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TRACK LIST: 1. Aftermath 6:12 2. Welcome To The Fray 4:39 3. War 4:11 4. Hold On 5:16 5. Sleep 5:37 6. Vinyl 4:51 7. Vision 6:39 8. War Reprise 5:51 9. Always 6:16 LINEUP: Martin Murphy vocals; guitars Greg Murphy guitars; vocals Arnold Burgoyne keyboards Gordon Munro bass Iain Duncan drums Ron Rodger guitars Angela Bell backing vocals Kerry McWhinnie backing vocals
Prolusion. The UK/Scottish band PREACHER was formed in 2007, and has since then been an active entity. Especially on the live scene, where they are known for producing memorable shows with visual backdrops and light effects adding to the entertainment. The band has also released two studio albums so far. "Aftermath" is the most recent of those, and dates back to 2016.
Analysis. Preacher is the kind of band that, excuse my bad pun, will preach to the converted. They are not out to carve out any new ground, but have found their niche of music and focus on making music of that specific kind in the best way possible to them. An album that might be described as safe I guess, but it is a quality example of craftsmanship nonetheless. As far as style goes, this is progressive rock and of a kind and nature that will have a fairly broad appeal. The common denominator throughout is music most will describe as Pink Floydian, and then honing in on the commercially most successful part of that band's history first and foremost. The moods and atmospheres tend to stay on the dark side, with tasteful guitar details, a liberal amount of Gilmour-style flowing guitar solo runs and the classic sounds of the organ combining with the guitar to craft that smooth, majestic sound everyone familiar with later day Pink Floyd will find familiar. Preacher deviates a bit from this norm though, and thus avoids being a clone band as such. They do have a tendency to drop in some classic 70s rock details here and there, the drums have a more dominant place in the mix throughout, and are also performed with a bit more vigor and intensity. And while there are plenty of Pink Floydian guitar solo runs, there are also numerous instances of the guitar soloing here taking on a more fiery, sharp mode of delivery, adding a bit of hard rock zest to the proceedings. The lead vocals are rather more striking as well, vocalist Murphy has a deep, rich voice that does add more weight and impact to the material here, in a manner that, at least to some extent, is comparable with the late David Bowie. That they also include a small detour into jazz rock territories on one of the songs is a further example of the band not always following in the footsteps of David Gilmour and his men. The Floydian, compellingly dark moods and atmospheres, are a constantly recurring detail in all of the compositions however, and as such, I find this specific trait to rather define the album.
Conclusion. Bands that explore a style, sound and atmosphere comparable to 70s Pink Floyd aren't exactly what one might describe as few and far between, but while Preacher doesn't score too many points for originality they do score quite a few for execution. They do have some more or less subtle deviations from the norm for this specific brand of progressive rock as well, and in sum this makes for a good album, and one that warrants an inspection by those who love progressive rock as Pink Floyd used to make it some 35 to 40 years ago.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: March 7, 2017
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