Fireworks

The Inner Road - 'Visions' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2a/9d/7a/2315_theinnerroadvisions_1339694801.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 14, 2012    
 
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Instrumental album by symphonic proggers The Inner Road.

In my opinion there are very few artists who have been truly successful with purely instrumental albums, Rick Wakeman (‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’) and Camel (‘The Snow Goose’) being the only ones to make the grade in my book. So, symphonic proggers The Inner Road are treading on difficult ground and unfortunately fail to negotiate it, which is a shame because there are some very nice moments lurking here, primarily the solos which would sound wonderful if they were inserted into a song rather than being the centrepiece of the track.

Most of the tracks are too long and overstay their welcome by being very repetitive and then there’s the drum sound which appears to be performed by computer; if it’s not then they need a new man behind the kit because it has a robotic quality! Some of the keyboard tones used sound like those derived from those plastic Bontempi synths from the 80s, notably on the opening track, ‘Hidden Seas’. Both the guitar and synth solos on this track would make very worthy film or TV soundtrack pieces. The faux saxophone sound (if that’s what it’s supposed to be) on ‘Day of the Sun’, and other tracks, doesn’t work but the use of a female voice intoning the melody does and makes me wonder why they couldn’t write songs. This voice and some choir vocals appear at various times across the album and are a very welcome addition.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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‘Morning Mist’ has a lovely piano refrain and bass pattern, but that sax sound is then deployed and distracts from the other good things going on. Listening to the opening of ‘Heaven’ I can only think that they need to invest in some classier keyboards or some top quality computer software that reproduces sounds because those used here are generally terrible. ‘Life’ is probably the best track of the twelve on offer as it has a bit more muscle to it and doesn’t meander along like a most of the others and is driven by a very pleasing guitar refrain. Later on the equally up tempo ‘Night Light’ also makes a good impression. I shan’t go over the other tracks because you’ll have got the gist by now and I’ll only be repeating myself.

Messrs Steve Gresswell and Phil Braithwaite who comprise The Inner Road can clearly play and have put their heart and soul into this album but frankly their compositions lack the quality of really memorable melodies that stick in your head and make you want to revisit an album. I’m afraid I found this album dull and the sounds I’ve highlighted to be very distracting so this is not an album I’ll be listening to again.

A band in need of a good vocalist/lyricist, a drummer and some new keyboard patches.

Gary Marshall

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