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Rhys Marsh - October After All CD (album) cover

OCTOBER AFTER ALL

Rhys Marsh

Crossover Prog


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TCat
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars Rhys Marsh was born in London and now resides in Norway. He is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer and is considered a Crossover Prog artist. He has been releasing solo albums since 2008, both under his own name and the collection of various musicians known as "The Autumn Ghost". After releasing 6 full length albums and waiting for 4 years, he released a 7th album in 2019 called "October After All" on which he performs most of the music. There are also several other artists that help him out here, including a small chorus which includes Tim Bowness (No-man), though I have a hard time picking out his unique voice.

"River" is mostly a straightforward song with vocals but with a meter of 6 / 8. The vocal harmonies in the chorus are very nice with a lush sound. "Long Way Back" starts with an interesting section using the chorus, a short sax solo, and then a non- typical vocal melody line. Where the first track was mostly standard, this one has a progressive jazz feel that is very non- standard sounding. "Golden Lullabies" continues to follow the lush and mellow sounds of the previous tracks, vocals, harmonies, synth and sax. Two minutes in, things suddenly get dark and complex with some odd percussion, but it returns to the soft sounds again later. It moves to a strange chord progression with interesting and dark harmonies during the last minute and a half.

The next tracks move away from the jazz sound to a more alternative style with unique melodies. "Ride the New Wave" is soft and straightforward on the verses, but turns to a more dramatic and tense chorus. "The Butterflies" begins with a lovely acoustic guitar with vocals coming in soon after with subdued synths. Later, Marsh hits his higher register, which is nice. This track stays mostly acoustic except for the soft keyboards and a few effects. The synths have a solo later reminiscent of ELP's acoustic / synth style. "Let it Be Known!" is heavier with stronger drums and guitar. The choral harmonies are great, but Marsh's vocals are starting to sound tired. "One Hundred Memories" features simply electric piano and solo vocals. Soft synths and rhythm comes in on the 2nd verse.

Continuing with the more alternative sound, the album continues to lose it's appeal that it had on the first 3 tracks. "The Summer Days" doesn't help this out at all as the music is sounding too similar. Without the jazz leanings that were there at the first of the album, things are just not as interesting anymore, even though there is a level of uniqueness to the songs, it's all beginning to sound stale. "22" begins with atmospheric synths, and a nice lushness returns. The vocals are a complex melody, but still have that same tired sound moving toward a "The Dream Academy" style harmony. There is an interesting sounding instrument, possible a flute or trumpet with some strange processing. The last track is the longest at 7 minutes and is the title track "(It Will Be) October After All". This is pretty much more of the same with a few sections that approach a bit more intensity, but only to fall back. A sax plays a slow solo later, but by this time, it is too little and too late.

The album definitely started off sounding quite promising as the first 3 tracks are more jazz oriented, but after that, things just seem to sort of drag. The harmonies are great and the songs are unique, but the songs don't seem to rise above the slow and depressing alternative sound with enough variance between the tracks to really discern one from another. The overall sound is good, but it is difficult to sit through this mostly slow album with very little change in mood or dynamic.

Report this review (#2139129)
Posted Sunday, February 24, 2019 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Norwegian based composer and musician Rhys MARSH, in addition to various band activities, has a solo career that stretch back to 2008, with seven albums to his name so far. Following a few years of silence he returned as a recording artist at the start of 2019 with the CD "October After All", which was released through Norwegian label Karisma Records.

While those that crave challenging music most likely can disregard this album, those who enjoy atmospheric laden progressive rock explored inside a pop-rock oriented context should find a lot to enjoy on this album, and then in particular those who treasure an artists that makes good use of layered keyboards to control the ebb and flow of intensity in a song.

Report this review (#2233542)
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2019 | Review Permalink

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