Phil Lanzon - '48 Seconds'

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Phil Lanzon - '48 Seconds'

An absolutely stunning release with not a filler to be found.

'48 Seconds' is the second solo album from Uriah Heep keyboard maestro Phil Lanzon and it follows up his brilliant 'If You Think I'm Crazy' record from 2017.

What has Lanzon come up with on this sophomore effort? '48 Seconds' is an album with a lot going on and it also has some twists and turns that add to the drama. The use of an orchestra creates a magnificent soundscape to the core instrumentation of guitars, bass and Lanzon's mighty keyboards. Expertly produced by Simon Hanhart (Marillion, Kino, Asia, Arena, etc.), the release needs to be played loud (or on good headphones) from start to finish with no interruptions.

Space limits me detailing every song, so I will just focus on the first four and the title-track. Beginning with the moody instrumental piece 'Azura's Theme' which is like something from a movie soundtrack, you get the sense that something special is about to happen and as soon as 'In The Rain' starts you just know it's going to be good. The musicianship is brilliant and the vocals of John Mitchell are simply wonderful. The sound is huge with an epic movie aura about it.

Next up is 'Forty Line' and it again features another brilliant Mitchell vocal. This is quite a Progressive number with lots of light and shade, and even a Big Band swing section which adds something different along with the immense orchestration.

'Rock 'N' Roll Children' is another epic that features a stunning lead vocal from Miriam Grey who should be a household name. This song even has a school choir at the end but don't let that put you off as it just adds an extra topping to the layers and layers of sound.

It carries on in this fashion throughout with brilliant performances from all the musicians and singers. However, I must give a special mention to the title-track which recounts the events of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that lasted forty-eight seconds. This nine-minute colossus of a song has everything you could ask for – tempo changes, choirs, orchestration, keyboard solos, etc. – and it ends the album on a huge high.

'48 Seconds' is an absolutely stunning release with not a filler to be found and it will be in my 2019 Top Album list at the end of the year for sure.

Carl Noonan

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