In the millennium before the nation of America was founded and a new way of life was envisioned, Native Americans lived brave and free throughout the land. History tells of the conflict and injustice imposed upon indigenous people thought to be hindering this new way of life, but in fact Native Americans were already living the proverbial American dream in sacred lands they viewed as paradise.
Michael Stribling has released an album to commemorate the past while honoring every Native American who lived and died protecting their sacred homeland. To me, Michael’s dedication struck a familiar chord concerning our present values and the high price we pay to keep the diverse ethnicities comprising the America of today free.
Paradise Lost is Michael’s seventh in an enduring lineage of New Age Electronic albums making an impact in the genre, winning awards and universal acclaim during his years as an accredited musician producing outstanding ambient music. His electronic discography like recent The Promise which dealt with life transitions is indeed a success and in my role as review publicist, quickly identified his exemplary artistry in the first few measures, so Paradise Lost is not worlds apart from earlier albums, but is clearly a monumental one as those familiar with his music would agree.
Paradise Lost has 12 symbolic songs defined by three movements and while retracing the ancestral life experiences of Native Americans, the perspective I determined from this viewpoint ranged from total relaxation to energetic, so you will find Paradise Lost is not gloomy or somber and I felt more epic in nature. Another point worthy of mention knowing this album recounts the Native American experience, conceptual electronic orchestrations are the expressive medium given during this rendition so a harmonious contrast to more traditional depictions by wood flutes, chanting or bass drums.
Prairie Dawn is first of 5 songs to reveal a distant gaze upon the clear majestic landscape and of people living during this historic period, now emerging with a more ambient view of tribal culture where spacious orchestrations echo the expansive lands of our past.
French horn heralds in Guardian of the Plains, then strings become like strands of wheat gently moving in the breeze while flute sets the melody upward in flight during Forest Heart. Synthesizer projects an airy windswept Eagle Above, River Below, then growing excitement and tempo ensues while racing among the scenic timberlands in Hunting Party.
March of Destiny is first of 3 songs to reference the battle over territorial supremacy and true to song title, a crisp drum cadence is timed in lock step rhythm to a salutary march across the open wilderness. Horns make a melodic call to arms to a swirling crosswind of mystery surrounding the ambient Approaching Storm with blended electric guitar strides. In Vision Quest a drifting cloud of haziness finds origins by long extended atmospheric notes.
Paradise Lost ( Title Song ) is first of the final 4 songs to represent the loss of humanity and prized territories, shown by contrasting synthesizer runs, an elevated prominence boldly reaches an ascending summit while heightening the majestic image this project in entirety symbolizes. Lament for the Land is more tributary by a solemn narrative that is likened to the soulful Hymn for the Fallen.
Return to the Spirit World is a song telling of a higher perspective during Michael’s closing adaptation, and while entering into an ever rising plateau of instrumental ambiance, each expansive layer also finds equable ground for every note to build a foundation upon, coinciding with the present unified territories everyone observes today from every corner pointing North and South, East and West.
Visit the leela-music.com website to sample or purchase at his CDBaby.com page and visit Michael where he hosts a free online radio program at leela-radio.com website and my pages dedicated to Michael Stribling.
Cover art copyright Michael Stribling – Picture copyright Big Stock Photo – ta_samaya.