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AMARAN'S PLIGHT

Progressive Metal • United States


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Amaran's Plight biography
AMARAN'S PLIGHT is a new prog metal supergroup whose members include:

DC Cooper (Ex-ROYAL HUNT, SILENT FORCE)
Gary Wehrkamp (SHADOW GALLERY)
Nick D'Virgilio (SPOCK"S BEARD, KEVIN GILBERT, TEARS FOR FEARS, GENESIS)
Kurt Barabas (UUNDER THE SUN)

The band's debut album, "Voice in the Light" will be released worldwide this spring by Progrock Records and its label partners. "Voice in the Light" was recorded in 2006 at Gary Wehrkamp's New Horizon Studio's and described as textbook Symphonic Progressive Metal. It combines the soaring vocals of DC Cooper with the master riffs and melodies of Gary Wehrkamp, backed by the sonic, dynamic and explosive rhythm section of D'Virgilio and Barabas.

Gary Wehrkamp and DC Cooper are no strangers to working together. Gary is the keyboardist, guitarist and Producer of veteran proggers, SHADOW GALLERY. DC Cooper appeared on their 1999 conceptual piece, "Tyranny" as a guest vocalist on the epic track, New World Order. Fans of SHADOW GALLERY have longed for a Wehrkamp/Cooper collaboration ever since. DC Cooper is the voice behind the power prog-metal band, SILENT FORCE. Before joining forces with guitarist Alex Boyrodt to form SILENT FORCE, he was vocalist for veteran proggers, ROYAL HUNT.

Nick D'Virgilio is one of the highest rated drummers in prog today. Besides being the driving force behind SPOCK"S BEARD, he has also played with MIKE KENEALLY, KEVIN GILBERT, TEARS FOR FEARS & GENESIS. Nick takes drumming to the next level on "Voice in the Light" with an over the top performance that adds emotion, heart and a sonic punch that makes the bands debut album a must hear.

Kurt Barbaras is one of the founding members of Los Angeles based UNDER THE SUN and along with SHADOW GALLERY was part of the prog revival spearheaded by Magna Carta records in the early 90's. Kurt's bass playing is often singled out as the driving force of UNDER THE SUN.

Fans of these musicians and their respective bands and fans of prog metal in general will love AMARAN'S PLIGHT,there is a little something for everyone on their debut album and they are highly recommended.

Source:http://www.amaransplight.com/home.html




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This band has been approved by the Progressive Metal Team of Special Collaborators.



Discography:
Voice in the Light, studio album (2007)
...

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3.95 | 153 ratings
Voice In The Light
2007

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AMARAN'S PLIGHT Reviews


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 Voice In The Light by AMARAN'S PLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 153 ratings

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Voice In The Light
Amaran's Plight Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The thing about supergroups is that unless you are so excited about seeing the musicians in particular work together that just hearing them playing on the same track makes you gleeful, then all too often they're not all they're cracked up to be. Sometimes they're great, of course, but that really hinges on the individual personalities involved gelling and coming up with a distinctive identity for the project. Amaran's Plight do not have a distinctive identity: they play rather generic old-school prog metal of the mid-80s style.

When a supergroup sounds this generic, I often suspect it's because the group members simply couldn't hit on a more interesting sound they all loved so they just settled for a tried and tested approach which they can all live with; either way, what results isn't a bad album, but we've heard it all before and it doesn't really stand up next to the old classics it draws on.

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 Voice In The Light by AMARAN'S PLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 153 ratings

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Voice In The Light
Amaran's Plight Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Voice In The Light' - Amaran's Plight (6/10)

Sadly, the concept of supergroups are a lot like late-night infomercials. Although they promise the greatest thing ever, they almost always fall short of what you would have hoped for. Amaran's Plight is a progressive metal project, hosted by some of the genre's most respected figures. Musicians here come from Royal Hunt, Spock's Beard, Shadow Gallery, and Under The Sun, and if you're any bit into the melodic side of prog metal, you should already be excited as to what Amaran's Plight offers. Although their one album 'Voice In The Light' sports the expected incredible musicianship and even a healthy dose of ambition, the music itself comes off as being a cheesy, albeit wonderfully performed dish that adds little new to any of the band member's careers.

