The second Prog Collective project holds a series of intrigues for fans of Yes, as still more final recordings from the late Peter Banks surface. Another track features a partial reunion of the Relayer-era lineup of Yes, with bassist Chris Squire and keyboardist Patrick Moraz. Elsewhere, Rick Wakeman, Geoff Downes and Tony Kaye join producer Billy Sherwood, himself a member of the band in the 1990s.
Meanwhile, Epilogue — due September 10, 2013, via Purple Pyramid — also offers a small preview of the work that Sherwood has been doing for the forthcoming William Shatner solo effort. The intrepid former Star Trek commander adds a synthesized spoken-word contribution to the closing title track. Sherwood also continues a collaboration that has included appearances this year as part of the Alan Parsons Project.
Epilogue opens with the searching “Are We To Believe,” another moment in Colin Moulding’s surprising return from what looked like a post-XTC retirement via these collaborative Purple Pyramid efforts. Powered along by consecutive solos from Steve Hillage and Wakeman, the track concludes with a melancholy turn on the woodwinds from reedman Mel Collins.
The busy John Wetton, coming off terrific performances both with his main band Asia and with Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited, adds a soaring sense of hope to what otherwise might have been a dark-hued rumination on “What Can Be Done?” Derek Sherinian and John Wesley then lead the song into some interesting moments of complexity.
Longtime followers still stung over Peter Banks’ sudden death likely would have been thrilled to have heard his contributions to “Tomorrow Becomes Today” without the distractions of a lyric — Sonya Kristina is the featured singer — yet the track still provides a few glimpses of what the late Yes co-founder brought to every project: His guitar floats over the proceedings like a cerulean question mark — only to brilliantly switch gears, as Banks unleashes a torrent of fire-kissed interjections. Larry Fast rounds out this track’s all-star lineup.
Jordan Rudess and Steve Morse share lead duties on the propulsive “Adding Fuel to the Fire,” with a lead vocal by Fee Waybill. “Shining Diamonds,” a moment of fun math-pop, finds Squire and Moraz joining guitarist Steve Stevens and vocalist Alan Parsons. Nik Turner and Downes join Sherwood for “In Our Time.” “Memory Tracks,” another in Sherwood’s examinations of the way technology has transformed our private lives, showcases Roye Albrighton on vocals. “Just Another Day,” which features both Sherwood on vocals and Tony Kaye on Hammond, sounds the most like their on-going collaboration as Circa:, with a smart assist on guitars from Gary Green.