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Steve Cochrane - Heroes Awaken  CD (album) cover


Steve Cochrane


Crossover Prog

2.49 | 3 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
2 stars STEVE COCHRANE was born in Nova Scotia, Canada but would later relocate to Toronto and had a love of chill easy listening music from his youth at least until he heard Rush which changed the course of his music listening journey. Having emulated his great heroes, his aspirations were to develop the next great Rush influenced band but as time went on he discovered the greater world of 70s prog and took on the influences of some of the symphonic prog greats such as Genesis, Yes, Camel, Mike Oldfield and Renaissance.

After having played in various bands with the most famous all-original band Endpieces finding the most success at least on a local level, COCHRANE became enthralled with Neil Peart's fascination with the philosophies of Ayn Rand and crafted his own prog projects that emulated the side long album pomp of 70s prog at its peak however this stuff was no longer fashionable in a watered down 80s where brevity ruled and nerdy excesses remained deep in the underground. Instead of swimming upstream COCHRANE took the approach of if you can't beat em, join em and instead shifted gears. After having mastered all those wonderful MIDI sounds that made the 80s so, well 80s, COCHRANE set out to craft a new style of music.

Somewhere along the line COCHRANE went into the world of Japanese new age artist Kitaro and adopted his new age approach that mixed classical elements with symphonic rock and then released this debut album HEROES AWAKEN in 1990. This album was completely instrumental and features COCHRANE as a one-man show having written all the composiitons, played all the instruments as well as taking care of all the arrangements, editing and production. Sounding somewhat like a more caffeinated Kitaro, HEROES AWAKEN engages in a bunch of syrupy melodies on cheesy synthesizers with all kinds of over the top dramatic crescendoes with whizzing synth counterpoints, cheesy drum machines and a few guitar solos now and again.

This album is somewhat an anomaly in COCHRANE's canon as he would introduce more guitars and better arrangements on his second album "To See It Made Real." While this album isn't unlistenable it seems it's a bit too dependent on those Kitaro-isms of bending note slides and crazy octave leaps around melodies that are so full of sunshine that they are on the verge of going super nova any moment. This is a long album to endure as it features an intermingling mix of easy listening piano music, tinny syth motifs and atmospheric synth rolls so out of orbit that they sound like helium balloons being inhaled by the flying fish on the album cover as they hum soundtrack tunes of Vangelis.

I'm not against new age in any way as when it's done right it can be a mind altering experience but this debut album by STEVE COCHRANE just sounds way too amateurish for its own good. While the compositions are trying to sound grand, the limitations of the technology make it sound cheap and it doesn't help that the synthesized contrapuntal deliveries just sound out of sync the whole time. While the slight angularities are what add a bit more depth to this experience, in the end this is really forgettable and probably not the place to start if you are interested in either new age or COCHRANE's musical works. This is truly the type of music that if HEROES truly had AWAKEN, then surely they would want to go back to sleep until the next act came along. Not even meh.

siLLy puPPy | 2/5 |


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