Although metal has now become an immensely vast genre in regards to what the term can mean, 'progressive metal' now generally means a sort of melodic metal that gets amped up in terms of complexity and technicality. Although prog and metal are my two favourite types of music, these mainline brand of progressive metal has worn very thin in modern times, despite the consistent technical prowess that the genre's members can display. With that in mind, Amaran's Plight demonstrates a great many elements that represent what the scene of modern progressive metal has developed into, for better or worse. Fans of anthemic melodies and musical wizardry will find plenty to love in 'Voice In The Light', although listeners looking for something innovative and edgy may find themselves turned away. Amaran's Plight focuses on two areas: melody, and technicality. These two approaches are often considered opposites, and while I would like to say that 'Voice In The Light' manages to break through the barrier and marry the elements together, the technical moments and melodic passages are kept somewhat separate. While there may be a Dream Theater- derivative moment of guitar and keyboard solo craziness one moment, by the time the AOR vocal melodies come back again, the instrumentation has toned itself back down. This leads to a binary state in the music that keeps things interesting enough, but it goes without saying that Amaran's Plight would have been a more successful project, had they tried to do something new with the genre.

For fans of progressive metal, Amaran's Plight may come across as a concept masterpiece; the sort of album that fulfils everything someone would want out of progressive metal. For others- such as myself- I will admire the musicianship from afar, and even the bold sense of melody. 'Voice In The Light' is not a bad album, but the AOR prog metal sound has been done much better before, and I'm left wanting something different. A matter of taste, I suppose?

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 Voice In The Light by AMARAN'S PLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 153 ratings

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Voice In The Light
Amaran's Plight Progressive Metal

Review by Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Amaran's Plight: Voice in the Light [2007]

Rating: 6/10

The poor man's Scenes from a Memory.

Voice in the Light is the debut album from American progressive-metal supergroup Amaran's Plight. This band features vocalist DC Cooper (Royal Hunt), guitarist/keyboardist Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery), bassist Kurt Burabas (Under the Sun), and drummer Nick D'Virgillo (Spock's Beard). Needless to say, this an enormously impressive lineup; it's enough to wet the beak of any prog-metal fan. Equally as exciting is the ambition present on this debut; this is a 77-minute concept album with no dearth of epic songwriting. Thus, Voice in the Light as all the ingredients for a great progressive-metal album, but the results fail to live up to expectations. This is a band that knows their style well: epic melodic metal with bombastic vocals and soaring instrumental lines. However, it seems that they know this style a bit too well. This album simply goes through the prog-metal motions. Nothing on this record will displease devotees of the genre, but it won't particularly excite them, either. The compositions are good, but they fail to be fresh and consistently engaging.

"Room 316" is a short heavy intro with technical guitar and grand synths. It leads into "Friends Forever." This is another short track, featuring soft piano and vocals. This track is a bit cheesy, even for this style. "Coming of Age" is the first full-fledged composition here. The Queensryche-influenced chorus is fun, but the guitar work is rather formulaic. The eleven-minute "Incident at Haldeman's Lake" is the band's first real opportunity to display their prog-metal chops, and they mildly succeed. The soft synth intro, the flamboyant vocals, the long sections of instrumental interplay, and the melodic guitar soloing all make this quite an enjoyable piece. "Reflections, Part 1" is a short acoustic track. I would normally be unenthused by something like this, but Cooper's excellent vocals make it strong. "I Promise You" has to be one of the cheesiest songs I've ever heard in this genre. This should have been left on the cutting-room floor. "Consummation Opus" (which sounds a bit risque, I must say) is a synth-driven instrumental. This isn't a weak track, but it isn't a special one, either. "Truth and Tragedy" features a tasty bass solo and some excellent vocal work. The second epic, "Shattered Dreams", is the definite highlight of the album. Wehrkamp's monstrous guitar and synth lines are the focus here. Cooper's vocals are also in prime form. "Viper" approaches straight-up thrash-metal territory. Surprisingly, however, it's another highlight. The chorus and guitar work are both superb. "Betrayed by Love" is yet another solid prog-metal track that still fails to compel me. The Queensryche influence returns on "Turning Point." Cooper's vocals really stand out here. The final epic "Revelation" is the weakest of the three. It's another example of prog-metal done by the numbers.

