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Man From RavCon, The: The Puzzle Master
The Man From RavCon, aka Mike Brown, is a busy guy. His new instrumental album The Puzzle Master is his seventh release in the last six years. Unfortunately he did not have my attention until now. From what I can gather Brown plays almost everything himself except for a couple of guest appearances. The pieces are inundated with keyboards, synthesizer and Mellotron but he also adds guitar giving the sound that extra bit of energy keyboard based music needs. He doesn't fly up and down the fret board but what he does play has plenty of feel and atmosphere, perfectly suiting the mood of each piece.
"Erubus" opens the album with storm-like sound effects and pulsating electronics. Very cinematic in scope with cool synth lines and a slow moving guitar solo with plenty of feel.
The melodic "Monument" is next beginning with gentle strums of acoustic guitar. Thicker riffs unfold every so often adding an extra dynamic to the sound and background Mellotron creates a certain lushness in the soundscape before ending with some understated guitar work.
"Winter" is more poignant with lovely flute synths and pretty piano. Again, Mellotron is used for added richness.
Pulsating electronic percussion and lonely piano notes highlight "Legacy", a relaxing piece of music that occasionally gets the heavy guitar treatment. It is in these moments I hear a resemblance to Pink Floyd Animals.
"Tempest" is the shortest offering at just over a minute. Swells of synths build over a steady drum beat with added Mellotron as well.
The hypnotizing "Metropolis" has a Kraftwerk-like beginning before winding synth lines and funky guitar and keyboard rhythms form the meat of the track.
Moody synths, Mellotron and spaghetti western style guitar highlight "Spellbound" while "The Cosmic Creeper" is more spacey with wonderful synths and dramatic Mellotron choirs.
This is an excellent CD with strong melodies and excellent musicianship. The Puzzle Master should appeal to fans of electronic music and instrumental progressive rock with a heavy keyboard presence. Recommended.
7. The Puzzle Master
8. The Missing Piece
10. The Cosmic Creeper
13. Goodnight (Back in the Box)
Added: March 12th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
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