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Art Griffin’s Sound Chaser: The Seven Ages of Starlight

Guitar AND Violin, sign me up! Art Griffin is a multi-instrumentalist (Keyboards, Guitar, and Bass) from Toronto, Ontario, and he’s assembled an excellent cast of guests to compliment his bandmates on The Seven Ages of Starlight. The music was written between 2015 and 2017, and recorded at Artsounds (Griffin’s studio) and according to some recent articles there is already material written for the next release.

The disc opens with the short atmospheric “Earthrise”, and launches us into “Ride To Valhalla” which features the wonderful Jamie Glaser (Jean-Luc Ponty) on the first solo. Griffin’s own guitarist Kelly Kereuliuk keeps pace with Glaser during his spots in the song, and plays some amazing solo’s throughout. Let’s not forget the violin of Victoria Yeh; she keeps pace with the guitarists providing trade off licks of her own. Steve Negus (ex-Saga) provides drums for most for the album, with Styx’s Todd Sucherman appearing on the final two tracks. “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” gives us some acoustic guitar and a lighter approach that is a bit new agey until the electric guitar adds some bite towards the end. “Total Eclipse” has a darker tonality from the songs that precede it, and the violin is front and center screeching in the best way possible. One would venture to guest that “JLP” is a tip of the cap to Mr. Ponty, and Mr. Glaser makes another guest appearance. Yeh, Kereliuk, and Glaser all have plenty of time to shine, the backing music is on the lighter side, but the soloing is fantastic throughout this track.

Griffin takes a few quick solo spots for “Spanish Galleon” a classical guitar piece with some backing keyboards, and “Astronomy By Rail” a dreamy keyboard soundscape. “Seventh Wave” features Saga vocalist Michael Sadler providing some atmospheric vocals, and to my great surprise Happy The Man Keyboardist/Saxophonist Frank Wyatt plays some wonderful Moog solos, and Yeh shines throughout.

This band is difficult to label, as the guitars tend to lean in more of a fusion direction, but the compositions are more instrumental rock, with some atmospheric touches, but oh that violin, thank you for that. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but, I’d like to hear the band going for it more often, maybe a bit heavier and aggressive? This is a minor critique, as the soloing gives each song a lift, but a little more fire in the arrangements would put this over the top. Sucherman’s addition on drums definitely adds punch to “Pulsar” and the closing “All Of A Sudden It’s The End”; this is the perfect example of driving the song home. I also enjoyed how Griffin sneaks in a little Chris Squire influenced bass playing on a few tracks, nice touch and well done. Investigate this band if you have a sweet tooth for instrumental music, it just may satisfy that craving.

Track List:
1. Earthrise
2. Ride To Valhalla
3. Sorcerer's Apprentice
4. Total Eclipse
5. JLP
6. Spanish Galleon
7. Seventh Wave
8. Chasing Sound
9. Mona Lisa Smile
10. Astronomy By Rail
11. Pulsar
12. All of A Sudden It's The End

Added: May 2nd 2022
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Artists @ Bandcamp
Hits: 355
Language: english

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