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Amaran's Plight - Voice In The Light CD (album) cover

VOICE IN THE LIGHT

Amaran's Plight

 

Progressive Metal

3.95 | 152 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1800iareyay
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 2007 is a year that, so far, has been defined by emotional prog (PT, Gazpacho) and cold and merciless prog metal and RIO (DT, SX, SGM). Amaran's Plight, the supergroup featuring members from Royal Hunt, Shadow Gallery, Spock's Beard, and Under the Sun, does a wonderful job bringing these two styles together. Voice in the Light is a concet album based on the book by John W. Crawford, it follows the story of a man's life, with his tales of love and tragedy. The music is arm, but with a great metallic edge that mainly comes from Gary Wehrkamp's guitar. Flutes, acoustic guitars, and other stadards of symphonic prg rub up against pounding drums and power chords in a way that is seldom heard.

It is remarkable how well the various members work together, since so often supergroups focus on displaying each members talent at the expense of music. DC Cooper's vocals are stunning, even though Gary penned most of the tunes, you'd swear the lyrics were DC's because he sings them with such passion. He also displays a versatility that recalls Devon Graves' performance on Ayreon's The Human Equation. His constant style and mood shifts leave me wondering if he was really the only lead vocalist used. Gary's production, writing, and guitar work equally matches anything in the Shadow Gallery catalog, and they often exceed it. Kurt's bass is a revelation, as I had never heard Under the Sun, but I need to check them out now after hearing his unique and enjoyable basslines. Nick's restrained symphonic drumming provides an excellent contrast to the uber-technical double bass drumming of prog metal. He plays some truly inspiring fills and rhythms over the course of the album, and his performances rank up with Portnoy's and Harrison's as the best kit work I've heard this year.

The songs are incredible. Highlights are difficult to pick out, but kudos must go to each of the epics. "Incident at Haldeman's Lake" features some lovely vocals and a killer bass workout from Kurt complimented nicely by some of Nick's most frantic drumming. "Shattered Dreams" is hands-down Gary Wehrkamp's best performance yet. His five minute solo captures all of the emotion of the album and threw it in with an incredibly technical solo that can hold its own with Petrucci's most emotional solos. "Revelation" is as epic a closer as one can hope for, and it ends the album masterfully. Also killer is the angst-ridden "Betrayed By Love" and "Viper," the album's most metallic track.

Voice in the Light is without a doubt one of the highlights of 2007, a year that has so far been ridden with excellent releases. It captures the skill of metal and the emotion of the finest symphonic prog and seamlessly combines it. It may be the best prog metal album since Ayreon's The Human Equation that features such a fusion. Fans of Ayreon and/or heavy symphonic must get this album. It doesn't feature lightspeed displays of proficiency like the Dream Theater and Symphony X releases of 07, but it shows as much skill with many less notes. One of the top five releases of 2007.

Grade: B+

1800iareyay | 4/5 |

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