Thursday, February 20, 2014

Album Review: Randy Chapman "Cursed"

Its not very often when you have one person who can go into a studio and knock out an album with 13 well produced songs, playing all guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, writing everything, and singing. But, Central Florida guitar icon, Randy Chapman has done just that...Several times in fact.

His current album, Cursed explores the darkness and void associated with someone who is struggling with the consequences of his decisions earlier in life. Something I personally know well, and can relate to. Songs like 'My Own Worst Enemy'  spell that out perfectly, when he says point blank that he has become his.

Lyrically, Cursed is a trip down a dark path that would give Alice Cooper the creeps. Musically, it is a to manual on metal guitar. Shallow is a musical assault, grabs you by the throat, early on. Most of the album is a clinic on what young metal guitarists should aspire to be with their skill in rhythm and leads. But, you also get some great classical guitar. Immortal Beloved, is a relaxing interlude. A beacon on a stormy night, after Devil in Disguise which is a lashing to the religious zealots who want to tell you how to live, but not to pattern your life after theirs.
Randy Chapman

Basically, if you're a fan of the guitar, this album is for you. The guitar work here could be mentioned in the same sentence with greats like Zakk Wylde, among others. Most prevalent are the influences of people like Wylde, and bands like Judas Priest and Megadeth. The skill of Chapman is impressive whether the music is fast or slow.

I mentioned the lyrics. Chapman is every bit as good with a pen as he is with a pic. His imagery is very good, and if you pay attention, you will be a guest on this dark path along with him. Harvester of Souls is a good soundtrack for that walk. He is ready to take you away. But, make sure someone gives you a couple coins to put over your eyes. He doesn't ride for free. The song invokes memories of early Black Sabbath, both musically and lyrically. Not sure where he got the inspiration for the song, October Rust. He lives in Florida, yet this song brilliantly illustrates the changing of seasons into Fall. But, it contrasts with a story about waiting in vain for someone who will never come. But the most impressive is the lyrics of Till Death Do Us Part. A song about a man who lost his wife, and the pain he is enduring.

Laura Moore in the
He also shows a bit of a soft side with a (musically) cheerful song called Ghost. Its a duet with a gorgeous young lady with the voice of an angel voice named Laura Moore. Hopefully, I'll be reviewing an album from her soon. Ghost is a strange and beautiful departure from the darkness of the rest of the album, yet it is still kind of lyrically dark.

I had the privilege of interviewing Randy on the Will and Thunder Show <Caching!> a while back. Check it out! 

Of course, the album cover has a black cat on it. and the album is called 'Cursed.' But, did you notice the other thing? There are 13 songs on this CD.

Unless you're completely dense, you should be able to see that I am very impressed with this album. It needs to be in your collection. Buy it on Amazon. Now.

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