With “Sanctuary Rising”, Dutch synthesist Dennis Lodewijks (aka The Amnis Initiative) brings his listeners a new concept album with electronic music, which this time explores what happens when a group of people has been forced to make a new beginning in a world that is entirely new to them.
The contemporary instrumental outcome takes on a (sometimes bit sub-standard) rhythmic/melodic approach on several tracks, with even a touch of progrock (“Velocity”, “The First Day”). But it’s the emotive, spherical excursions with symphonic (Vangelis-kindred) hints such as “Out to the Darkness”, “Rediscovery of the Cosmos”, “One Special Night” or “Déjà Vu” that reveal the composers real potential.
And then there’s the occasional surfacing magical-fantasy touch shining through the notes of some compositions -such as “Misty Plains” and “Tales of a Past World”– which remind of the first works of Amethystium (although the latter track also features a nice scent of Vangelis). Symphonic drama is expressed best on “Crisis”.
Although this album is an improvement compared with “Distant Dreams”, the music would benefit from some better drums, a more open/grander sound design along improved production.