Gray, Broderick - Mythic Realms


Year of Release: 2000
Label: Fossil Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:23:00

Sometimes you get a metal band who have great musical chops but a lousy singer, such that you wish the vocalist would just keep his mouth shut and let the band play. Well, Broderick Gray's Mythic Realms is like that, only you don't have to wait for the vocalist to take a break - there's no vocals at all here. Just music, great instrumental progressive metal music. And the band is just Gray, on guitar, on keys, on drums. He apologizes in the liner notes for not playing real drums, but to my ear, I couldn't tell the difference. Or maybe I was just overly dazzled by the dexterity of Gray's playing.

Being someone who never got past the rhythm guitar stage, and barely beyond three chords, that anyone get their fingers to move about the fretboard with the rapidity that Gray does (or anyone, for that matter) just continues to impress me. I say this because those who are guitarists with even a smidgen more talent than I, might find flaws in Gray's playing, but I sure don't. Self-recorded as this is, the sound quality is very good. There is a certain fuzziness to the sound - the only thing I could liken it to is the difference between printing on a high-end printing press and printing on a mid-range (consumer priced) printer. Looks great, gets the job done, but lacks a certain extra crispness that says tons of money also went into it. But, at the end of the day, I'll take a great but fuzzy home-recorded album with lots of heart than a slickly produced hollow piece of product any day. Of course, it could also just be my stereo, so on that, your mileage may vary.

What's important, of course, is the music. Some of the music is quite infectious - of the foot tapping, air-guitaring variety. Gray treats us to 16 different compositions, ranging within the prog metal style - meaning you'll hear bits of Dream Theater, Queensryche, Symphony X...any well known band you care to name practically. Bits of, mind you. Shadings, nods, hints, that sort of thing. Oh, that's not to say that Gray doesn't engage in some fairly recognizable moves, he does. But his energy makes them almost fresh. What you get is progressive metal riffs of the classical, speed and power variety, all melded together - though I'm not sure really that much separates them stylistically anyway, other than, perhaps, tempo. "Dawn Of The Dragon," is rhythmic, getting into a groove that Gray just rides along on. You almost expect a classic, LaBrie-like voice to come swooping in, take ahold, and carry you away. Picking up the pace a bit is "Horizons Of Glory," - the headbanging-styled song, but instead of adrenaline fueled Teutonic lyrics sung by a rough voiced vocalist, we get singing guitar lines - Rhapsody comes to mind here, an interlude that suggests battle - hmm, "glory" is in the title.

As skilled as Gray is, he isn't really taking instrumental guitar into any new places, but is instead exploring within the places it's been. There are times where things feel a little samey, even if they don't sound exactly samey. In other words, sometimes vocalists help to break things up. With 16 tracks of varying lengths, Gray does explore a variety of tones and colours. But, as an example of his talent and love of some often very tasty licks, Gray has here a great calling card.


Tracklisting:
The Tree Of Life (0:35) / Realms Of Fire (4:00) / Dawn Of The Dragon (3:21) / Horizons Of Glory (8:16) / Metal Machine (4:09) / Flaming Sword (1:01) / The Prize (3:32) / Foreseeing (0:41) / Viper (3:03) / Presto (2:32) / Abode Of The Dead (2:53) / Sheol (0:50) / Eye Of The Sphinx (2:07) / Blue Streak (3:53) / Dark Legions (5:01) / The Changeling (2:29)

Musicians:
Broderick Gray - guitars, keys, synths

(equip list: Yamaha MD8 Multi-Track MD Recorder, Tascam 424 MK II, Lexicon MPX 100, Alesis MidiVerb 4, Lexicon MPX, Mesa Boogie TriAxis, SM 57, Fender Strat, Generalmusic Turbo S3 Music Processor 76 keys, and Fender CG-7 Acoustic Guitar)

Discography:
Enter The Realm (2000)
Mythic Realms (2000)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: March 15th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: mythicforce.com
Hits: 693
Language: english

  

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