Saturday, July 21, 2012

Kevin M Buck - Musick for the New Aeon

Let’s get serious.  We are not going to dance or throw back double shots of Maker’s Mark. Well, maybe we will. But, first, on his new album, Musick for the New Aeon, Kevin M Buck brings forth a cavalcade of classical-tinged progressive metal guitar speed beginning with the short track “Love and Light” and an ethereal classical five plus minute rock symphony worthy of Malmsteen in the title track. Not bad for the founder of the highly successful Ozzy Osbourne tribute band The Blizzard of Ozz.  Okay maybe us “we are not worthy” guitarists can start shootin’ bourbon right about here in despair that our chops will never be this good.

Buck shows off Black Sabbath style on Roger Water’s “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun.”  Add in a little arrangement that echoes Deep People with inspiration from Ritchie Blackmore-like guitar and Jon Lord-like keyboards, and this one ends up being royally raucous. Buck follows it up with “Aliens Coming,” a not too subtle musical nod to Joe Satriani’s “Surfing With The Alien.” 

Buck first played violin before he ever played guitar and nowhere is it more evident than on the melodic and hypnotic track “The Kid from Lyons.”  If the title track “Musick for the New Aeon” is a symphony, “The Kid from Lyons” is a sonata.

The track “The Burning of the Witch” in another thing entirely.  It is a blaze of classic heavy metal lead arpeggios, twisting, twirling suspense and angst - it is a movement.  Buck becomes Beethoven on a Jackson Rhoads. .  High intensity Zakk Wylde worthy, “OTO” strafes the eardrums with heavy metal music, vocals and harmonies complete with monsters, midnight sun, demons, damnation, and danger.

The track “fugue in Gm” is just that, a Bach fugue in G minor.  Make no bones about it, just from it. Kevin M.Buck is classically trained..

If ever there was a song title fitting of the mood set by a song it is the track “Impending Doom.” The beat drags ever so slightly; the arpeggios are ever so dissonant and building, and the lead guitar is a waterfall of doubling notes and delay.  The entire composition then explodes into a driving dark metal with a one time halting two beat stop and explosion into anarchy punctuated by fits of panic and fear that resolve in an arpeggiated conversation to allow you to catch your breath before the listener is again up and running and finally falls back into a stuttering dragged airiness.

Buck can also play the classic rock/blues/jazz and proves it on “Laura,” a traditional blues chord progression song, played with a bit of country lilt and Stevie Ray Vaughan tone.  It is the lullaby on Buck’s Musick For a New Aeon and ends in an overblown classic rock guitar that sounds like Buck also learned from the classic rock band Boston.. The album closes with “Lament,” a stark classical acoustic guitar piece that could easily be a Bach bouree.

Kevin M. Buck is a master guitarist and he spends much of his time teaching other guitarists.  He has even produced a few instructional DVDs.  Roger Daltry called him “one of the greatest guitarists ever” and Daltry played with Pete Townshend who Rolling Stone rated as No. 50 of the top 100 greatest guitarists to ever live.  Who am I to argue with Roger Daltry?

- Old School

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