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Roads To Damascus biography
Hailed from North-East corner of Scotland, a rock combo ROADS TO DAMUSCUS have started their career since the frontman Calum JAMIESON (guitar, composition) came across and hit it off with Steve SIMMS (voices) in 2008. They released their eponymous debut creation in December 2009 in collaboration with a young drummer, and soon after that, recruited Dave WHITE (drums, percussion) and Mike BRUCE (bass), both of who had had different musical experience from the two founders and given development to the combo. Whilst they recorded their second album "R2D2" in 2011, they found and invited Mo HAMMOND (keyboards, harp) temporarily, and finally they signed a contract with a US label Melodic Revolution Records. Dave and Mike left the combo on the 24th October 2012 because of busy work or life commitments (Dave came back before their third album released, anyway). Their third album "Precious Empires" was launched in June 2015.

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R2d2 by Roads to Damascus (2013-05-04)R2d2 by Roads to Damascus (2013-05-04)
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CD Baby 2012
$9.09 (used)

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5.00 | 1 ratings
3.25 | 4 ratings
3.96 | 9 ratings
Precious Empires

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 Precious Empires by ROADS TO DAMASCUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 9 ratings

Precious Empires
Roads To Damascus Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Scottish band ROADS TO DAMASCUS was launched as a studio based project back in 2008 and released their debut album the following year. Three years later they released their second album through US label Melodic Revolution Records, and following a further three year creation cycle the band have appeared with their third CD "Precious Empires", this time as a self released production from what I understand.

As this album kicks off, the general style explored early on is one achingly familiar sounding, with 1980's neo progressive rock in general and Fish-era Marillion in particular coming to mind. A tad more beefed up at times, but the use of plucked guitar motifs, relatively soft keyboard arrangements and even some phrasing details in the vocals department gives that impression. As the album unfolds we're taken slightly away from this course, with what I'd describe as synth pop elements brought into the mix on a few songs, prior to transporting us back into more familiar landscapes again. The sparse instrumentation on Halo is another exception, an intriguing one at that with a delicate guitar motif and some at times exotic soft sounds accompanying the lead vocals, and on second to last track Get Up we're treated to more of a US sounding construction with a foundation that brings southern rock as a genre to mind, alternating with more typical classic progressive rock vibes. Title track Precious Empires then concludes the experience in a slow paced manner, alternating between ballad oriented sequences and more majestic passages with more of a symphonic tinge.

Personally I generally found this album to be a pleasant affair, and occasionally rather engaging too I might add. Tracks like Halo and Get Up are among my personal highlights, even if not quite representative of the album as such, with the rather Marillion-esque piece Stonewall the compositions I'd select as the creation best representing this production as a whole in a good way.

When that is said, there are some weaknesses to this production as well. Mix and production will leave a bit to be desired for the audiophiles, and the percussion in particular comes across as a bit too harsh and dramatixc, at least for my taste. The layered vocals doesn't always function as well as probably intended, and the lead vocals aren't always the greatest either. These are minor aspects here though, and again mainly due to the aforementioned mix and balancing issues I'd suspect, although the vocalist does come across as straining at the borders of his capacity on occasion.

All in all this is a charming addition to the roster of neo-progressive bands out there in my opinion, and especially those yearning for a band that has a go at classic neo-progressive rock as it appeared back in the early 1980's might want to have a go at this one. In particular those fond of Fish-era Marillion.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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