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Band: Napierís Bones

CD Title: Alpha-Omega Man

Website: https://napiersbones.bandcamp.com

Label: Independent Release (2017)

Rating: Great Stuff 4/5

 

 

So here we are with album number four for the British duo of Gordon Midgley and Nathan Jon Tillett who go by the band name: Napierís Bones. Entitled Alpha-Omega Man, this is a musical offering of eight tracks clocking in at fifty-two minutes. Musically these guys have gotten stronger and stronger in terms of both composition and performance with each release. Much of what I love about Napierís Bonesí style is on display in the first track ďAwakeningsĒ [13:30] which starts off with a long, long introduction that builds in melodic intensity and then swiftly shifts into a contrasting softer Mellotron bridge or transition of at least one-minute before returning to the original core melody only this time with Mellotron supporting the guitar. In there is a little analog sounding synth line as well. Then the end of the song evolves into a kind of spacey vibe forming the transition to the next composition where, like their previous efforts they inject spoken word passages that convey the albumís conceptual story line.  Regardless of the length of the composition there is a heightened sense of performance here and if there is any aspect to the bandís sound that takes getting used to itís the guitar tone. In many of the songs it sounds very seventies. Now thatís not a bad thing, in fact I think itís very intentional but itís just something that stands out. In a previous review I mentioned a Rick Wakeman influence on the keyboards sounds. If that Wakeman influence is present on this disc itís more with the guitar sound, but again, not necessarily a bad thing. There were more than a few times where that guitar sound together with the keyboards, especially the Mellotron reminded me of Strawbs when they had twin keyboard players: think Deep Cuts era. The overall sound is classic Prog with lots of symphonic flourishes and arrangements. Oh, and I have to say any misgivings I expressed regarding the vocals have evaporated as here the vocals are handled quite nicely. In fact theyíre quite strong without over-reaching and seem to fit the albumís overall tone. When itís all said and done this is quite a remarkable release in so many ways. With four albums under their belt, these boys really seem to have a handle on what they can do, Prog wise and what they do I really like. Recommended.    

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