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Dan Swano, a guy whose musical potency cannot be defined in numbers or words, has unveiled yet another masterpiece. This is simply another one of his albums which redefines creativity, but this time it’s not under the tag of Edge of Sanity or Nightingale. It’s his ‘only’ solo album; Moontower. The music here is a shifting kaleidoscope of death metal and progressive rock. And by progressive rock I mean the stuff that came out during the 70s, not the kind Porcupine Tree or Opeth do. The keyboard drives the sound, pounding out melody after melody while traditional palm muted riffs accompany them, reminding the listener that this ain’t no cheese sandwich shit like Ayreon or Dream Theater.
Now, the tone of his keyboard deserves a special mention. Despite heavy use you just never seem to get enough of it. As I already said, there’s not an ounce of gayness in it. They are throughout all the songs and provide them with further balance, support and feel. There are also some moments where he nails the Jon Lord (Deep Purple) tone to provide a classic rock feel. As for the vocals, he largely uses growls, but they’re not the kind you heard with Edge of Sanity, but a little more towards his clean voice. A little “lighter” and accessible, you may say.
The drumming too is nicely varied to match the mood of each riff, staying away from too many blasts to provide a very intelligent backbone for the space-like ambience. The songs are neither 10 minute bores nor are they random one minute interludes. With 6 minutes of average length, and structures fairly digestible, Swano leaves no room for even the smallest and pettiest of complaints. They are catchy but can still stand the test of time, and this is coming from a person who doesn’t listen to the best of albums more than 7 or 8 times. This one however, shows almost a hundred plays as per my last fm profile, and that should be proof enough.