Simeon Soul Charger -
Meet Me In The Afterlife

(CD 2011, 62:56, Gentle Art Of Music / Soulfood Music GAOM 004)

The tracks:
  1- Vedanta (The Nothing) (5:46)
  2- God Lends A Hand(2:41)
  3- Through The Trees They Talk(4:54)
  4- Tooth(2:19)
  5- And He Skinned Them Both(8:08)
  6- Please(6:35)
  7- Europa's Garden(6:19)
  8- Europa's Garden (reprise)(2:04)
  9- Into the Afterlife(6:15)
10- Song Of The Sphinx(2:52)
11- A Child's Prayer(1:15)
12- Dear Mother(2:48)
13- The Swallowing Mouth(11:00)

Simeon Soul Charger Website        Gentle Art Of Music

Let's start with a warning: the music of the American band Simeon Soul Charger has nothing to do with prog, despite the fact that Meet Me In The Afterlife has been released on the label Gentle Art Of Music (RPWL) and Yogi Lang (RPWL) has mastered this debut album. It's rather rock music in the vein of Led Zeppelin, but a bit on the lighter side. In the beginning this comes as a bit of a shock as the riffing is heavy, but not that remarkable. However, there are some strange sounds, surprising turns, a good rock voice and bits of Lady Gaga (!) which makes the listener sit upright to pay attention. Also, slowly but surely the music moves away from Leds toward a more seventies-brought-to-the-21st-century sound which makes the songs a challenging, but rewarding exercise in close listening. It brings to mind bands like Jolly and Jump when they would have infused a bit of Black Sabbath in their music. Best tracks are And He Skinned Them Both- where the 'both' refers to the guitars which sound like cats being skinned alive - and The Swallowing Mouth that turns into a giant guitar shredder fest. However, skip track Please because that's awful Americana. You have to put some effort in this album to start to like it, but it is worth your while. Anyway, who can refuse a band, which use a hammer and board, a bucket of nails and a jug of coins as instruments? Not me!

*** André de Waal (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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