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Steve Walsh - Dark Days/Faule Dr Roane CD (album) cover


Steve Walsh


Crossover Prog

3.33 | 9 ratings

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4 stars I seriously hope Steve Walsh was lying through his teeth when he claimed these would be the last songs of his life. His skill as a musical craftsman has improved tremendously since the turn of the century, perhaps because the man had finally decided to discard the childish pretense of the arena rock star and concentrate his abilities into projects full of reflection and observation, thereby enabling him to compose music that is both lyrically and musically deep. Both Glossolalia and Shadowman are recommended (the former more so than the latter), and this surprise two-track EP will receive no less praise from me. The music is cumbersome and thick, but despite what the album artwork or titles might have one to believe, not altogether dark, as most of it sticks with a major key and remains fairly upbeat with great hooks and amazing execution. For those dyed-in-the-wool Kansas fans, these two pieces might have found an appropriate home on Freaks of Nature, as they boast a similar thick, edgy, raw sound, as well as swirling violin from David Ragsdale.

"Dark Day" I was not expecting the synthesizer tone that began this piece, but it establishes the main theme so that the majestic violin could take it over, playing it on top of dense overdriven guitar. Intelligent lyrics paint a nightmarish image in spite of a bright and wonderfully memorable melody (I'll be damned if I wasn't singing this song after the first time hearing it). The guitar solo is admirable- technical without overcompensating. Simply put, this is one of Walsh's most amazing pieces.

"Faule Dr Roane" Electric guitar churns out a crunchy riff that gives way to soft acoustic and lovely violin. While not as smoothly structured as its brother on this EP, this lengthier work is almost just as memorable, containing even more esoteric (yet seemingly historical) lyrics. The composition exists in the throes of progressive metal and symphonic rock. Robust and intriguing, the instrumental section incorporates several effects and new sounds (like that of a Mediaeval battle- one can hear the swords and halberds clash) before falling into a tight jam with many great guitar licks. Here lies another fantastic piece of music, but hopefully not a certain keyboardist's solo career.

Epignosis | 4/5 |


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