Written by Rowan Howard
Intelligent Music Project IV is the fourth collaborative recording project under Bulgarian production company Intelligent Music, owned by composer and producer Milen Vrabevski.
Being the company’s fifth artistic venture overall, it sees the fabrication of their fourth studio album, Sorcery Inside. Resonant with previous projects such as Intelligent Music Project I: The Power of Mind and rock musical Azure Square written by Vrabevski, Sorcery Inside is a lyrically and instrumentally positive composition dedicated to the search for the magic within yourself; for ‘the ability to be human, first and foremost’, according to the group.
Charged with empowering lyrics alongside a progressive rock ambition fused with a bit of salsa ‘spass’ (which is German, for ‘fun’), the album is sure to encourage you to live your best life.
The first track, Yesterdays that Mattered, is a vigorous opener for the album. Equipped with an uplifting vocal ensemble and reflective piano alongside solid drums and a celestial guitar riff, the melody bolsters the empowering sentiment the song holds. The track lyrically encourages you to only use your past to help you go forth with your soul-searching quest. Otherwise, if it’s not doing you any favours, forget about it.
‘Gonna find what I most needed then / Gonna find what’s on my mind / And I see if I keep searching / There are always things to find.’
Every Morning is a catchy track, which is about getting to know your soul and what you want in life, pushing you further on your quest. The song sounds like it could have come straight out of a musical, due to its upbeat and rocky rhythm accompanied by funky piano.
‘I’m chasing what I dare define as right / And I’m happy celebrating / Victories I’m winning with my might.’
As If would then be that contemplative ballad in the musical that causes a change in the protagonist’s attitude after they’ve been discouraged. The vocals and musical groove resonate that of British musician Ian McNabb, making the piece sound authentically acoustic and folksy.
‘And I say: it’s my day / This is how I feel / Every day makes a way through a life so real.’
No One Falls Behind is a song reminding you of your importance to society. Including layers of voice, soft piano, violin, keyboard and prodigious electric guitar, it has that anthemic 80s rock sound that imitates Bon Jovi or Van Halen.
‘Often I went shivering / But sense would always reappear / I provide a core to make it clear.’
Viva is that salsa ‘spass’ I mentioned earlier. ‘Viva’ is a Spanish word; it is the imperative conjugation of the verb ‘vivir’ meaning ‘to live’, so the song title is literally telling us: LIVE. This message is also inevitable through the hopeful lyrics combined with the fun and dynamic groove.
‘Get the thrill of feeling fine, it is real, turn it on! /… It’s the real thing you’ve done / Don’t give up, you’re not alone.’
Looking for the Feeling immediately continues the positive essence throughout the album, again with an elating message. Another prog smash, its solid metal guitar riff and solos, mystifying keyboard and attitude in Toto singer Joseph Williams’s vocals all reinforce the power behind the lyrics.
‘Free calling it, free calling it, freedom / It’s time to take life in your hands (guiding light, doing right, feels alright).’
Night’s Calling is then the friendly reminder of your significance to the universe. It is a soft track comprising of buoyant and jazzy instruments, giving off an 80s Hue and Cry vibe.
‘Night’s calling, the world’s trolling / It’s you outside / Life’s rolling, you’re still willing to fight.’
Life Lingers is sung by Richie Grisman from River Hounds and Carl Sentance from Nazareth, providing a harmonious duet on a passionate glam rock-style song. This song is also a key prog track, with its hard-hitting rock riff to encourage you to look within your soul.
‘Go inside, occupy your mind, it’s the real you / Would you try? What you find inside? Would it do?’
The record is a superb effort to bring back the magic and euphoria of 80s progressive rock in 2019. The pairing of this style of music along with heartfelt lyrics favours generations old and new; those who grew up in the 80s can revel in their nostalgia whilst those who came after are able to still be influenced by a genre they may not have considered before.
I have to say as well, it is refreshing and inspiring to hear this kind of lyrical content come from a group of older musicians; who are assuring us that they are still on a soul-searching voyage.
Their work reminds us that being human is a journey, and no matter what point you are at on that journey, you can always evolve.
For fans of Blue Öyster Cult, Rush, Yes, Van Halen, Ian McNabb, The Icicle Works, Symphony X, Black Sabbath