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Basque; Curtis: Curtis Basque

Beavering away for some 15 years, Curtis Basque has finally released what I presume to be his debut, self titled, album. Hailing from Canada, I have to say that until I did a little digging around this talented multi instrumentalist, singer and songwriter's website, I actually presumed that the origin of the music on this album was Eastern Europe; the jagged, brooding cross genre flavours similar in style to a numbers of acts coming from that part of the world in recent years. Flavours of a whole host of cultures and styles tumble forth, Middle Eastern melodies jostling alongside riffs which bristle and bark, Progressive Metal careening with care into an ever so slightly NWOBHM swagger, something built upon through Basque have a similar vocal feel to a less exuberant Bruce Dickinson.

What impresses most however is the manner in which a variety of tempos are explored across the songs, with the temptation to slide into "look at me" avoided in favour of a far more song based approach. "Wasteland" reminds strongly of slow paced Iron Maiden both in structure and lyrical ring, while "Sarajevo" chooses an even more reserved path, with strings and acoustic guitar setting the scene for a searing solo to burn alongside some surprising fiddle work. "American Dream" (which isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of those ideals) offers up a far more energetic bent, a roaming bass line and an aggressive and engaging vocal delivery revealing a more Metallic edge – all the while Middle Eastern instrumentation offering glimpses of the lyrical ethos of the song. However it is "Me And You" which proves the most memorable piece on offer, its slow steady build showing patience and guile via beautiful piano and clean guitar work, the album's best vocal also augmented by pipes which add a floating feel to a melancholy lyric.

It isn't all flawless however, with a clunky drum sound possibly alluding to budgetary restrictions and a penchant for opening most of the songs in a similar slow manner suggesting less variation than there actually is. However for the most part this self titled effort is an interesting and well executed take on modern Prog with a Metal edge and one Basque can rightly be proud of. Anyone looking to support independent Progressive Metal that avoids walking on clichéd paths will find much to enjoy here.

Track Listing
1. Requiem
2. American Dream
3. Wasteland
4. Sarajevo
5. Me And You
6. Hold The Moment
7. Scenes Of The Crime
8. Requiem Reprise

Added: June 22nd 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Curtis Basque online
Hits: 1502
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Basque; Curtis: Curtis Basque
Posted by Anonymous on 2014-06-24 06:38:06
My Score:

Great job on the album Curtis, so much amazing talent there. Best of luck on the promo and sales!!

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