Frameshift — An Absence of Empathy
(ProgRock no#, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01Within the network of hard rock musicians there are plenty of opportunities for various players to meet, establish a working partnership and make some new music. Sebastian Bach (former lead singer of Skid Row) would appear to be one of the least likely performers on a casual glance that Chain’s metal brainchild Henning Pauly would enlist to deliver his second CD of bleak lyrical imagery but somehow it credibly works. After a few nods to Queensryche and Dream Theater (re: pummeling unison riffing) the twelve tracks are a competent statement of sophisticated hard rock that is clever enough to ensnare prog metal fans across the board. Bach’s vocal delivery is everything you need from an assertive front man who can carry melodic pieces such as “Just One More.” Pauly is the real workhouse of the project handling equally guitar, bass, and keyboard duties as well all arrangement charts. It’s no doubt that his vision of the project as well the in studio execution of powerful tracks such as “I Killed You” and “Blade” represent the key successes of the disc. The former song generates a bit of Whitesnake drama before a well conceived multi-vocal part is performed. The latter track relies on a bagpipe intro before transitioning into a heavy percussion section that reminds me of prime Alice in Chains meshed with a crafted Celtic theme. At times the project is a bit heavy handed but overall it’s well paced and convincingly thought out upon several replays. Closing out the disc is Bach’s controlled lead vocal backed for the first time by a restrained electric piano accompaniment that sums up the disc appropriately. In summary, this is a studio project that needs a live performance to have the broadest impact but sadly it seems unlikely given cost constraints.
Related artist(s): Frameshift
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more