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Matthew Parmenter - Astray CD (album) cover

ASTRAY

Matthew Parmenter

 

Neo-Prog

3.97 | 81 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I guess the bottom line is that this album isn't catching on with me. And when I say that I mean musically because when it comes to Matthew's lyrics there are few who are as talented. I actually enjoy just reading his words more than listening to the music which is probably a first for me. He would make his musical hero Peter Hammill proud with the way he writes a song that's for sure. And that is the biggest compliment I could possibly give him. Matthew does it all here except play bass which he employed his former DISCIPLINE band mate Mathew Kennedy for. Rather dark music here without a lot of dynamics. Mostly vocals and piano, and we get mellotron on 4 of the 7 tracks.

"Now" opens with vocals and piano. It gets fuller then settles. These contrasts continue. Sax 2 1/2 minutes in. Mellotron 5 1/2 minutes in and really the last 4 1/2 minutes of this song are the best on the album for me. Organ after 7 1/2 minutes. Great lyrics on this one. "Distracted" is led by drums and vocals and is mid-paced. Mellotron 4 1/2 minutes in. It settles late. "Dirty Mind" is fairly mellow with vocals, piano and drums standing out. It's fuller 1 1/2 minutes in but that changes. Again excellent lyrics here. "Another Vision" features laid back guitar and vocals. Organ 4 1/2 minutes in when the vocals stop. The lyrics are so well done. ,

"Some Fear Growing Old" is really the first catchy tune although it's fairly slow paced. Strummed guitar and the violin comes and goes. "Between Me And The End" is a little too depressing really. My least favourite track. Sombre with piano and reserved vocals for the most part. "Modern Times" is the over 21 minute closer. This sounds better right away as we get a full sound with mellotron. It settles a minute in with almost spoken vocals and piano. It picks up some and we get some guitar before 5 1/2 minutes. It turns aggressive. Mellotron before 7 minutes. It settles after 8 minutes then picks up again after 11 minutes. These contrasts continue.

I wish Matthew's vocals were a little stronger. Good release that impresses lyrically but not so much musically.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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