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Cavanagh, Daniel: Monochrome

What with the continued and ever growing success of Anathema, you might wonder just what exactly singer, piano player and guitarist Daniel Cavanagh has left to say, or indeed if he has many other ways of saying it. Monochrome is his first proper solo offering and as such answers all of those questions in quite undoubted fashion. Often a band to build restrained, intimate music only to blow it wide apart with huge crescendos and mighty pay offs, Anathema's touch can also be found here after all Cavanagh composes heavily for both but where his main band do on occasion go for the throat, all on his own, the solo artist keeps things much more straight forward, if never simple. This album still falls in the progressive category and yet the mood always remains much more song based and emotion led.

The opening pair of "The Exorcist" - which appears to involve the man himself exorcising his own demons and "The Music", throw the doors of this album wide open, baring its soul and taking the risk you might simply turn away in rejection. However with the plaintive piano, voice and gentle acoustic strum that herald's the album's birth being as honest, stark and authentic as you'll ever find, you'd need to have a heart of stone not to open your arms and beckon these songs to you to assure them that everything will turn out OK. The reward is a vocal so clean, clear and powerful that it makes your hair stand on end as the same small intricate themes that required your affection grow strong enough to cradle you in their arms and repay your faith. Introducing the co-vocals of VUUR's Anneke Van Giersbergen, "The Music" does likewise, reminding through its ability to build and build and build, of latter day Marillion, even if they sound very little alike the clever expansion of the atmosphere almost overwhelming.

The intensity never really lets up from there, "Soho" the first piece where the raw emotion on show spills fleetingly into near chaos, before shimmering, sparse synths and piano strikes pull everything right back to where it all began. Cleverly the mood retains a similarly claustrophobic air throughout, the feel that you're entering someone else's inner most thoughts playing out in the most engaging manner. The short "The Dawn" does change tack, violin and quick fingered acoustic a welcome injection of energy, before "Oceans Of Time" offers yet another moody, heady refrain and "Some Dreams Come True" closes things out in almost lolling fashion, the feel of a hypnotic musical haze washing over you as birds sing and a child laughs.

In ways it almost feels intrusive to enter Daniel Cavanagh's Monochrome world, the hugely personal and honest mood impossible to ignore and yet that is also its huge appeal. Cavanagh himself suggests Monochrome is a late night, solitary experience, and I can only confirm that he's probably correct. However, in whatever way you choose to engage with it, you'll find this to be an album that demands you give it your full mind and challenges you to be as honest with it, as it is with you.

Track Listing
1. The Exorcist
2. This Music
3. Soho
4. The Silent Flight Of The Raven Winged Hours
5. Dawn
6. Oceans Of Time
7. Some Dreams Come True

Added: December 9th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Monochrome at Kscope
Hits: 1439
Language: english

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