Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Preacher - Aftermath CD (album) cover

AFTERMATH

Preacher

 

Crossover Prog

3.86 | 54 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Preacher is a tremendous Scottish band that released a delightful debut in 2014 entitled 'Signals' which has had both a positive critical and fan response, a skillful crew of instrumentalists that have a definite Floydian feel , mostly in the wonderful backing 'ooh aah' vocals that adorn almost every track, as well as the preponderance of rolling keyboard textures. That first album laid down some pretty high standards as the compositions were thrilling, the lead vocals of Martin Murphy clearly on this side of marvelous, using various tones from swooning croon to a bluesy growl (a lower register Dave Cousins) and the lead electric guitar (Greg Murphy) wailing like some inspired axe diva, a raunchier version of David Gilmour. Truth is the Pink Floyd clone argument is rather thin, as there are many other influences that mold the creative juices, fusing dabbles of Traffic, a hint of Spooky Tooth, a bit of Ian Hunter(Mott the Hoople) thunder, even some Bob Seger-like howlin' to the more choir-based pieces.

'Aftermath' is the natural progression (don't you love that word?) in which the band seeks to elevate more contemporary issues in an increasingly apathetic and unfocused society by penning lyrics that explain the true story of our weird topsy-turvy universe. The lyrics often extoll the lack of virtues, the disease of indifference, the cowardice of talking the talk but invalid to walk, the over-comfortable numbness of our existence, the complete lack of leadership anywhere except by dictate, vehicles for billionaire tyrants. The title track therefore blasts off with confidence and restrained glory, the piano leading the charge, a wink at their preceding album opener ('Time'), and 'a willingness to make the change' and 'the important things that life can bring'. Yup! I will buy into that, as the emphasis grows into a cool tune about the future and faith. The gloriously cool instrumental midsection has a dreamy atmosphere that exudes charm, willpower and desire, a series of sexy lead guitar solos in tow, paralleling the guitar wah-wahs with the vocal ooh-oohs. Bloody amazing!

The pulsating mid-tempo rocker 'Welcome to the Fray' chugs along, the organ bleeding, the guitar raging and the voice growling 'mindless degradation and sacrifice', chastising the government control that leads our lives, the intrusive meddling that just may spell eventual doomsday. The angry organ plays lustily, thrashing and kicking like some kidnap victim being hauled away into the unknown, deliriously irate and fearful. The guitar parts are splendidly raunchy.

The 2 part 'War' is a colourfully vivid journey (a combined 10 minute affair) that scores very high on the prog indicators, the 'Reprise' in particular showing dynamics that seek to soar over the mundane and immediate. 'Nerves are frayed and twisted' gloomily tolls as the spooky lament morphs into a mournful epitaph, a sweaty guitar dripping oil, shell shocked by the funeral drum beat and the torrential backing keys and choir, working in unison. The first part evolves like a ground swelling storm of howling winds and ominous explosions, '6 am blood on the shores', followed by 'the terror is welling inside us' explains the military mood, expertly delivered by Murphy's sorrowful weep.

Both 'Hold On' and 'Sleep' are concise to-the-point tunes that add diversity to the set list, the first is a pretty straight forward blues-based ballad that ask to 'hold on to your dreams' , this is where the Bowie/Ferry tinge becomes apparent, a lengthy sizzle guitar and shocking drum poundings contribute to the love fest. Martin Murphy's urgent pleadings really pull at the heartstrings, gospel-like choir backing the frenzy. 'Sleep' on the other hand has a buzzing gnat-like riff, a machine-gun vocal and that blasted organ raging underneath, the lyrics and the vocals acerbic and frantic, a tad pissed off at the disposable society we now try to live in, somewhat sardonically mocking the state of popular music and its sterile technology. Greg unleashes a torrid wah-wah drenched rant that scours, soars and glides like some pouncing peregrine falcon.

Occasionally, the nostalgia card is dealt with great finesse as on the supernatural 'Vinyl', a clearly Floydian feel is vehiculated perfectly, expertly adorned with frilly echoes of delicate sounds of thunder, surely a momentary lapse of reason. Murphy sounds more like Fish that Gilmour, but the gentle lilt is definitely familiar as are the instrumental interventions. The genius appears midway through as Burgoyne's e-piano swerves the arrangement into an outright Steve Winwood-led Traffic cameo solo, a mind blowing decision uplifted by a cinematographic guitar solo that has a little Carlos Santana mojo, upbeat and sunny . I mean, WOW!

'Vision' keeps the pedal squarely on the metal, a cool intro and muscular lullaby, lush with bluesy affectation, long organ forays and a powerful vocal, topped by off by a vibrant and virile e-guitar romp. The backing voices whoop up a storm, intense and overpowering, a stylized whoosh of brilliance. Another longer final piece closes down this impressive musical work, harangued by a Martin Murphy blurt: 'a stimulating situation when you have something sound in mind' that highlights the sparkling fantasy, of crystalline piano ripples and well-placed 'ooohs'. Choppy rhythm guitars, scorching leads, churning organ cascades and rocking outro.

This is a definite grower, perhaps more detail-laden than their more immediate debut, lyrically definitely more astringent and a clear sense of musical purpose. Nothing too fancy or overtly technical, the focus is the song and its perfect delivery. In that, these lads are the low spark of high-heeled boys, circa 2016.

5 reverberations

tszirmay | 5/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this PREACHER review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.