Fireworks

Arthur Offen - 'Seven Wonders' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/be/f3/90/Arthur-Offen-Seven-Wonders-3-1517257311.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 29, 2018    
 
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One of the very best albums of its kind to be released in recent years.

I'm sure that there are some 'Fireworks' & Rocktopia readers who will be familiar with the name Air Raid, a band who made one glorious Eddie Kramer produced Pomp/Progressive-tinged album back in the early eighties. In the intervening years main man Arthur Offen has kept busy with the release of albums under the Flag moniker and other musical ventures, but now he had decided to release a solo album under his own name and an exhilarating record it is too.

Taking the same influences that were prevalent on the AR record – let's think Procol Harum meets Led Zeppelin and beyond – 'Seven Wonders' is not just about revisiting old glories, it's an album chock full of truly impressive songs with some exquisite, expansive arrangements and uplifting lyrical content. Pretty much everything on the album is handled by Offen and fellow AR man Rick Hinkle, so the sound is not a million miles from the classic AR material.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Into The Great Beyond' really does start things off impressively, from its almost Southern-like opening through to its urgent, uplifting keyboards and impassioned vocals. Tracks such as 'The High Road' hint at the likes of Kansas, and I can also detect Queen as an influence in there too, and 'The Last Invasion' gets hard 'n' heavy with its Zeppelin inspired licks. 'Seven Wonders' is a great example of an album using the lyrics to really paint a picture by its use of historical imagery. This is at its best on 'Wearing That Crown' and 'Grail Cycle', songs which tell the King Arthur tale, and also in the closing title track that references both Egyptian and Greek mythology. It's all heady stuff but ideas that are beautifully set out and are performed with real passion and conviction.

Arthur Offen has put together an album that requires your complete attention as there is so much to revel in, from the inspired lyrics to its grand and lush arrangements. So there you have it; a consummate release from an artist that is so deserving of a much wider audience. I heartily encourage 'Fireworks' and Rocktopia readers with an inclination towards that Pomp/Progressive hybrid to track this album down as its one of the very best of its kind to be released in recent years.

Malcolm Smith

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