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TRACK LIST: 1. Death 3:59 2. Reaching the Sky 2:27 3. Amazed by Beauty 2:50 4. Melancholy 2:46 5. Purgatory 2:28 6. The Trial 2:42 7. Verdict 3:10 8. The Punishment 2:40 9. Hell 3:55 10. Absolution of the Sins 3:27 11. Heaven 2:52 12. Back to Life 6:37 All tracks: written & produced by Heon. SOLO PILOT: Martin Heon - electric, acoustic, & MIDI guitars
Prolusion. "Electro-Acoustic Requiem" is the debut album by the Canadian composer and guitarist Martin Heon.
Synopsis. Judging by the titles of compositions, "Electro-Acoustic Requiem" is a semi-conceptual work about a soul traveling after death through the 'classic Christian instances' of the other world and getting its happy end on the closing track of the album: Back to Life, which, though, is the department of Krishna already. Indeed, even the darkest compositions here: Reaching the Sky (2) and, surprisingly, Back to Life, can hardly be perceived as the requiem-like works, and while the music on most of the other pieces on the album is quite tense and dramatic, it's free of real sorrow as well. Furthermore, two compositions: Amazed by Beauty and Melancholy (3 & 4) are the definitive entities of romanticism. So if I were in Heon's shoes, I would have certainly given a different title to this output. But, all of this does not concern the central, compositional, constituent of the album. The music here is truly unique and is of a high quality. Overall, the twelve compositions on "Electro-Acoustic Requiem" were created within the framework of a unified stylistics, which I see as a highly original fusion of guitar Art-Rock and Electronic Rock with elements of Dark Ambient. The only more or less significant difference between the pieces on the album is the level of tempo that they were performed with, and Purgatory (5) is above all notable for high-speed, outstandingly diverse, and very impressive solos of guitar. Although no other instruments but electric and acoustic guitars were used on "Electro-Acoustic Requiem", thanks to the use of MIDI, the album has quite a rich sound. The parts of synthesizer, bass, and electronic percussion are heard everywhere on the album, though the passages of synthesizer (Church organ on Hell) serve for the most part as a background for varied interplay between both of the said guitars and, from time to time, those of bass. But while electric and acoustic guitars are practically the only soloing instruments here, all the solos and passages of them are unique, diverse, and inventive throughout the album.
Conclusion. After the first hearing of "Electro-Acoustic Requiem" you may think that most of the arrangements here aren't that intricate, which would be erroneous. This album needs a few intent listens to get into and reveal all of its secret values. Recommended.
VM: Agst 1, 2003
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