Armoury Way - The Ram

(CD 2024, 63:03, Private Release)

The tracks:
  1- The Ram(8:52)
  2- Titanic(10:58)
  3- Sunderland(6:26)
  4- Double Tide(7:32)
  5- Clifton Bridge(14:17)
  6- Ada(9:46)
  7- The Ram (Single Edit)(5:09)

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Armoury Way is a solo project from the multi-instrumentalist Tony Imbierski that started in 2020, New Hampshire, USA. He was inspired by the Seventies symphonic rock bands Camel, Genesis, Yes and King Crimson, and formed a band with his closest friends already when he was just 16 years old. But it wasn't until 2018 that he made his first full-length symphonic prog album. On his new album entitled The Ram from 2024 he teamed up with Ashley Stone on vocals, Nick Hollings on guitars, Dave Westwood on flute and guitars and Tony McKenna on drums and percussion.

The six melodic and harmonic compositions (between 6 and 15 minutes, #7 is a single edit of The Ram) are simply structured (like Neo-Prog) but very tastefully arranged featuring pleasant vocals (distinctive, slightly theatrical at some moments), strong work on guitar and a solid rhythm-section. The extra dimension in the music of Armoury Way is the lush vintage keyboards sound: 'tons of Trons' (especially the choir section) and lots of Hammond organ and Minimoog.

The hints of 70-77 Genesis are obvious, especially in Titanic (Cinema Show-like Banks synthesizer play - ARP Pro Solist), Double Tide (Watcher Of The Skies-like intro) and the epic Clifton Bridge (like Peter Gabriel his funny vocals in Battle Of Epping Forest).

But the band also deliver some nice own musical ideas, like a break with acoustic rhythm guitar featuring awesome Mellotron choirs and Minimoog in The Ram, a swirling Hammond-Minimoog (with pitchbend) duel in Sunderland, beautiful classical guitar in Clifton Bridge, a swinging interlude with a jazzy electric piano solo and a fiery electric guitar solo (strong echoes from Allan Holdsworth) in Double Time, and some wonderful, very moving guitar solo, embellished with majestic Mellotron choirs.

I am sure this album will please the fans of 70s Genesis and vintage keyboard lovers, like me.

***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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