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Mike Kershaw - Arms Open Wide CD (album) cover

ARMS OPEN WIDE

Mike Kershaw

 

Crossover Prog

3.09 | 5 ratings

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Rissan
3 stars Mike Kershaw, who lives in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, worked in the financial sector for 22 years, until he decided to change course. Arms Open Wide is already Mike Kershaw's eighth album, the first three under the name Relocated To Heathrow, and the second one appearing on Bad Elephant.

He is an artist who wants to develop every album and Arms Open Wide is in that line. Was the 2016 coming What Lies Beneath already a big step forward, especially in the compositional and textual field, at Arms Open Wide he throws it a different approach in the atmospheric field and experiments with it, broadening his musical horizon.

The album sounds much darker and more aggressive than its predecessor, tackling themes such as anxiety, paranoia, fear and manipulation. Kershaw is once again working with guitarist Gareth Cole and bassist Leopold Blue-Sky (Garden Of Live Flowers). Blue-Sky's distinctive bass was a delight at What Lies Beneath, and again his game sounds inspired. Gareth Cole is a sought-after session musician who plays a pleasant integrated style of riffs and melodies. Newcomer Stefan Hepe (Gandalf's Fist) on drums provides a creative, intelligent and powerful accompaniment.

Although Kershaw's influences clearly stem from the 1970s, he knows how to process contemporary elements in his style. Again he produces an album with thoughtful and melodic songs, which somehow fit into these less cheerful and erratic times in which we live. The Fear Quartet represents this idea, in which Kershaw expresses contemporary fears about aggressive melodies by means of powerful vocals, in Part 2: Facing The Fear, supported by Stu Nicholson (Galahad).

The other five tracks fit perfectly well with this strong opener, although Dark Spaces in a negative way jumps out because of the weak vocals against a strong unconventional melodic guitar line. Curtains finally forms an almost sugary conclusion with a twist in the text that deals with the poison that strengthens our daily routine. Gareth Cole knows how to bring this song to a well thought-out end with a beautiful guitar solo. After well-received What Lies Beneath with Arms Open Wide once again Mike Kershaw knows how to surprise the listener with a nice album.

Rissan | 3/5 |

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