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Deaton LeMay Project - The Fifth Element CD (album) cover


Deaton LeMay Project


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5 stars Second offering from these guys and damn are they legit. Prog heads and keyboardists are going to drool over this one as there are tons of vintage keys, organ and beautiful piano passages. LeMays drumming is beyond extraordinary. He sounds like a mix of Peart, Palmer and early Genesis Phil Collins. Very keyboard heavy, but both guitarist are allowed room to breath. Opening songs The Great Awakening, A Different Place in Time and the Nightmare have a Kansas/ Rush vibe to them. Dragonfly is a beautiful solo piano piece that reminds me of Close to Home by Keith Emerson. Highlights for me are Exordium, Overture, Water and Earth. These are heavy more aggressive songs that at times veer off into 90s Dream Theater territory. This whole album is very listenable from beginning to end. Although there are epic pieces the songwriting and composition is very catchy. The vocalist on this is also phenomenal. I looked up the keyboardist Roby Deaton and found a few new age guitar and piano albums, but his sweet spot is definitely this. He seems to have been inspired by Keith Emerson and Kerry Livgren, but that's just my opinion.Easily one of the better release's of 2022.
Report this review (#2696560)
Posted Thursday, March 3, 2022 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars Back with their second album, Roby Deaton (keyboards, guitars) and Craig LeMay (drums, percussion) have again invited singer Hadi Kiani and guitarists Ehsan Imani and Josh Mark Raj to take part, as well as also bringing in bassists John Haddad and Charles Berthoud with violinist Liza Evans on one track. When I heard their debut, I said it reminded me of Kansas in many ways, and this album sees them also bringing into play another classic prog band, Emerson Lake & Palmer. Deaton is an incredible keyboard player who is at home on beautiful piano as he is belting out synth rockers, while LeMay is incredibly technical and is a drummer who fully understands the need for space, which means he sits back at times and is driving hard at others.

Kiani has an amazing voice, and I am so glad they have brought him back as his vocals are incredible, and he is perfectly linked with the others. The bass is an important element throughout, providing powerful linkage but a special mention should be made of Charles Berthoud on "A Different Place In Time" as some of his bass runs are just perfectly formed. It is the guitars which moves this more into Kansas than ELP, as it has that innate feeling of American prog/melodic rock, but when Deaton brings the Moog to bear, we are definitely in the realms of the latter, and possibly even the later project, 3.

It is difficult to find a fault with this album as somehow it is firmly rooted in the Seventies yet is also modern and up to date, with the result being something which many progheads will thoroughly enjoy if they can bring themselves to find something new. This album has been out for some time, but only one solitary review on PA, which means it has slipped under the radar somewhat, which is nothing short of criminal as if you enjoy any of the bands mentioned, then this album should be on your list. It is fresh, old, new, and so much more, containing wonderful songs and amazing performances from all involved to create a very special album indeed.

Report this review (#2844555)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2022 | Review Permalink
2 stars A great voice, great musicians, great playing, interesting hooks, and nice signature changes. Those are the positive things I can say about this latest instalment of the Deaton LeMay Project.

But there's hardly a moment that hits me or grips me. They walk the beaten track of prog music. Especially ELP comes to mind. Pompous for the sake of being pompous. And for me, in essence, that's not prog.

I especially cringe every time I concentrate to listen to the lyrics. They are so pastiche and forgettable.

I can't go higher than 2 stars for this. Solid, but I recommend this for fans only.

Report this review (#2853521)
Posted Monday, November 21, 2022 | Review Permalink

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