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ROY STRATTMAN

Crossover Prog • United States


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Roy Strattman biography
Roy STRATTMAN is an American multi-instrumentalist and composer who primarily dwells in the progressive rock/art rock/psychedelic rock realms. He has been the sole guitar player and joint composer in the progressive rock band, LITTLE ATLAS, since 2002, and has released four albums with them, the most recent being the critically-acclaimed 'AUTOMATIC DAY'.

STRATTMAN's guitar work has been described as tasteful, creative, dynamic and outside of the box, with an emphasis on complementing the song instead of showmanship.

In 2014, STRATTMAN released his first solo project entitled 'THE LIE OF THE BEHOLDER', which is a conglomeration of different styles, but primarily considered progressive. In addition to writing all of the material on the album, STRATTMAN performs the guitar, keyboards, and vocals. The album features Nick D'VIRGILIO (GENESIS, Kevin GILBERt, SPOCKS BEARD, Mike KENEALLY, TEARS FOR FEARS) on drums, and Ricardo BIGAI (LITTLE ATLAS, SUPERSAM, Julio IGLESIAS) on bass, in addition to guest appearances by Steve KATSIKAS (LITTLE ATLAS, THE DARK SIDE OF THE WALL) on piano and cajon.

Biography provided by the artist and used with permission

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3.92 | 31 ratings
The Lie of the Beholder
2014

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ROY STRATTMAN Reviews


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 The Lie of the Beholder by STRATTMAN, ROY album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.92 | 31 ratings

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The Lie of the Beholder
Roy Strattman Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This caught me completely off guard when I accidentally saw this on progstreaming.com and having noticed its pending consideration for inclusion into the PA crossover genre. Frankly, I was expecting something totally different and within seconds I was clearly intoxicated by the sounds coming through my speakers. I proceeded to order it ASAP and started a review that I believe could wait for its mailed arrival, as artwork and credits are important to me as a reviewer. Well, I could not hold back when seeing it added to the site. Roy Strattman is the main composer and guitarist for US band Little Atlas, a group I was not yet familiar with, and this debut solo album will definitely shock the prog world in so many different ways.

The mood is set right from the get go, acoustic ambient serenity that suddenly explodes with energy and rambunctious brutality, Ricardo Bigai's bass showing the way to guest drummer (and not a shabby one either) Nick D'Virgilio. The opening track 'A Better World' oscillates between a muscular Porcupine Tree-like assault and a gentler Floydian dilemma, the combination of howling synths, addictive mellotron and rabid guitar slashes guide the track along with total conviction. The vocals are spot on, a tidy combination of David Gilmour hushes and more contemporary singers like Thom Yorke, Sean Filkins or David Longdon (Big Big Train).

The splendid 'Caught inside the Rain' further enchants with a glorious melody, superlative electric guitar phrasings and colored by pinkish keyboard hues, marshmallow rhythms and marmalade vocals. Somewhat flower-power psychedelic, I am reminded of British act Vienna Circle in the gentler moments as Roy does have a little Paul Davis in his voice.

By the time I listened to 'A Candle in the Sun', I already had the nerve to interrupt the audition, in order to proceed immediately to the on-line store and purchase this phenomenal sucker. Just that looping bass is enough to seduce me into dispensing with any further hesitation and pressing the send button. Ably supported by Nick's tremendous drumming talent, Strattman delivers a punchy, gritty and yet melodic prog-rock that has all the ingredients necessary to seize the moment and become a glorious 2014 addition to any of the 'best of' lists. Bold and majestic, rapid-fire and ponderous, the tracks seem to exemplify a willingness to please the ear as well as bobbing that woozy ear-phoned prog head into submission.

What a poorly labelled title 'Jaded' is, the sarcastic Little Atlas-man has a sense of humor, wot? Far from monotonous drivel, the mini-track is a short bulldozer that has some Frippish guitar gymnastics, Nick doing his best William Bruford and shaking a whole lot of brutish booty. It serves as a perfect introduction for another short rocker, 'The Scene of the Crime' has a slight Beatles-like lilt, mixed in with some heavier though very British influences. The encapsulating mellotron cloud gives light to a fine electric guitar solo that bites and gnarls nicely.

That Beatles-like feel infuses the beginning of the soon-to be cataclysmic 'Detonation', a powerful coalition of thunderous guitar, squealing keys, ruthless bass and whirlwind drum patterns (Nick, you are amazing!), this is absolutely exacting fury in musical form, heavy and nasty. This something Steve Wilson would drool over, a heartless onslaught of terrific notes, packaged in one hell of a booster rocket package.

All this apocalyptic music must eventually yield to some quiet respite and 'Solace' is downright delightful, a pastoral splurge armed with a huge melody, a memorable chorus and that sensual combo of acoustic guitar intertwined with flute mellotron. Sounding very English, with impressively sweet vocals that hint at menace and some kind of impending doom.

The title track is a fine resume of what this album is about, a foreboding riff that seems unshakably present, a monster drum intrusion and this melancholic relentlessness that shows no mercy or any signs of abating. Fans of heavier prog acts like Haken, Porcupine Tree, Final Conflict or Deeexpus will love this hurricane of sound, the unending contrasts that have no prior warning about them, so deep is the musical journey. The piece ends in sudden terms, which I first thought was some streaming error until I noticed that the next tune was called 'Connection Lost', I do like being caught unawares like that, from time to time! Another mellotron-laced ditty, very listenable, memorable and inspiring, a power prog- pop song that has all the ingredients to soar into the mindset of most open-minded listeners.

A forlorn acoustic guitar introduces the magical 'No Way Home', initially frilly and all lace like 'Solace' before veering into harsher, more tempestuous climates, and yes, the back and forth game begins again, like some drunken automobile racing down the unlit side road before careening onto the gaudy yellow-lit highway. Strattman is no slouch on the guitar, playing a glittering game on his fret board, all to serve the cause. As with all the other tracks, you cannot help admiring the intense drumming throughout.

The album ends on a soporific note, as the ponderous 'The Fire Dies' douses the sweltering effects of so many volcanic tunes, a masterful album that will no doubt force me to revisit Little Atlas and see what I may have missed.

I would have a hard time comprehending anyone disliking such a spirited and explosive album, I certainly have been humbled once again, something that has happened a few hundred times, as a prog hunter, you never know what you're gonna get.

Lady proggers and gentlemen giants, please welcome Roy Strattman

4.5 Beautiful lawyers

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition.

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