If someone were to ask me to sum up the album Essentials, brought to us by Kevin M. Thomas, in just one word I would smack that person and tell them they had a lot to learn about writing reviews. If, however, that person (now bruised and a little wiser) asked me to briefly explain what Essentials is, I would give the following answer: Essentials is what happens when metal music meets an orchestra, it is a celebration of all things masculine, powerful, efficient and good. The album is a collection of sounds third only in splendor to a choir of angels gargling liquid bliss and the moans of female pleasure.
Some of you, my friendly readers, may suspect I enjoyed listening to this album. Others may suspect I engaged in some wild form of intoxication during the parties taking place on New Year’s Eve. I assure you only the former is correct.
Flowing, flowering, fanciful descriptions aside, Essentials presents us with 13 tracks of complex sound, tuned, if you will, to the metal style. Most of the album is instrumental only, providing us with a range of sounds from angry to sad to powerful to epic. There is quite a range presented to the listener and the music comes at us in multiple layers, washing over us, into us. Though hard to properly describe, most of the music, especially the track titled 433am, has a way of getting into one’s blood, making one feel alive. It’s the perfect music for a hero’s theme song or to wake a person up in the morning. In short, it is inspirational.
A moment ago I mentioned this work is mostly instrumental, and it is, with an exception. There is a well done live recording of Little One on the CD which features slow, clear lyrics over a surprisingly sweet sound. I found it quite touching and, if you seek out no other recording on this album, I recommend getting a copy of this song.
Usually at this point I’m supposed to add some minor critique or suggest there is room for improvement, but I honestly can’t. Take my reviewer’s license and show me the door if you must, but Essentials really delivers above and beyond my expectations and it was a great way for me to begin 2012. I recommend giving it a try as it will almost certainly stir something inside you.
You can find out more about Kevin and his music from his website.
Let me hear you!
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