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Brown, Charles: Explorer of Life

Charles Brown is a name that has escaped me in progressive rock circles. The guitarist has made a number of albums beginning with Mystics released in 2000. He returned in 2015 with Wind of the Eastern Sea. His latest is titled Explorer of Life. I believe this is his seventh or eighth release.

This is instrumental guitar rock that transitions through different moods and textures as Brown proves to be a fine player. Melodic hard rock with touches of fusion and progressive can be heard through these nine tracks. The title track begins the album with catchy keyboards and soaring guitar. There is just the right amount of guitar crunch before some dreamy instrumentation ensues. Next is "Parallel Journey" featuring calm guitar arpeggios before the heaviness builds to dramatic effect. Another dreamy guitar led section leads to more guitar pyrotechnics. Brown is a versatile player displaying both nuance and heavier shredding styles. Some of the mellower sections reminded me of Floyd at times. "Ecliptic Voyage" begins with ethereal soundscapes before turning into a classic hard rock/metal sound with a really catchy riff progression. With "New Horizon" a mellow beginning ventures into heavier territory displaying excellent guitar chops and fine keyboard work. There is a hint of fusion in this one as the music traverses a melodic hard rock landscape. For a nice change of pace Bach's "Prelude (From Cello Suite #1)" features lovely acoustic guitar demonstrating just how versatile a player Brown is.

Explorer of Life is a nice listen and is definitely recommended for fans of guitar centric instrumental music with the emphasis on hard rock with the occasional progressive twist. I look forward to hearing more of what Brown has to offer.

Track Listing:
1. Explorer of Life (4:35)
2. Parallel Journey (5:38)
3. Ecliptic Voyage (6:43)
4. New Horizon (5:04)
5. Prelude (From Cello Suite #1) (2:40)
6. Above The Mist (3:36)
7. Wind Of Darkness Suite
i. Wind Of Darkness (4:39)
ii. The Darkest Night (3:05)
8. Spectral Voyage (4:23)
9. When The Sun Rises (2:15)

Added: August 30th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Facebook Page
Hits: 216
Language: english

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