Quite surprisingly, for the second week in a row I am reviewing a rock album coming from Spain. This time around, differently from the Valencian band Alienfood, we are dealing with a psychedelic prog rock trio based in Barcelona: Onyric Joy.
"Tales From The First Light" is a very ambitious debut album, coming out after several months of work and released through the Spanish label MMM Music (they work on lots of incredibly different genres). Onyric Joy take us on a dreamlike journey back in time, up to our childhood memories. The visuals — designed by Jalón de Aquiles (also seen at work on Exxasens' "Back To Earth") — are top-notch, with an eye to classic psychedelia for the logo, and one to a more modern approach for the cover.
Despite the decision to add a Y to the word oniric (well, the world of rock music is full of this sort of names anyway), and perhaps a couple of minor English mistakes ("Dunes Under A Decease Sun"), Onyric Joy's work is musically very solid. After having listened to it many times, I can say this record really is enthralling, also frequently flirting with atmospheric post-rock in the instrumental sections ("A Journey Beyond The Abyssal Trench").
The album features five long chapters on this journey back in time towards the oblivion preceding our birth. We move lightly in a dimension of semi-consciousness, as Víctor's voice sporadically emerges between the notes, leading the way we have to follow on this complicated and uncertain path.
"Tales From The First Light" surely is recommended to fans of Porcupine Tree, Riverside, and to whoever likes modern prog rock in general, not forgetting several psychedelic elements. It is great for us to see the rise of a new name in this scene, especially in an area historically not that prolific in this specific genre.