I don't have any problem with the unoriginal approach to prog-metal that Voice in the Light takes; not every album needs to reinvent the wheel. Rather, my issues with it stem from the lack of creativity. These compositions simply don't have the power that they should, considering the fantastic lineup. The band played it safe here; they gave us what we would expect from these four musicians rather than creating their own musical perspective. The musicianship is excellent, but inconsistent. It's much better at certain points than at other points. The same applies to DC Cooper's vocals. He sounds absolutely sublime on tracks like "Viper" and "Turning Point", but he doesn't maintain this quality throughout the entire album. Unfortunately, Voice in the Light is another example of a disappointing supergroup. This album is good, but it could have been much better. Hardcore Shadow Gallery fans will eat the album up, but everyone else should spend their time on other prog-metal releases before spending 77 minutes on this.

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 Voice In The Light by AMARAN'S PLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 153 ratings

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Voice In The Light
Amaran's Plight Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars An all-star cast here with D.C. Cooper (ROYAL HUNT) on vocals,Gary Wehrkamp (SHADOW GALLERY) lead guitar and keyboards, Nick D'Virgillo (SPOCK'S BEARD) drums and Kurt Barabas (UNDER THE SUN) on bass. By the way Kurt is my favourite musician of the lot and I still play that UNDER THE SUN studio album. I have a lot of issues with this particular album not the least of which is it's 79 minute length. I'm not a fan of concept albums like this and man it gets pretty sappy at times. With all the talent here they could have just made a straight-up Prog-Metal album with some dark atmospheric interludes. Okay that's just my particular taste in music that's all.

"Room 316" sounds great to start with the riffs then the guitar solo but it goes downhill when the vocals arrive. "Friend's Forever" is a complete turn off with the syrup flowing and the harmonies."Coming Of Age" opens with keyboards then here we go ! Much better when it kicks into gear but unfortunately it turns sappy with vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. "Incident At The Haldeman's Lake" opens with sampled words and some atmosphere. Reserved vocals before 2 1/2 minutes then it picks up a minute later but the tempo will continue to shift. Some nice bass before 6 1/2 minutes. "Reflections" opens with nature sounds and acoustic guitar as reserved vocals join in. A ballad.

"I Promise You" is another one that i'm not a fan of. Some female vocals help out on this one. "Consumation" is a good instrumental and one of the highlights of this album. "Truth And Tragedy" is where the guitar comes back to prominance but it takes a backseat to the vocals when they arrive. "Shattered Dreams" has this spacey atmosphere early then it kicks in with some good guitar. "Viper" is great with the fast paced tempo and mono-toned vocals. He then starts to sing as these contrasts continue. "Betrayed By Love" is spacey to start then drums,guitar and vocals take over. Some samples late. "Turning Point" is more like it. "Revelation" is the 13 minute closer. Some good contrasts between the heavier and more laid back sections.

A good album but there's no way this is 4 stars in my book.

