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Rhys Marsh - 2014 - "Sentiment"

(41:33, Autumnsongs Records)


1.  Calling in the Night 3:25
2.  Burn the Brightest Day 3:29
3.  Pictures of Ashes 3:50
4.  The Seventh Face 4:49
5.  The Ghost Ship 6:11
6.  In the Sand 3:49
7.  Last November 5:07
8.  Silver Light & Blackened Eyes 5:30
9. Give Me What You Need 5:23


Rhys Marsh – vocals; all instruments

Prolusion. Norwegian artist Rhys MARSH has been and is involved in a number of different ventures, the most high profiled of them arguably The Opium Cartel, and he has been active in the UK and the Norwegian music scene for the last 20 or so years. Following a handful of albums recorded with the multinational unit The Autumn Ghost, "Sentiment" is the first true solo album by Marsh, and was released by Autumnsongs Records in 2014.

Analysis. I have to admit that I'm not all that familiar with Marsh’s previous excursions when he recorded material with The Autumn Ghost, so if this solo album represents any diversion from the style explored on those albums is not something I can comment upon. What I do hear on this particular album is interesting though, as this is a production that to comes across as some sort of blend or marriage between vintage and modern era accessible progressive rock, and a variety of such a mix with a distinct focus on dark and haunting moods at that. The compositions tend to follow a defined structure and approach throughout. We have a gentler and often fragile theme, more often than not the verse sections will represent those, occasionally also transitional sections and interludes. These are paired off against themes and arrangements of a more forceful and majestic nature, mainly represented by chorus sections and interludes, sometimes also in transitional phases. This gives the compositions a nice and effective ebb and flow motion, and occasionally we're treated to a more dramatic end sequence as well, adding nerve and tension as a concluding crescendo builds up to a sudden conclusion. Electric piano, gentle guitar details and careful Mellotron details are the dominant features of the delicate aspects of these compositions, alongside the lead vocals of course, and when the compositions shift to a more powerful expression, layered keyboards, dark toned electric guitars and the aforementioned Mellotron combine for a usually dark toned, haunting and majestic soundscape, rich and vibrant, fairly often with the vocals delivered in a more emotional manner. The manner in which the instruments are used, most certainly emphasized by the liberal use of Mellotron and electric piano, gives this album something of a classic progressive rock sound. The mix and production also appear to have been focusing on the creation of a warm and analogue sound, further emphasizing this impression. The compositions themselves, and many of the arrangements too, come across as somewhat more modern sounding, at least to my ears, with my main associations going towards artists such as Porcupine Tree, Pineapple Thief and other bands of a similar nature. Hence my overall impression: this is an album that combines aspects of vintage and modern progressive rock, the former by way of instruments, mix and production, the latter due to the compositions themselves and, at least to my ears, the vocal style and delivery.

Conclusion. If you are fond of an album mixed with a warm, vintage sound, love the sound of vintage electric piano and Mellotron, have an affection for songs of a dark, haunting and emotional nature, and also tend to like bands operating somewhere within the context of modern era progressive rock as defined by artists such as Porcupine Tree, then Rhys Marsh's 2014 album "Sentiment" is one that should have your name written on it: a solid production that most likely will find favor among just about anyone who may recognize themselves in the above description.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: November 3, 2015
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Autumnsongs Records
Rhys Marsh


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