Andreas Schiffmann, Musik Reviews Germany. 07.03.2012



"Hailing from Virginia, this quartet has committed itself to the noble side of classic rock. Where others boringly copy Iommi and Co., Corsair only messes with the gourmet stuff, most of all Wishbone Ash, maybe Budgie, too, and a whole bag full of 70's independent bands like Legend that only connoisseurs know today...

While the group grew out of a half-serious Sabbath tribute band, this self-titled debut, preceded by two EPs, doesn't sound a bit like rancid doom, despite its numerous associations it evokes. "Agathyrsi" starts off light-footed and with a riff that reminds of alternative prog, but becomes noticeably heavier. The band establishes the leitmotif in the refrain, before they transition after the halfway-mark into a labyrinthine twin harmony with keyboard sounds [guitars] in the background. The tempo, whose cradling, melodic character reminds one of Slough Feg's new stuff, retards until the end in a dignified frame, and the last chords fade out in an exceedingly plodding way.

In "Chaemera", Corsair's actual style crystallizes: vocals a la Phil Lynott and, again, lots of harmony and melody, instead of fat riffs. The hookline facilitates the refrain, as it should, and the established buildup gives way to a brilliant solo. It's principally the same way with "Falconer", only that piece switches to the uptempo realm, without destroying the continually relaxed atmosphere, which singer Jordan exudes. The middle part comes in with more playful rhythm, plus twin leads and gentle riff overdubs for good measure, which prepare the way for a captivating finale.

"Gryphon Wing" gets slightly more abrasive, as well as a change in singers. Paul intones heartily, similar to his bandmate, but falls quickly into silence, for the sake of an extended instrumental part, which performs several shifts in mood. In this way, Corsair foreshadow, to a certain extent, the epic prog to which they give themselves over in "Path of the Chosen Arrow". Introduced by an undistorted prelude, the band switches between hammering verses and a conciliatory-to-melancholy chorus. The second part has little to do with the first in terms of motifs, and it contains no singing at all, although here Aaron's drumming stands out.

After the longest piece, the two shortest follow: the meandering instrumental, "Mach", and probably the simplest song, "Of Kings and Cowards," which, apart from the refrain, lacks a unique identifier. "The Desert" sounds like its title: psychedelically sleepy and would almost qualify as post-rock. However, Corsair are much too accomplished as composers to let their ideas fray out (multi-instrumentalist Jordan studied music and was responsible for the mixing). Guitarist Marie sings this celestial conclusion, which ultimately still bring out harsher eruptions.

Conclusion: Corsair are a foursome, gang of four, of rare musical value. For whomever there are too few groups like Hammers of Misfortune or Perry Grayson's Falcon, there's no choice but to round up their three discs. If a label bites here, the group will surely make a sensation in the course of the ongoing retro boom. 13/15. Translated from German.