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Figure of Speechless: Tunnel at the End of the Light

Tunnel at the End of the Light is the debut studio album by all-star project Figure of Speechless, under the command of Australian guitarist and songwriter Glen McMaster, and his crew as follows: Derek Sherinian on keyboards (Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Sons of Apollo); Bumblefoot on guitars and solos (Sons of Apollo, GnR’s); Ray Alder on vocals (Fates Warning); Tony Franklin on bass (The Firm, Blue Murder); and Brian Tichy on drums (Whitesnake, Foreigner), a very peculiar but strongly cohesive cast of characters.

In advance… a very strong debut! “Day and Night” is a great opener and the longest track in the album, with an extra catchy guitar/keys tandem and very cool drumming, the amount of talent and musicianship is evident right from the start, as is the importance that Sherinian’s participation will have throughout the entire album, it will only grow by the minute. BTW, Alder sounds great as always. “Carve a Smile” is a song that commences in a sour-ballad mood and then progresses into a heavy and metallic gem, again that work between Bumblefoot and Sherinian is outstanding and memorable, worth enjoying for sure, and Glen knows it, and he will use them a lot!

“Escape Hatch” is the first of my favorite trio of songs, the combined riffs/licks between the two guitarist works great and Franklin’s veterancy leads a hungry Tichy on the kit, unfortunately he is a little low on the mix. “Midnight Desert Rendezvous” maintains the formula of the previous song but adding a grungy edge to it with some riffing and vocal harmonies that at times could be a reminiscence of early Alice in Chains. The title track “Tunnel at the End of the Light” shows the proggier side of Glen’s composing, allowing his rhythmic section to fully invade the song’s mainframe and shine, alongside the keys and the melodiously soloing by BF, a song that made me come back and listen to the album again, and again.

“The Cast Out” has all the ingredients for a metal single, the guitars, the choruses, the shredding keys, and the vocals… nothing new under the sun… but very well executed and arranged. The melodic riffing continues with “Draw the Line” with poppier but also haunting nuances that give a little life to one of the weaker (if any) songs of the album, although both Bumblefoot and Sherinian’s solos are killer and among the best of the total 60 plus minutes of the record, and Glen’s guitar tone is fantastic. “Inside Room 6” kicks off with more metallic and atoned riffing, shamedly it takes a direction I don’t fully like, making the song my less favorite so far… “Turn a New Leaf” is another cool song, perhaps a little repetitive sounding, an aspect that will place it within the potential fillers of the album, not a bad song in any means but placed at number 9th in the queue doesn’t allow itself to shine or even transcend. “DysUtopia” brings some freshness with cool riffing and memorable melodic choruses again, with an immense Sherinian creating synths madness taking full advantage of the permission given to intervene, a tight sounding song too. “Unfolding” closes the album very unexpectedly introducing the first acoustic sounding guitars in what will be the softer but more anthemic song yet, with a progression of guitars and keys soloing that will evolve in crescendo rapidly building the twisted but very melodic end. Let’s hope this all-stars project doesn’t end in a one-and-done thing and deliver more music in the future, everything points towards more evolution as a whole and even better music to be delivered… enjoy!

Track Listing:
  1. Day and Night (7:08)
  2. Carve a Smile (5:38)
  3. Escape Hatch (5:45)
  4. Midnight Desert Rendezvous (5:26)
  5. Tunnel at the End of the Light (5:56)
  6. The Cast-Out (5:34)
  7. Draw The Line (5:44)
  8. Inside Room 6 (6:49)
  9. Turn a New Leaf (5:26)
  10. DysUtopia (6:19)
  11. Unfolding (3:46)

Added: August 8th 2022
Reviewer: Jose Antonio Marmol
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 688
Language: english

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