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Price: £9.16 (exc) £10.99 (inc)


With the AETHELLIS (Ellsworth Hall) 2009 debut album, I really do believe we have discovered the new Chris Rainbow!!!

To give you a feel for what AETHELLIS’s music is like, we need to first remind you of an amazing composer / musician from the past… Back in the 70’s an amazing talent emerged in the UK called Chris Rainbow.
Keyboards were his main instruments – he composed / produced many fine songs – and he had a voice to die for! Afflicted with a speech impediment Chris stayed out of the limelight, but he sang like a bird and created his own amazing Beach Boys style of close harmonies. Apart from making three excellent studio albums (two for Polydor and one for EMI) he became most famous for the radio and TV jingles he produced for madcap radio and TV presenter Kenny Everett, one of the DJ’s who really pushed Rainbow’s albums and singles on his famous radio shows – and as we all know (in the words of one of his most famous TV characters: Cupid Stunt) Kenny’s shows were all done “in the best possible taste”. Later on Chris became a member of symphonic prog band Camel, for which he played keyboards and sang vocals on several albums and tours. He also contributed to several of the Alan Parsons Project albums.
Now, we haven’t heard from Chris Rainbow for some time now, but when I first heard this Aethellis CD, he came straight to mind.

This AETHELLIS album is the work of one guy – American Ellsworth Hall. He plays keyboards (classically trained), electric guitar and he has one of the most amazing voices I’ve heard in some time – especially coming from a keyboards player! His smooth, higher register tones are definitely Chris Rainbow, but add a bit of John Wetton as well, and you’ve pretty much got it. His keyboards work is top class (think Geoff Downes / Tony Banks), commanding synthesizers, organ and piano with equally proportioned finesse, and he’s not a bad guitarist either.
His production on this album is also excellent, and as professional a sound as I’ve heard from a virtual one-man band operation on a debut album. His vocal harmonies are not as expansive as the vast multi-channel efforts created by Chris Rainbow, but then Rainbow was more of an all-round pop musician, and heavily into re-creating the Beach Boys close-harmony sound, where as Ellsworth is rooted more firmly in the Progressive Rock genre.
However that doesn’t exclude his from writing a commercial sounding track – ‘Saint Augustus’ has one of the catchiest choruses I’ve heard in ages – the kind of track you’ll be humming for ages after just a couple of airings.
Like Chris Rainbow did with his solo albums, Ellsworth Hall presents a perfect balance between general rock / pop stylings and symphonic progressive rock - He has an obvious knack for songwriting that is prominently showcased on many memorable melodies and clever lyrical constructions throughout this Aethellis CD
For ‘live’ work Ellsworth has formed a five-piece band of top class musicians around him to achieve the sound he requires – Mark Van Natta (electric guitars & vocals), Erik Marks (bass & vocals), Chris Marks (electric guitar & vocals) and Mike Harrington (drums & vocals), and although were not going to get an opportunity to hear them in action in the UK in the short term, you never know what the future holds.


01. Tie & Handkerchief (7:14)
02. Saint Augustus (8:26)
03. Hubris (7:39)
04. Portal (7:20)
05. Djibouti (5:21)
06. Final Affinity (11:44)
TPT – 47:57