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Eric Gillette - The Great Unknown CD (album) cover

THE GREAT UNKNOWN

Eric Gillette

 

Progressive Metal

3.70 | 6 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars

Apparently, this album came out last year, but it has only just come to my attention. Eric has of course been lead guitarist with the Neal Morse Band for some years, and here he is back with his second solo album. Those expecting prog in the same vein as his "day job" will find a few similarities here and there, but mostly this is melodic prog metal with influences taken from throughout that scene. I had convinced myself that the drummer just had to be his NMB compadré Mike Portnoy due to what is going on behind the kit, but further investigation revealed that it was none other than Thomas Lang (John Wetton, Robert Fripp, Glenn Hughes, Robbie Williams, Kelly Clarkson and many others). Also involved are Haken members Diego Tejeida (keyboards) and Conner Green (bass), so overall this is quite some musical powerhouse.

Those who have seen NMB will know already that Eric is a strong singer in his own right, and this is very much an album of songs as opposed to mass instrumental workouts. Of course, there are times when the note density is incredible, and he does his best John Petrucci impression, but there is way more on here than just Dream Theater complexity and long songs. Of course, he is used to the odd epic here and there when working with Neal, and it would have been surprising for there not to be one included, and the eighteen-minute-long "Escape" is stunning in the way it moved and folds. This is an album that will certainly appeal to those who enjoy prog metal, but it is way more than "just" that, with elements from Haken, DT and the softer sides of Neal Morse all being blended together in a way that is both immediate and makes for compulsive listening. This is superb from start to end.

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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