David J Caron : Thru Ever-Ending Black

In already a year of some great unexpected treats the newest one to come this way is arguably the most exciting and pleasurable. Thru Ever-Ending Black the debut album from composer, writer, and producer David J Caron, is nothing short of being wonderfully infectious and persistently compelling, its creativity and compulsive sounds  the most satisfying and thrilling experience.

      David J Caron is an Irish/Italian musician, who grew up in England but now resides in Ireland. He has marked his first steps into melodic metal/rock with a twenty eight track double album. When it first came through the size of it and memories of other large albums led to a slight lack of enthusiasm, with its old school classic rock impression slightly off putting. What emerged to please the ear and heart though was a release which captivates with every minute and takes one on an enthralling and inspired melodic journey. Caron crosses many genres with his album to ensure it does not easily sit in any which is glorious and frustrating for those that need to label. Weaving meshes of melodic metal, hard rock, classic metal, progressive rock…the list goes on; he has created an album of majestic and contagious rock n roll. The tracks are straight forward and simple yet carefully crafted and much more involved than initially assumed. There are also no excesses anywhere on the album, every element and sound as essential as the next and when a solo lights up the senses for example it is to add a depth and bring a fuller heart to a song, not merely to show off his skills and become an indulgent add-on.

Thru Ever-Ending Black took eighteen months to record and it is easy to hear where the time and attention went in making a release which engages on every level from the impressive lyrical content, irresistible sounds, and the seamless and organic merger every aspect of the songs. Every instrument played, note expressed, and word brought to life is the sole work of Caron with only Rob Mancini brought in to co-produce the album. The songs carry an elemental or celestial face to portray and bring forth the expressive emotions, personal devils and thoughts, either dark or light. Each track is varied like a star but part of and at one with an overall universal energy and sound, this makes for a release which is constantly mesmeric and openly accessible whilst perpetually intriguing and unpredictable. Musically Caron is as impressive as any new artist to appear in recent years, his imaginative guitar play and keyboard ingenuity siren like and the wonderful gravelly bass invention he adds as viral as the striking and ever evolving rhythms.

The album opens with a bang and a quartet of songs which alone tell you all you need to know about the invention and songwriting craft of Caron. It Gathers starts things off with a gentle but insistent beckoning before finding an eager pace to stomp through the ear with. First notable thing is the fine vocals of the artist. As the album consumes the senses with its overall quest one finds he does not diverse his delivery too much but with his great control and ability as well as superbly imagined harmonies there is never anything less than satisfaction from his style. The song romps with a sure belief and addictive imagination, the keys and guitars lighting up the emotions as much as the stylish lyrics.

Look Out picks up from the excellent opening with a feast of insurgent niggling riffs and growling darkened bass lines. There is a throbbing essence which fuels the song beneath infectious hooks and another vocal display carrying more potency than any fiery attack. Caron brings an anthemic essence to songs as much with his voice as musically which offers a seduction which is impossible not to join.

The absorbing Time Machine and hypnotic Coming To Get You continue the breathtaking start and together they already convince one of the special talent at work. The four songs so far bring a great mix of melodic rock with irrepressible pop elements but plenty of firm muscular energy too. As the release progresses the tracks offer diverse and equally irresistible imagination and sounds. There are the mellower AOR toned songs like Memory Magnetic, the solidly fuelled eighties melodic rock found in Beam The Ray or the power ballad The Tree That Waits to name a few all bringing a strong and varied breath to what is a multi faceted and flavoured release.

Further fires on a consistently impressive release include the twin shadowed gems Dark Of Night and The Knights as well as the magnetic Irreplaceable and the steely rippled So Let There Be Light. The last of these is probably the current favourite song but with each track so fulfilling and inspiring that choice changes persistently.

    David J Caron with Thru Ever-Ending Black has ignited the year for melodic rock with less than a handful of other releases so far able to match or even come close to what is an unexpected and completely rewarding let alone enjoyable feast of an album. The only thought is hopefully it is not another eighteen months before we get the next pleasure from him.

RingMaster 09/06/12

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Rob Mancini – Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus

Let us get the moan over with Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus the new album from Rob Mancini. Just where are the clowns and songs about freaks and bearded ladies, as the title and opening track ‘Carnival Of Fools’ with its dark circus sound suggests? Seriously though there was an expectation from the first track that the album would be subtlety themed that way but the disappointment was soon tempered as the album unveils its strong deliberate sounds and emotive intent, with life’s circus and the fools of passion and emotion the purpose fuelling the songs.

German/Italian born musician/producer Rob Mancini is returning with his solo album after over a decade away from studios and in many ways the limelight in Ireland where he toured the Emerald Isle’s Club scene.   In the mid 90’s Mancini played extensively on the international rock circuit in the bands Hotwire and Crush as well as sharing stages with artists such as Victory, Thunderhead, Dare, and recording several albums before moving to Ireland in 2001 to work as studio and session musician. With the assistance of Aine Mancini on backing vocals Mancini has come back with a true solo release that bursts with guitar driven AOR force and ripples with some sparkling melodic hard rock ingenuity.

The music within Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus is a good mix of classic and hard rock with up to date sounds and flavours that sets it apart from many similar genre releases. As mentioned the album is a guitar based collection of songs but which are also spiced liberally with vibrant keyboard sounds and harmonies to bring a rounded feel to the tracks and melodies. Often infectious and thoroughly engaging the album is a release that may slip pass the attention of many but once found will please all hard rock fans deeply.

Opening track ‘Carnival Of Fools’ starts on a demented clown chuckle and dark discordant circus sound spiced with sinister intent before slipping immediately into ‘Rock And Roll Circus’. With a sound similar to Italian band Houston! the track throbs with chunky guitars and essential rock urgency. Melodic and beckoning with big hooks and great guitar sounds and solo it still carries the carnival vibe.

Edge of a Broken Heart’ comes next marking a change in the album as from here on in the songs ride on a strong eighties sounding power sound and the emotional theme previously mentioned. Though flavoured with those distinct influences and early rock essences, the addition of clean and often indie like creative key spices light up the tracks to make all intriguing and to some extent surprising. The electronic start to the satisfying ’Lay Down The Law’, the undeniable infectious opening riff of the impressive ’Too Late To Die’, and the soulful balladry of ’Time Stops For No One But You’ just three of the varied examples.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus is a mighty fine rock album and deserves as much attention as possible with tracks that are well written without dipping into indulgence and impressively delivered, even the cover of ‘Running Up That Hill’ by Kate Bush is a very enjoyable and impressive version, Mancini making it his own. Though probably the album is mostly for hard rock fans there is enough within it to engage anyone and for old school rock fans it is a guitar rock festival to embrace.


RingMaster 14/11/2011

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