Fireworks

Karl Demata Band - 'Cross The Mountain' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/a9/5e/56/1595_KarlDemataBandCrossTheMountain_1316283236.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 17, 2011    
 
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A very, very good album.

Those of us on this side of the keyboard know Karl Demata as the head honcho of ElevenPR, a company which has worked with a number of great metal acts in the past including Nightwish and Sabaton, to name but two. However, when he's not holding a mobile phone he picks up an electric guitar and is a very accomplished player, working with both Crippled Black Phoenix and The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band. 'Cross The Mountain' is his first solo outing, and with bassist Chris Heilmann and drummer Merijn Royaards backing him (both from Crippled Black Phoenix, although Heilmann should be more than familiar from his excellent past work with Tormé and Shark Island) Demata has come up with a rather stunning debut.

I'm not a great expert on the blues, but I know what I like and this album clicked with me straight away. There's much more to it than just blues though, as Demata was happy to point out: "it's definitely NOT a straight blues album; in fact, there's not one single song in a standard blues form. But blues permeates so much of the music this album and project relates to – late Sixties/early Seventies blues rock. I think rather than the songwriting it's more the guitar playing that is 'blues'. Listening back to it I spotted a lot of lead guitar influences I wasn't actually aware of as I was recording, from Albert King to Mike Bloomfield, Rory Gallagher, Duane Allman…

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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But in the music itself there are so many different aspects and styles, all of which I would like to develop more. From jam/psych stuff to more Americana alt-roots-rock to heavy funk jams, it's all good to me. I live in the beliefthat genres and labels do not exist – it's either good or bad music, true or fake, well played or badly played. But all styles are fine. In fact, I almost had to limit the scope on this CD: I would've liked to include a country blues number, a bluegrass-influenced tune and a more jazz improv song (more like the Allmans)…" 

Enough already! The eleven tracks on offer are by far enough to showcase Demata as both a writer and a guitarist, with the American blues of 'Failing Design' with its fluid soloing and the lazy/hazy shuffle of 'Never Come Around' – both very different songs, but both exquisitely played – really pushing all my buttons. This is a really good album and, as I said, it snagged my attention from the off which rarely happens with CDs that neither mention Satan nor feature more than three chords. Or both. "I would call it a blues rock album," offers Demata. "Do you have any suggestions or better ideas?" Personally, I'd just call it very, very good.

John Tucker

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Axe said:

December 17, 2014
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