Jacob

Call from Within

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Call from Within is a lavish multifaceted album thematized around the necessity of a spiritual awakening in order to save our threatened planet. Jacob is a French-Canadian synthesist whose music intermixes symphonic neo-classicism with soaring space rock, creating a powerful epiphany vibrant with dark-hued shadows and shards of light. While some of the pieces offer relatively straightahead melodic development -- with guest musicians adding acoustic and electric guitars, wailing sax and punchy drums -- others shift through various movements that are alive with impressionistic suggestions. Bubbling sequencers, dramatic strings, layered synthesizers and imaginative African and Brazilian percussion blend with rumbling thunder, lapping waves, crying whales and footsteps that walk between the speakers. Voices are also used to good effect. Powerful choral fragments come and go, while the melody on the elegiac title track is carried by an operatic female vocalist. The final piece, "The Message," features men and women of different nationalities reciting a plea for peace in ten languages over hushed synthesizer drones. Ambitious in intent and broad in scope, Call from Within is a powerful work that unflinchingly mixes the urgency of our global situation with hope for an awakened humanity.