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Dave Kilminster: Scarlet - The Director's Cut

Reviewed By: Lisa Torem
Label: Cherry Red
Format: CD

The Orient comes alive with first track, 'Silent Scream', which introduces David Kilminster's captivating vocals. The tenor is acclaimed for working with Roger Waters and Keith Emerson and you can hear these classic influences via sporadic tempo changes, layered textures and varied, climactic instrumental lines on his debut solo CD, 'Scarlet -The Director's Cut'. You can also hear many examples of why he was named "Guitarist of The Year" in the 1991 edition of 'Guitar Magazine'. Kilminster also went to enjoy work as producer, writer and engineer on this and other projects thereafter. He even scored the string quartet segments (Lydian String Quartet) on this studio album.

The second track, 'Static', is just how it sounds; edgy and riveting, with a driving bass at its progressive heart. On an album which boasts tunes that go on for as much as 9:34 minutes, for example, 'Rain...(On Another Planet)', this one is the shortest at a mere 4:31.

But Kilminster's lengthy anthems are chock full of exciting musical themes which careen from funk to rock to metal, and when said themes reoccur they are forceful as lightning hitting a divining rod. The pace slows as we hear about a damaged relationship. The affair is filtered down to being "just crazy" as the title states.

The aforementioned strings first appear on the ambitious 'Angel' - a seductive fairy tale song about a woman in transition. Kilminster's voice sings formidably of the ribbons carressing her face. After "she dances alone in the rain," the song takes another musical turn and introduces a more elaborate chorus and a surprise ending.

'Chance' is the most prophetic. "If you could see into the future/Would you really want to know all the things that you'd be missing or the joy that life can show?" Veering into R & B and smooth jazz, the tune poses some important queries and exposes some valuable answers.

'Big Blue' finds our singer sounding as jilted as a school boy. "Hello, I wish you'd talk to me," it begins. Kilminster gives a commanding and convincing performance on another song about rejection as he croons over cutting edge guitar and thunderous drums.

'Brightest Star' has a wonderful spirit about it which is illustrated through brilliant strumming and joyous words: "You've always been a dreamer with your head in the clouds." It is enhanced by the gorgeous string interlude. 'Liar Liar' has a magnificent guitar solo which makes the 6:38 minutes fly by.

'Rain...(On Another Planet) is a nine and a half minute think piece which has celestial voices at the onset. Kilminster's voice is as poignant and plaintive as a prayer as he utters: "Tell me all your little secrets..." The virtuosic guitar outro is also superb. The album ends with the powerfully gentle and symphonic 'Harkness.'

Dave Kilminster's debut, 'Scarlet - The Director's Cut', is, undeniably, a eclectic success.

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