Sometimes you’ll be on the internet and you’ll come across something you like. Having a YouTube account and following various label pages grants access to a wide variety of music and whilst liking a lot of heavy music can lead to a constant cycle of bands copying one another every now and then you come across someone with a bit of ambition.
This week is happens to be Charlie Munro with his album “Maverick”. It begins delicately and seemingly an exploration or demonstration into ‘look how nice I can play the guitar’. Quarter of an hour in however after ‘II – Insanity Void’ has finished it’s clear this man possesses some talent and a penchant for writing indulgent songs that astonish as opposed to annoy. The rhythmic irregularities are actually good to listen to, not being thrown around at random intervals but picked carefully and cleverly.
Instrumental albums can be quite a leap of faith for some, the lack of vocal melody is akin to the lack of dialogue in a modern film. A coherent narrative is never too hard to pick out however. With open influences from the likes of Coheed & Cambria, Dillinger Escape Plan, Between the Buried and Me and many more it’s no surprise Charlie Munro knows how to string a melody together into an hour long piece; ‘V – Perfect Cosmic Meltdown’ carries influences from Yes or even 90s Steve Vai. Riff city is also alive, ‘VIII – Archeus’ shows this before turning in on itself into a jazzy, funky reggae song. Good stuff.
In a quick summary this release was definitely a nice surprise when trudging through mountains of genericism. The guy is talented and has some interesting ideas. Given the right balance of counterpart musicians he should be able to find the sweet spot that’ll grant him the success he desires. However currently he’s a student so study hard!
Verdict - 7/10 - It’s great for a solo effort, especially granted the limited success. It does could benefit from a band keeping Munro‘s idea in check and whittling down the unnecessary parts. Asides from that it’s pretty good if instrumental progressive metal is your thing.
Listen to the album for free at BandCamp and if you like it don’t forget to support the artist!