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 Voice In The Light by AMARAN'S PLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 153 ratings

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Voice In The Light
Amaran's Plight Progressive Metal

Review by CCVP
Prog Reviewer

4 stars You'd better like fondue

Have you ever though what would happen if Shadow Gallery and Royal Hunt merged into one band? Well, neither have I, but after listening to Amaran's Plight, this is exactly the impression I had, as if both bands were working together in the same album. That really comes to no surprise, considering that the main composers are DC Cooper and Gary Wehrkamp and the outcome of such collaborations was only natural. It is important to note, however, that most of the instrumental work was composed solely by Gary, eventually with a contribution from another person or DC, and that most of the vocal melodies were composed by Gary and DC together.

As one could expect from such partnership, the music they present in Voice of Light is very melodic. I mean, VERY melodic. At times they put other melodic heavy metal bands to shame. But, also as one could also expect, the excessive melodic aspect to their music is overused, what causes the music to be at times to be tiresome and Cooper's vocals do not help at all in changing that whole atmosphere.

Composition-wise, the music isn't bad at all, even though they do abuse on the melodic side of their music from time to time. It is very catchy and fairly easy to listen to, certainly because there is almost nothing new here. Gary didn't took any chances on Voice of Light: everything is quite st.andard for a heavy metal album and the music isn't much adventurous, making it relatively easy to spot things that are commonplace, either from Shadow Gallery's music or from heavy metal in general, through the album. Despite that, Gary manages to keep the music interesting and fun to listen.

The same goes for the vocals. DC Cooper, despite his great tone and everything, does nothing outside the frame that you would expet him to be. If you like his style, great, this performance by him will sound neraly perfect for you, but it would be really good if he could bring new things to the table. So, again, an ordinary performance by these guys standards.

Now, if there is one thing that should be entirely redone here that thing are the lyrics. They are plainly bad for the most part and when they are not bad, they are very cliché. There is simply nothing that couls be salvaged in this regard, they should be completelly changed.

As for the technical part, I don't think I can find a defect worth mentioning. The guitars, keyboards, bass, drums and vocals are all very well played, except some of the fastest guitar passages that sound a bit muddy and the production and mix are very good and bright, making every instrument stand out.

Grade and Final Thoughts

I must confess that I didn't though I would like this album. The result of this kind of melodic music with Cooper's traditionally emotional style and the rather ordinary compositions add up one of the most cheesy and outdated albums I have ever listened. However, the music by itself isn't bad. Yes, it is not the most original thing on the face of the earth, the artists don't go very far from their own personal styles and the sugary melodic metal IS an acquired taste, but that does not make this be a bad album per se.

In fact, repeated listenings prove that this is, in fact, a very fun album to listen to, despite the horrendous lyrics, for all those who like the "traditionally" styled progressive metal.

4 stars.

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 Voice In The Light by AMARAN'S PLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 153 ratings

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Voice In The Light
Amaran's Plight Progressive Metal

Review by Sophocles

5 stars Let me start by just saying that this is the BEST release of 2007! If you are in to Prog Metal and want to enjoy a fascinating concept don't go any further! AP just broke the curse of super bands ( I trully hate this title) with mediocre records. They trully delivered a masterpiece!

The musicians of this album don't need any references, we allready read a lot about this release. It needed only a couple of spins to grow in me - it just stuck on the cd player! The music is mostly melodic without being cheesy with hard parts scattered beautiful. The whole result flows easily from ballads to chaotic prog solos. All the main influences of Wehrkamp's music are here (Prog metal, AOR, symphonic) with all the high standards of Shadow Gallery's music. DC Cooper's voice is just outstanding and especially in last song, one can say that is trully breathtaking. Rhythm section needs no introduction and Barabas and D'Virgilio gave an extraordinaire playing. Every song has its own meaning and scope and in the long tracks the music really is from another planet. Prog at its best moments.

Actually I waited almost a year to write a review of this album, simply because I didn't have the lyrics (for the known reasons). So when I finally got the chance to read the lyrics and story, everything fitted perfectly. This is not just a concept, it doesn't pretends to be a rock opera, it is a musical novel. JD Crawford gave the story and lyrics. When you finish this album you have all the feelings of reading and completing a mindblowing book. The story is quite heavy and emotional and I couldn't escape of the feelings included. Well, this is a great advantage of this record.

