Exposé Online banner

Exposé Online

Not just outside the box, but denying the existence of boxes.
Covering music from the fringes since 1993.


David M. Stowell — A Raven in Flight
(Bandcamp Ravenslake Productions, 2021, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-01-04

A Raven in Flight Cover art

David M. Stowell is a Chicago musician, primarily a keyboardist, whose music is inspired by both electronic pioneers (Wendy Carlos, Tangerine Dream) and rock. A Raven in Flight is an album of ten tracks, and it’s something of a mixed bag. “Dawn of Enceladus” starts things off nicely, an instrumental track with eerie keyboards and atmospheric percussion leading into a section with drums that reminds me of something off Cyclone. It’s with the second track, “Into the Glass” that things start to get dicey. This is a rock song that is so amateurishly performed I’m embarrassed just listening to it. The drums are so erratic I’m kept constantly off balance, the guitar sounds like it’s made of cardboard, and the vocals are unappealing. “Moderation” fares much better, with drums that are at least competent and a female vocalist who gives a good effort on the trite lyrics; the music sounds like a 70s prog band trying to be an 80s pop band. Stowell himself handles keyboards and bass, and there are five different singers, three different guitarists, a saxophonist, and four different drummers credited, though not by which tracks they contributed to. The remaining songs fall between the quality of the first two tracks, with the instrumental sections generally tolerable (barring some more shaky drums), and the vocal parts often rather tentative. “Moltova Nebula” features the best singing, a female voice with an operatic vibrato — this song justifies its near ten-minute length, though I’m not keen on the synth bass. The longest track is “Equinox,” which features an unremarkable vocal section and then moves into a nice instrumental part that calls to mind something like “Duke’s Travels” or “Second Home by the Sea,” though with less energy. A Raven in Flight contains some good ideas, but the execution mostly falls short, and I can’t really recommend it. It’s streamable on Bandcamp, so you can check it out yourself to see if I’m just in a grumpy mood after the holidays.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): David M. Stowell

More info


What's new

These are the most recent changes made to artists, releases, and articles.