Lonely Desert is the fourth album of Peter Cox's Forest Field that was handed to review. The first two - Pioneers Of The Future (2013, see review) and Onwards And Upwards (2014, see review) - had numerous guest musicians but could not really impress me. On Forest Field's Angels? (see review 2015) the participation of guests was limited to just vocalist Phil Vincent, resulting in a more solid rock album. The 2016 release of Lonely Desert sees the continuation of the collaboration of Cox and Vincent as sole musicians on the album.
This time Peter Cox has chosen for a kind of concept album that is loosely based on Frank Herbert's Dune and sees three instrumentals among the ten tracks. Coriolis is the first and has a stretched smooth acoustic beginning before the electric guitar enters, lifting the song into a very appealing old school classic rock guitar solo. To Bits is the second, an atmospheric soundscape style song, creating the “Dune” feeling. The final instrumental is Riding The Worm; an intense passage in the book, here personified in a perhaps weird way, both acoustic parts and electric sound off and are not the most impressive parts of the album.
The vocal laden songs are something else, dear Phil has a voice that sounds like he always sings just on the edge of his capacities. The songs are average, but alright, at least a number of them. Dramatically is Doomed In The Desert; I really don't understand the point of the note for note solo, which could or should emphasize the desperation? During others, the home studio effect is noticeable. The final track; Fear has several layers and the acoustic opening doesn't suit the nice hard rock section that follows. The overall sound of the album is very in favour of the effect laden guitar sound, something I should like, but too bad, Forest Field does not really get to me.
Where I had high hopes after the previous album, I can only conclude, this one is a step back and feels too mediocre to me and I guess vocalist Vincent is not the voice I love to hear. On the other hand, if you liked the previous album, don't let my words discourage you to listen to and buy the album
*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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