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Richard Wileman - Veil CD (album) cover

VEIL

Richard Wileman

 

Crossover Prog

4.07 | 37 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A few years ago, if I had been asked what I would have expected from a solo album by Richard Wileman, I know for sure that I would not have expected this. But, having heard the 'Ghost' EP last year, I was sure that I was in for something different to what he has been producing up until now. Richard and I first got to know each other in a different existence when I was running the Feedback fanzine in the UK, and he was in Lives & Times, who were signed to the Dutch SI Music label. After that, he moved seamlessly into Karda Estra, which have had a much more modern classical approach. Richard is a multi-instrumentalist, and he would also bring in other key musicians along with his wife Ileesha and her amazing wordless vocals, to create soundscapes quite unlike any other. Richard, like myself and many others, have been putting our favourite top ten albums onto Facebook, and it has been no surprise at all to me that Richard has not only been picking artists I have never heard of, but also included Vaughan Williams in his list.

So, after 14 full-length albums with Karda Estra, where he has been the main musician, arranger etc., how different would an album under his own name be? Given that 'Infernal Spheres' only came out I guess I was expecting something quite similar, but while some of the songs are re-workings of KE numbers, and some others (such as 'The Sea Witch') sound very much as if they could be with delicate acoustic guitars and clarinet, Richard has surprised me by singing himself! The biggest shock is not that Richard has a voice that suits his style of music very well indeed (or vice versa), but that he has kept it hidden for so long? Even going back as far as 1992's 'Rattlebones', I don't think that Richard has provided vocals on any album, so it must be down to him having such a strong mental image of what the music needed to sound like and his voice had no part to play at all in that. But, on 'Mephisto Portrait' for example, his vocals are perfect with the Karda-Estra style of music. True, there is less orchestration than one would normally expect, and in many ways the songs have much simpler arrangements, but the use woodwind fits perfectly.

I guess the one question for me is where to from here? I have always greatly enjoyed Richard's work, so what will the next album be like? Will it be another under his own name, or will we see something that is more orchestral and like a cinematic soundscape? What it is, I already know that I am going to love it, and look forward to whatever happens next with great interest.

kev rowland | 5/5 |

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