Scottish six piece band Preacher have been making quite a name for themselves with their stunning live shows and exquisite studio recordings. Hailing from Glasgow and Ayr, the band have managed to successfully blend the straightforward elements of melodic and classic rock along with subtle hints of David Bowie and Pink Floyd thrown in for good measure.
They released their debut album, 'Signals' in 2014 which paid homage to the classic conceptual approach of crafting an album based around a single theme as championed by bands such as Pink Floyd, Yes, and King Crimson.
'Aftermath' is the band's second album and they celebrated its release with a home town show at the Glasgow ABC in front of a packed crowd, the first unsigned band to ever do so! As with 'Signals', the new album has a good mix or classic rock tracks along with the obvious influence of Progressive rock thrown in there too.
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Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Larry Primrose, the album is a collection of well written and expertly performed tracks that don't rush along but takes a more sedate pace. Title track 'Aftermath' for example meanders along but still retains the interest of the listener throughout. The track owes something of a debt to 'Echoes' by Pink Floyd where the mid section is concerned, but this doesn't detract from the track at all. The keyboards of Arny Burgoyne are very much in there background leaving there guitar of Greg Murphy to take centre stage, and believe me, Murphy gets all the credit he deserves with a real tour de force performance. Let's not forget Martin Murphy's vocals, however, which are both sublime and expertly matched too.
This is followed by 'Welcome To The Fray' which has drummer Iain Duncan laying down a solid beat but once again it's Greg Murphy's guitar that dominates here with several well played solo sections in what is ultimately another slow paced but interesting number. Duncan comes to the fore again in the intro to 'War' with some militaristic drumming before the subtle addition of Burgoyne's keyboards in what becomes another laid back affair.
'Hold On' begins as a showcase for front man Martin Murphy with some simple backing from the keyboards. It's a subtle vocal performance that has a hint of David Bowie's influence in his voice and phrasing but it's an incredible performance from him once again. The electric guitar is given a break and is reduced to the background for most of the track with what sounds like some great slide work. The pace and volume both pick up half way through, and it's not long before Greg Murphy's back in the spotlight for his guitar solo which is very much an "icing on the cake" moment as far as I'm concerned.
'Vinyl' is more of the faster tempo numbers here with the lyrics reminiscing about the golden age of vinyl records, which seems to be returning to fashion recently. It's Burgoyne's keyboards that create the colour here with the lead guitar held back once again. In between the verses and choruses there are long instrumental spaces making this another thoroughly enjoyable track.
Of course there was bound to be an acoustic based number here somewhere and it seems like album closer 'Always' could be the one before the jaunty keyboard and drums kick in. It's another slow paced number that gives Martin Murphy another chance to shine. Nothing feels rushed here and the song belies its six minutes plus length as it scarcely seems that long for such an enjoyable number and a great end to the album. At the end of the day, If you like a bit of Prog then this album certainly should have a place in your record collection and if not then you're certainly missing out on a gem of an album.
Welcome To The Fray
Martin Murphy – Vocals/Guitar
Greg Murphy – Guitar
Ron Rodgers – Acoustic Guitar
Arny Burgoyne – Keyboards
Gordon Munro – Bass Guitar
Iain Duncan – Drums
Angela Bell – Backing Vocals
Kerry WcWhinnie – Backing Vocals