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Pymlico - Guiding Light CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.86 | 83 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Pymlico, being a solo project of Norwegian drummer Arild Brøter, with "Guiding Light" presents a slight change in style from his previous solo efforts. With his two first albums mainly being rooted heavily in the soft side of Camel, Solaris and David Gilmour's solo instrumentals, "Guiding Light" is heavier, with more complex arrangements, more soloing with Arild's drumming playing a key role. The music is still 100% instrumental, and like on his previous albums, Arild is supported by a range of "guests" on the entire album.

Heavy drums introduce the instrumental opener which continues in grand fashion with jazzy sax and majestic arrangements. A slow and bluesy groove continues into the 2nd track; "Sounds of the City". "The East Side" is for me the first track that stands out, even though it's still lacking a bit in the composition, there is some very nice soloing soaring over a "wall of sound".

"Wanderlust" is another track built upon heavy drums, this time with guitars and synths performing the soloing parts on top of the drums without really getting anywhere.

"Bobcat" brings the jazzy elements much more to the front, with everything from tight percussions and rapid solos to slow textures of electric piano washing out the main theme over a calm but steady layer of rhythm from Arild's range of drums and percussive tools. The track also holds a much more calm and gentle centre and ending section. Nice one!

"Plz Gloria" leans much more towards heavy prog with a steady, up-tempo beat, developing into the same pattern as we have seen on several other tracks on this album. Again, drums are dominant, with guitar and synth soloing on top.

The definite highlight track is the album closer "Neptune", clocking in at nearly 14 mins. Perhaps it's because this track points back to some of the greatest compositions on his previous albums. The soloing on "Neptune" takes on a much more melodic and structured approach, with sax also playing a key part.

On his previous albums, the highlights have partly been marred by "out-of-the-context" and outright painful individual tracks, "Guiding Light" stands forward as a much more consistent album. Arild clearly states in the album booklet that this points out a new direction for his coming albums. It's darker, more complex and contains a lot of nice soloing. Still, and apart from the closing track, I believe it's lacking a bit in composition.

HAL | 3/5 |


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