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Gregorian BC: Conquistadors Of War

The press copy lauded how musician "Brian Chupp has been nicknamed The Conquistador of Music" based on his eclectic musical mix and how diverse he is. It's pretty bold stuff to put into print and words that are pretty impossible for me to agree with after I listened to the Conquistadors Of War album which comes care of Chupps own Gregorian B.C. Records. Don't get me wrong here as I listen to everything with an objective ear and while there do seem to be some musical passages worthy of attention in their playing sense it is Chupp's voice, or "The Conquistador" as I should say, that ruin the entire thing for me. It's a dry and repetitive sounding monotone register that I felt was torture on my ears. I hate to come off as mean in this comment but when someone opts to not only play all the instruments except the drums, and then sing on top of it, there is a lot of focus being pointed at them and a finer analysis of the work being presented. I felt the musicianship of Chupp was rather sound and he is using a lot of classical and flamenco guitar across the release which make it unique but then that dry vocal comes at you and makes you hope that the tune ends. It's not that his voice is entirely bad but it is not something one normally finds in a Hard Rock or Melodic Rock sort of album as much as it would be best heard in something like a solemn mid-eighties Goth Wave band. It's solemn and almost expressionless. At least this was how I heard it. The drums are well done and not overplayed by Billy Ashbaugh who comes to this project with a resume that featured Pat Benetar, Tim McGraw and N'Sync.

Lyrically there are some decent moments and others where far too much wordplay is being used. For instance "come with me girl, times passing by, you and me we're gonna die" Now there is a date song if I ever heard one. I also chuckled at "East Coast Rocker" when it said "I'm an East Coast Rocker, rock the Stock Exchange babe". Sigh. I wonder if the founders of the famous music paper that bears the same name are aware of this one. The theme of the recording is historic at times and focuses on Spain, the famous Spanish Armada and the obvious Conquistadors but historically speaking the real Conquistadors were primarily interested in gold and land which left no time for pursing music. I wish Gregorian all the best, but really feel that a lot of work is needed before this becomes a project that a larger Heavy Rock demographic will find of any interest to them. Let's face it, there are just too many amazing things out there to choose from and all musicians should be bringing their best game to the table. I say pass on this one without question, but if you don't trust my judgment, please feel free to hit some of his tunes on the website linked below. For me this is a single listen release until a full on vocalist comes aboard and the ideas are fleshed out a whole lot better. Maybe you will enjoy it. Only time will tell.

Track Listing
1) Arise
2) Gregorian Starlight
3) Live Today
4) The Clock Of Time
5) The Rise Of Spain
6) Conquistadors Of War
7) The Spanish Armada
8) East Coast Rocker

Added: November 1st 2010
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 1906
Language: english

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