect Beings is a US progressive rock band that formed in Los Angeles back in 2012, and their latest release for InsideOut Music, titled Vier, is their third overall. Comprised of the trio of vocalist Ryan Hurtgen, guitarist/producer Johannes Luley, and keyboard player Jesse Nason, the band are also now augmented by acclaimed drummer Sean Reinert (AEon Spoke, Cynic, Death, Gordian Knot, Aghora.)
Vier contains just four lengthy tracks, and with each topping the sixteen minute mark, it essentially comes across as a double album with each song becoming a side long epic. Brass and woodwind instruments are sprinkled into the mix, adding a jazz element to some of the arrangements. The first thing you notice are the charming, quirky vocals of Hurtgen on the upbeat opener "Guedra", as his multi-tracked voice glides over a mix of ambient and prog styled keyboards, the lengthy number going through many twist & turns throughout its 18+ minute duration. Bombastic prog this is not, instead Perfect Beings go for a more sedate, jazzy form of art-rock that mixes in electronic & pop elements for a sophisticated and fun sound. Exquisite piano and orchestrations kick off "The Golden Arc", giving the arrangement an old school film score feel before some eventual lead guitar, heavier riffs, and synths come into play for a more traditional prog soundscape. Nason's stunning synth, organ, & piano textures are featured on "Vibrational", as well as soaring male & female vocals, some Steve Howe inspired guitar work from Luley, and impressive drum patterns courtesy of Reinert. On the near 19-minute closer "Anunnaki", Perfect Beings go for a full on Yes styled prog romp, Luley again channeling his inner Steve Howe with some tasty, lightning runs, plenty of nimble keyboard melodies from Nason, intricate rhythms, haunting vocals, and even some wonderful acoustic guitar layers.There are even some intriguing Asian styled musical passages that no doubt go along with the lyrical content, making for a nice combination.
Overall, Vier has plenty of charm and lots of good ideas. My one slight complaint is a lot of the album sounds kind of 'patched together', with superb sections that often times are in complete contrast to the passages that came before it. Would it have been a better idea to have all of these sections as separate songs? Not really sure, but in closing I think this is still a highly ambitious release that has a lot to offer.
1. Guedra 18:23
2. The Golden Arc 16:42
3. Vibrational 18:17
4. Anunnaki 18:42