Three tracks does not sound like a lot but when you appreciate just how much James has crammed into these pieces there’s more than enough to chew on for ages. You’d be forgiven for thinking this was just an EP and no more than an interlude before a full length but dig in and you will find a plethora of idea’s and sounds, movement and melody to behold!
It must be a hard task for any solo musician let alone a solo instrumentalist to compose material that would attract and keep your attention. James does it with ease and style. If you’re not a ‘guitar’ person, this may take some effort to understand and if you ARE a guitar person then this is going to require much more effort to follow all the madness!!
Sitting well within the established realms of musical virtuosity alongside peers IBUILTTHESKY and Plini, James has his own flare and flavour to bring and the material showcased on ‘Denalavis’ is quite unlike anything you’ll hear anywhere else.
It’s not immediately metal, not all the way prog..just enough of everything to ride the waves of subtly and outright craziness to a very entertaining end.
There’s an oddly 80’s prog/rock sounding organ/whirly sound throughout which takes some getting used to. Its hard to say if James just bought a B9 pedal and added it in..OR actually payed all the keys himself. The dudes talented enough it’s entirely possible. Drums are well composed and add all the right elements to build and derail the rhythm. Bass has a definite presence which I was surprised by and very happy to feel. Up loud the tight low-mid’s punch through between the drums and churning guitars to fill out a well balanced mix.
The middle eastern feel and tasteful use of the many mode’s (ionian, dorian etc etc) are well on display..but the sheer number of ‘whoa..the fug was that!’ moments make this an outstanding release from a scene that is fast growing in number and quality.
So..is it any good? Yes. Yes it really is. Go pre order it here..