Music Review//Neil Campbell - The Path.
Some music seems designed for the bright of the day and some designed for the darkness of the crepuscular hours when only the most nocturnal of beings are out and about. Neil Campbell's latest solo release is perhaps the perfect companion to such a situation.
Music Review//Neil Campbell - The Path
Neil Campbell already has a rich body of work ranging from classical guitar suites to prog rock experimentation and for his latest solo release (following hot on the heels of his collaborative project Perri and Neil) he presents an ambient classical suite with a deeply spiritual inspiration. Taking themes from Herman Hesse's novel Siddhartha it's a suite that ebbs and flows with a static ease.
Themes and time signatures intermingle and coalesce on the character's journey to enlightenment and the first stage, Paths is a piano driven piece that moves like water, like the metaphorical river in the book it's inspiration came from, and carries a spiritual warmth that is sometimes overpowering. It's telling a story that bears repeat and the next stage of the journey is River a piece that truly gets under your skin.
The familiar sound of Campbell's guitar imbues the suite with an almost aching beauty that embraces the suites key concepts of movement and stasis. It's a consistent signature that imbues a sense of the passage of time whilst remaining static in it's movement but ever advancing. When the third movement Acceleration comes into being it's a progression that feels despondent yet filled with a certain inevitability as well. The piano comes to the fore once more and is at once beautiful yet carries an underlying foreboding.
Perhaps significantly it's the longest movement of the suite and when it reaches it's denouement the listener may feel a certain relief from the sheer beauty and intensity of the piece. It's a satisfying end to the movement that leaves you ready to take in the final part of the suite, the haunting yet very beautiful Awakening . It's choral introduction is truly astounding and haunting in the best possible way. It's sonically the end of a journey, with more refined rhythms seeming to represent the progression of Siddhartha to his ultimate enlightenment. When the piano sequence from Paths returns to underscore the harmonic elements it's truly a wrapping up moment.
It's the end of the cycle and although the intensity of the suite as a whole could be draining for some it's a truly worthwhile experience to take in the sheer complexities of life's journey as experienced by Siddhartha in this conceptual piece. Another fine addition to an ever growing body of work.
Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan. The Path is a available on I-Tunes, CD Baby and Amazon now.