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KDB3: Verite

Doug Bowers of the band Ad Astra has formed a new project under the moniker KDB3 and his new CD entitled Verite has just been released. As I have not heard the music of Ad Astra I came into this one without preconceived notions or expectations. For the most part this is a one man project except for a couple of parts where Bowers has help from his friends. There is no denying the Christian based themes as Bowers makes no bones about it. I would not say the words are preachy, as Bowers just explains things from his perspective, and leaves it up to the listener on what to take from his message. It is clear Bowers sings from within as he has a definite passion that comes through in these eight tunes. His singing style is mostly mid-range and he has a nice warm tonal quality to his voice that is hard not to like and makes this one of the high points of the CD. This is keyboard driven symphonic progressive rock with influences from the vintage days of 70s bands like Genesis and Kansas and the solo work of Neal Morse. The music is uplifting and very melodic with songwriting being a main focus. This is not overly complicated stuff so if you need tons of tempo changes and tricky time signatures you should probably look elsewhere but there is enough bombast to satisfy fans of the symphonic genre.

Beginning with the catchy keyboard intro to "New Life" the CD starts strong with an irresistible melody and has a strong Kansas feel especially during the chorus. Some nice organ sounds follow. The quiet and contemplative "One" follows with gentle acoustic guitar, warm vocals and an uplifting message. The pace picks up with "Rock & Roll Ghetto" which includes crunchy rhythms, perky keys and a pretty cool guitar solo. Personally, I would have liked to hear more from the guitar as it would have added a bit more bite to the music. The album's epic is the fourteen plus minute "Truth Suite" with its somewhat poppy beginning, bubbly keys and excellent synth play. The middle section breaks into a spoken word part featuring only keys followed by more bombast recalling those past 70s greats. Processed robotic-like vocals also find their way into the mix. Its different musical themes makes this the most interesting song on the album and my favourite thus far. The somber "Time for Renewal" is another highlight complete with lovely string sounds and an emotional vocal performance from Bowers.

The final verdict: this is solid symphonic progressive rock with lots of good melodies and solid song writing that should appeal to fans of the genre.

Track Listing:
1. New Life
2. One
3. Rock & Roll Ghetto
4. Truth Suite
5. Interlude
6. Time For Renewal
7. Not the One
8. If Anybody Asks

Added: May 6th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 2895
Language: english

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