I don't have anything more to say...5 stars are not enough...

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 Voice In The Light by AMARAN'S PLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 153 ratings

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Voice In The Light
Amaran's Plight Progressive Metal

Review by merrickyoung87

3 stars Blegh... cheesy lyrics and awkward songwriting combined make my stomach queasy. Maybe I didn't give this albums enough spins. I think it's because I can't get past the first two tracks and take this album seriously. It's not that I'm not a fan of the 80ish queensrycheish prog metal sound. It's that I'm not a fan of it being done again poorly. If it weren't a concept I'd probably not feel the need to try to listen to the album from the beginning and be able to make due with the rest of the album but I skipped to the third track. It was better and gives me hope that maybe once I can get past the first two tracks being on this album I might be able to swallow the rest of the album. The growing pains for this particular album are a nuisance. I'll try it again later when there's still so much bad after taste in my mouth and will simply conclude this with a 2.5 round up 3 star review.

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 Voice In The Light by AMARAN'S PLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 153 ratings

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Voice In The Light
Amaran's Plight Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Finally i get the chance to review Amaran's Plight - Voice in the light from 2007. I have this album since it came out, and since than i was listen constatly but not exagerating. So my first impression was good, symphonic prog metal, but something is missing all the way, i don't know what but for sure is. The album has some of the top notch musicians from today, DC Cooper (ex Royal Hunt, Silent Force, solo, guest on second Dol Ammad) is a very good singer who really knows how to use his voice to make something excellent everywhere he sings. Nick D'Virgillio is a good drummer but doesn't impress me much, not in Spock's Beard not in Genesis, he knows to use the instrument but i don't find some intristing moments here on this album only good parts and that's all. Now Gary Wehrkamp is the brain of this band, aswell is the main man of the Shadow Gallery. Important to mention is that Amaran's Plight doesn't sound like Shadow Gallery, this is a good thing that Gary Wehrkamp don't try to copy his guitar themes and improvizations from Shadow Gallery to Amaran's Plight. Anyway he is an excelent guitar player who knows to play rough, smooth depends on the mood of the piece. Finally but not least, Kurt Barabas, i must tell you before joyning this band i never heared of him, but he has some very intristing bass lines on this album that shows he is a good choice for this band. Every musician has background in prog music and they colaborate really well on Voice from the light. Well this is not a masterpiece, not by far, but very enjoyble all the way, with some stunning pieces like:Incident at Haldemans Lake, Shattered Dreams, the longest ones are better than the short one's, even some fillers like I Promise You and Friends Forever. So an excellent adition to my collection, 4 stars, well between 3 and 4 , but closer to 4, i don't know if is worth as a recomandation for prog metal listners, but for sure needs to to listen every time you need good music in your CD palyer.

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 Voice In The Light by AMARAN'S PLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 153 ratings

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Voice In The Light
Amaran's Plight Progressive Metal

Review by The T
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I think this album could've been so much better.

For me, here the parts are more than their sum. Let's face it: when you have the guitarist/composer of SHADOW GALLERY, the drummer/vocalist/composer for SPOCK'S BEARD and one of the great metal voices around, you think you will get an outstanding feat of musical achievement. Or at least a very original, entertaining album.

Sadly, for me, this is not the case with AMARAN'S PLIGHT's debut album "Voice in the Light". I've read reviews saying that this disc is one of the best (if not the best of 2007. I disagree, completely. I think this is one of the big disappointments of 2007, not because it's bad (it's actually decent, even good), but because it could've been so much better.

