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
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more