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Allan Holdsworth - Velvet Darkness CD (album) cover


Allan Holdsworth


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.07 | 43 ratings

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The Owl
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Some Holdsworth fans might consider this album a "Holy Grail" of sorts owing to its difficulty to find. But in Allan's mind, it's unavailabilty could only be a good thing. In the early 90's, Sony reissued it on CD, and Allan promptly sued them successfully to have it withdrawn from circulation altogether

Allan himself asserted in many interviews that it was put together under less than ideal circumstances, and that what was recorded were merely run-throughs.

Is it a complete disaster? Not really.

The acoustic tracks are quite beautiful and worth hearing as you get to hear Allan's developing melodic, harmonic and textural sense in its next step of evolution.

The title track is the best developed of the electric tracks, but fared far better when it was reworked on Gong's "Gazeuse" album as "Shadows Of Pt I & II".

I definitely agree with Danbo about the recording quality (quite harsh and rough around the edges) and the other electric tracks seemed very undedeveloped compostionally (although showing potential if reworked and fleshed out properly). One thing I did like though is Allan's guitar tone (very simply a Gibson SG custom straight into a Marshall half-stack, nothing fancy but boy does it have some personality!) .

Definitely what Allan would consider a "kiss-of-death" album (sort of like why some people leave certain jobs off of their resume's) but yet it gave some hints of what Allan would do next.

The Owl | 2/5 |


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