Jesper Leth - 'Know Thyself'

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Jesper Leth - 'Know Thyself'

Multi-instrumentalist he may be but vocalist he certainly isn't.

You've sort of got to admire the talents of someone who not only plays all the instruments on his CD but has recorded it in the studio he built himself too. Denmark's Jesper Leth falls into this category and the album opens up with 'Legacy Overture', a short but interesting progressive instrumental, waves of keyboards building, guitar solo coming in to confirm Jesper's versatility – a two minute showcase of his talents. Track two, 'Fire' kicks in with a fast rocking guitar riff and drum attack, but it's at that point that things start to go wrong. Multi-instrumentalist he may be but vocalist he certainly isn't and from that moment on the album is a huge disappointment.

The songs show a variety of styles and influences, from some Maidenesque riffing through melodic keyboard rock and even the archetypal Egyptian tinged sound of 'Ancient Script'. Throughout, the vocals range from the barely tolerable to, well... intolerable. Which truly is a shame as otherwise there is much to be admired here. In some ways it's hard to understand how such an obviously talented musician, who has put so much into this very personal work, would not realise how much the vocal range lets the whole project, and indeed himself, down. I guess if you are creating everything yourself in your own studio, there's no one else around to tell you.

Seemingly, Jesper's previous project 'Drome' combined his passion for movie scores and rock music. That was an instrumental project and it would do no harm for him to consider taking a few steps back towards that area to move his career forward. Either that or swallow the pride and find a vocalist who can do justice to the music that his talents deserve for the next offering.

Ian Parry

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