Notice Grace - Nakid

(CD 2018, 62:28, Independent Release)

The tracks:
  1- One Man's Trial(10:11)
  2- Are You Calling(9:28)
  3- Better Places(6:54)
  4- Through It All (Rising Tide)(7:09)
  5- Shattered(5:42)
  6- Have We Gone Too Far(6:49)
  7- Abandonment (Remix)(7:49)
  8- City On A String (Remix)(9:23)

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Notice Grace's previous album; Movements (2015, see review) had one foot in progressive rock and the other in a combination of Southern and Classic Rock, On Na-kid the balance definitely has moved towards the progressive rock side. Sure, there are obviously elements of the classic rock style, but the southern part seem to have disappeared. I guess the average progressive rock aficionado will be happy with this turn. On Na-kid, the base of Notice Graces remains with guitarists and vocalists Gib Heuett and Zachery Kinsaul, while vocalist and bass player Dennis Svela handed over his previous keyboard duties to newcomer Mark Pruitt. Also new is drummer Howard Williams.

Nakid kicks off with an over ten minute composition; One Man's Trail. A solid progressive rock tune, sometimes reminding a bit of the good old Wishbone Ash, other times European neo prog comes to mind. But, still there has to be mentioned, that the vocal parts are not as impressive as I thought they were on the previous album. When the album continues I think the twin guitars are the icing on this album, the multiple layers of vocals do disappoint a bit. Very strong is the piano guitar combination during Better Days. And overall, the guitar solos are very tasteful and interesting, but these are not enough to lift the modest, but mediocre compositions to the next level. A level Notice Grace should have reached by now. Extra credits for the final track of the album; City On A String, here the bluesy (southern) guitars are building the bridge between progressive and southern rock, which I thought was quite interesting.

Too bad Notice Grace took a bit of musical turn, making their compositions less interesting although I still like their guitar melodies and soloing.

*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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