Band: Amaran’s Plight
Band Website: www.amaransplight.com
Label: ProgRock Records
Label Website: www.progrockrecords.com
Release Date: 2007
The wonderful thing about progressive rock is that tackling the idea of creating a concept CD causes little hesitation. Prog has always been about conveying a story. The fact that the compositions can be as short as one-minute or as long as fourteen-minutes means you can write in whatever style you need to truly convey the emotions of the story. All these elements come into play when listening to the new release from Amaran’s Plight entitled Voice in the Light. This is classic epic progressive rock with one-foot stepping slightly into the world of prog-metal.
The four members of Amaran’s Plight are D.C. Cooper (vocals), Gary Wehrkmap (guitar, keyboards, drums), Kurt Barabas (bass) and Nick D’Virgillio (drums). Now if you’re saying these are some familiar names, you’re right. Wehrkmap is from Shadow Gallery, Cooper from Silent Force, Barabas from Under the Sun and of course D’Virgillio from Spock’s Beard. The quartet calls upon a host of guest vocalists and musicians to fill out the various specific parts of their concept, a story about a young man whose near death experience goes along way to changing not only his life but those around him in a huge way. And while there’s plenty of story to be told, or sung in this case, the compositions also have lot’s of room for instrumental work-outs.
Stylistically the music on Amaran’s Plight is what you could easily call heavy-symphonic. The guitar is clearly up front with keyboards performing the background and support role of adding texture. Much of the music is loaded with aggressive crescendos, soaring vocal passages, delicate synthesizer transitions and cascading guitar runs. Overall the music is quite charged with intensity. That said, where the story demands some telling the band aren’t afraid to bring in a solo piano or acoustic guitar to build the mood and provide some sonic relief. With just under 80-minutes of music here, there’s lot’s of room to work in a myriad of feels. And throughout there are many good hooks and some rather melodic pieces. A song like “I Promise You” sounds radio ready with its amazingly catchy melody. These compositions are sprinkled in amongst some longer works, three of them being over 10-minutes. These are the pieces where the mood and drama of the story are most obvious. Together with some shorter transition pieces everything here creates a kind of soundtrack aspect to the concept behind Voice of Light. And even here there are some great melodies and themes at work. Huge anthemic qualities are used to convey a sense of emotion as in “Consummation Opus.”
Virtually all the music of Amaran’s Plight was written by Wehrkmap so the music is in many ways similar to the work of Shadow Gallery, although with different musicians bringing their own talents to the project the finished product does have its own sound. None-the-less if you are a fan of the Shadow Gallery style you’ll love Voice in the Light. For the rest of you if you enjoy the music of the bands mentioned and are looking for more, look no further. Amaran’s Plight is just what you need to fill that void.