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Shaun Guerin - By The Dark Of Light CD (album) cover


Shaun Guerin


Symphonic Prog

2.87 | 23 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Not a bad album by the late Shaun Guerin. "By the dark of the light" has a great painting on the cover which is drawn by Paul Whithead who also did the cover art for a couple of Genesis classics. Therefore the similarities between the voice of Guerin and the voice of Peter Gabriel didn't surprise me at all but most of the album is instrumental anyway. The music is clearly piano based prog rock which includes influences from bands like Genesis & Peter Gabriel, Gentle Giant and ELP but there some influences of American song writers as well. The melodic music is a mixture of jazz rock and symphonic prog. While there's definitely a bombastic edge to it, the jazzy moods deliver the perfect antidote for preventing the sound from getting overblown. Throughout the album the playing of the instruments is decent without signs of virtuoso. The dynamic keyboard parts & sounds are the most diverse and fascinating elements of this music. Take "France" for an example, one of the highlights of this album, this gets driven by compelling moog parts on top of the excellent piano line & atmospheric keys underneath. The music is well balanced and the sound is really open ; there's not too much happening at the same time which is a good thing. There's several moments of brilliance like the marvellous tune at the beginning of "She's sad" which could have been a song penned by Tony Banks. Strange enough the static sounding rhythm in "Sing my prayers" remind me on the second Collins solo album but with the addition of a symphonic wall of sound. This song gives a clue what's wrong with this music. It starts with a fabulous atmosphere which is repeated over and over again. On moments like this the song writing, melodies & arrangements could've been developed a tad better. Every now and then the feeling pops up that I'm listening to a piece of music that hasn't been finished proper. As it is now, there's many enjoyable moments like the wonderful atmospheres on "Son of Gorp" but it could have been more memorable.

Conclusion : Not an album I play very often. Somehow it fails to make that eternal mark in my brain but still a very decent prog offering anyway. Genesis fans should check this album out.

Fishy | 3/5 |


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