Let's start with the musicians: Barabas shines on the bass; D'Virgilio gives a solid performance on drums, if nothing truly extraordinaire, but he keeps it low-profile. These two give what we would expect them to give us on such a release. It's the other two who don't quite deliver the goods. First, master guitarist Gary Wehrkamp plays a very different style from the one he uses in his main band (SHADOW GALLERY). That's a good thing, for we want diversity, but also a bad thing, for we expect to be dazzled with something, if not incredibly technical, at least original to make up for the lack of the usual wizardry. That doesn't happen. The guitar playing here is quite traditional, by-the-rules, nothing to remember. We didn't expect (nor want) "Tyranny Part II" or something like that, as this is another band, with different members; but we were hoping to hear some really new ideas and those wishes were not entirely fulfilled.

But the other problem that I found in the musicians it's one I would never expected to find: D.C. Cooper didn't convince me.Yes, one of my favorite vocalist in all prog-metal wasn't able to take me to the places he has been able to. It's like his voice doesn't quite match up with the style of this music (not that it actually HAS a particular style; more on that later). I have always thought of Cooper's tone as perfect for obscure characters, or for struggling heroes, form something/someone larger-than-life. Here, in Voice in the Light, his over-powering voice is too much for the character of the music and too dark and deep for the very light, sunny atmospheres we travel in this album. Cooper was perfect in ROYAL HUNT (specially in "Paradox"), magnificent in collaborations like EXPLORER'S CLUB or even with Wehrkamp in SHADOW GALLERY's "Tyranny" (in "New World Order"). But here he's not. He's just another singer.

Talking about style, that's another thing that bothered me about this release. I can't seem to fit this music in any particular genre. Not that good music should be so easy to categorize. But one thing is to transcend genre-boundaries due to unique, innovative music, and another to just lack a distinct character. At times this sounds very "prog-metal-ish", at times it sounds a little like SPOCK'S BEARD, at times it's neo-prog, at times even regular rock, but, I insist: not in the sense that it's mixing elements of these genres, but just jumping from one to another between songs.. It lacks definition, I don't know what it is.

There are some very good moments with good melodies and interesting ideas, but overall, the experience lacks punch, lacks impact. I have to add that, for me, the story also lacks effect. The tragic story of a man dying of cancer who was in love with a woman could've been better served. It lacks direction, it turns and twists without clarity, not to mention the fact that it makes the album a very sad experience and, even more sadly, not for musical reasons. Yes, let me explain: if we have a sad concept, and the music is also sad, we're enjoying a great piece of art, which transcends our emotions; but when the music makes no impressions on us and it's only the written story that gets to us, we know the album hasn't quite delivered.

All in all, I will give it 3 stars just for the music, as it has good moments and Cooper still manages to shine here and there. But having the names at hand in mind, I can't help feeling disappointed. I would've been more happy to give this album 3 stars if it had been released by 4 unknown musicians. But this is D'Virgilio, Barabas, Wehrkamp and Cooper here; this is barely a 3.

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 Voice In The Light by AMARAN'S PLIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 153 ratings

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Voice In The Light
Amaran's Plight Progressive Metal

Review by Billwww

5 stars Two words can describe this progressive metal piece. Absolutely awesome!!

Being a fan of DC Cooper and Shadow Gallery, I was delighted to hear of this collaboration with the additon of well known proggers, Kurt Barabas and Nick DiVirgilio. Of course expectaions were high, but WHOA! I was flooered by the concept, arrangements, vocal melodies and of course instrumentation. Voice in the Light is an epic, well thought out and carefully arranged. The CD Booklet appears to help the listener take a musical journey through the eyes of one man and his amazing life journey. However, this is a record that you can simply jam to...or get deep into as a musical piece.

Special guests also are to be noted as is the catalyst for the Voice- a story by lyricst and writer, John W. Crawford. Trisha O'keefe performs a duet with DC Cooper that is a gorgous love ballad. Here's hoping she returns on a SG or another AP album.

Like all things these professionals do, this is an amazing CD-- one that I'll be palying for some time to come. After all, great timeless records last a life time. Please bring us more Amaran's Plight!!!

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Thanks to TheProgtologist for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


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