Vanderhoof — A Blur in Time
(Spalax SPV 085-74182, 2003, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2004-09-01Those who have heard of Kurdt Vanderhoof will know him as a member of the band Metal Church. I’m no fan of that band (or metal in general), but I had heard his other-band-cum-solo-project Vanderhoof was heavily based on 70s prog, so I’m giving it a whirl. And while there is certainly a lot of 70s influence here, for the most part it comes off like early 80s metal, back when keyboards were still allowed. On the 70s side of the decade divide, I’m most reminded of Uriah Heep and Thin Lizzy; on the 80s side I’m thinking of Def Leppard with keyboards. That being said, there’s some fine musicianship here, with Vanderhoof taking some flashy solos himself and sounding perhaps a bit too polished for my taste. Brian Cokeley handles the (mostly) vintage keyboards with finesse, filling in behind the heavy guitars with Mellotron and organ. “High St.” is a high point, mixing in acoustic guitars for a welcome change, with the opening section reminiscent again of Uriah Heep in a quieter moment (not Led Zeppelin as the liner notes suggest). The one way in which Vanderhoof misses the 70s sound is that the production is way too clean, with everything sounding over-rehearsed – a little spontaneity would be welcome. Coming from the metal side of the street, they seem unaware that there’s an entire genre called prog-metal that’s been doing this stuff for years. I’m not sure we really needed a bridge between Metallica and Dream Theater.
Related artist(s): Kurdt Vanderhoof
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more