Ray Band, The Rick - Temporary World

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Neurosis Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 68:21:00

I feel it's important to say up front that this is the best music I've heard from the Rick Ray Band. You see, a few years ago I was given Rick's Into The Hands Of Sinners to review. I wrestled with the write-up for a long time because frankly I just didn't like it. Oh - I recognized the strong musicianship and said so, but the review was one of the more critical I've published and I hated writing it.

So I was shocked when Neurosis Records sent me a copy of the band's newest release. I expected to be the last reviewer to receive it.

The good news is that none of my earlier criticisms apply to the new album.Temporary World is a lot more lyrical and mature than the earlier records I've heard, and I feel very comfortable recommending it to anyone who favors music in this genre. And the genre in question is could be described as guitar-led progressive hard rock with fusion leanings, and a strong nod to jam-rock and the hard rockers of the '70s. That's a mouthful, but the most important ingredient here is Rick's sometimes smooth, sometimes blisteringly fast guitar work. Guitar / sax tradeoffs have long been a Rick Ray Band signature, and "Change Stays The Same" features an extended duet that will leave you breathless.

There's plenty of variety here. "Enemies Of America" is a simpler folksy piece led initially by acoustic guitars and building into a more intense electric piece. "Passage Of Time" is a favorite - an all steel-string acoustic guitar piece played and styled with classical guitar disciplines - very melodic, and wonderfully executed.? And in a throwback to the '70s, "Together Forever" recalls David Cousins and The Strawbs. All songs have a certain intensity to them, and even in the slower passages you get the impression the band is impatient to get back to the driving, virtuoso performances of the hard stuff.

Most vocals are a smoky, sometimes pitchy, mid-range in a similar vein to many previous Rick Ray records. Although the quality of the singing may not win you over, the style and the vibe are clearly a great fit for Ray's intense and jazzy testosterone drenched hard-prog. The vocals don't form a major component of any song, and it's fair to say that this CD is probably 75% instrumental. Ray sings on 2 tracks himself, and does a pretty good job - and his very different timbre adds another texture.

This is 12 tracks of guitar-led music spread across 70 minutes. The production quality remains Ray's biggest challenge - but make no mistake, that doesn't hide the power and the passion and the musicianship.

On a sad note - singer Chuck Abrahams, a family man and younger than I am, passed away shortly after this album was released. I didn't know you, Chuck, but your family will be in my prayers. Rest in peace.

Until The End (7:22) / Rumor Clinic (5:10) / X In The Sky (5:28) / Modified Universe (6:25) / Change Stays The Same (6:18) / Enemies Of America (6:24) / Together Forever (6:23) / None Of My Concern (4:43) / Chemical Dispersion (5:44) / Passage Of Time (3:47) / Temporary World (4:45) / Alteration (5:52)

Rick Ray - guitars, keys, vocals
Chuck Abraham - lead vocals
Jack Ambrose - bass, vocal
Rick Schulz - reeds
Sam 'PJ' Gloriose - drums

Abnormal Road (1999)
Balance Of Power (1999)
The Great Antagonist (1999)
Clone Man (1999)
Atomic Soldiers (1999)
Neurotic Tendencies (1999)
You People (1999)
Looking Into the Past (1999)
The Key To The Bottomless Pit (1999)
Cast Into Our Dimension (2000)
Living In An Insane World (2000)
Mind Control, Inc. (2000)
Guitarsenal (2000)
Manipulated DNA (2001)
Insanity Flies (2001)
Existing Passages (2002)
The Guitarsonist (2002)
Rick Ray Band - Into The Hands Of Sinners (2003)
Rick Ray Band - Out Of The Mist Of Obscurity (2003)
Rick Ray Band - Night Of The Living Dedicated (2004)
Chainsaw Manicure (2005)
Rick Ray Band - Temporary World (2005)
Rick Ray Band - Nothing To Lose (2007)
Rick Ray Band - Violence Marred By Peace (2008)
Rick Ray Band - The Setlist (2009)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: November 13th 2005
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website: www.rickray.net
Hits: 3251
Language: english


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