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Asia - Gravitas

by YngwieViking at 24 March 2014, 10:28 PM

“Gravitas” is the title of the new output provided by the legendary British supergroup ASIA, the remaining original members John Wetton and Geoff Downes are moving into the next phase of their extraordinary career with a brand new & freshly enthroned guitar player, the young Sam Coulson who had the difficult task to fill the shoes of the famous mythical guitarist Steve Howe (and consequentially Mandy Meyer, Pat Thrall or Vinny Burns and also the incredible talented Guthrie Govan), his official debut with the band is topped by a triumphal introduction with this new album.

“Gravitas” holds a strong epic shuffle and a deeply introspective thematic development, successfully giving a new creative boost by exploring some much more adventurous musical territories than expected while still embracing their tradition with a lot of respect toward its own musical heritage. John Wetton’s is still the most recognizable element of their classic signature audio craft, and he's also still the most attractive and captivating parameter, even if Geoff Downes’ layers of keys and Carl Palmers fine percussions are close to perfection. So what about this new guitar player?

Well, he fit the job flawlessly but I expected a little more, of course he unleash a few superb solos ("Vajkyrie" / “Nyctophobia” / “Heaven Help Me”) with a subtle tone and a delicate approach. His influence on the “Gravitas” sound type isn’t really palpable but ASIA never was a guitar band, so I think most of the Die-Hard Fans will give a strong positive appreciation and a warm welcome to Sam Coulson for having injected some new blood in the band without changing its characteristic bombastic aspect and its elegant instinct.

After the much acclaimed “XXX” in 2012, ASIA is heading for a new chapter of his proverbial history in giving to their fans what they want, but they hadn’t opted for the laziest way, no gimmicks or easy tricks to reach the top-charts, indeed they still are in a quest for the ultimate Sound, the perfect composition with the clever arrangement and the most rewarding melody, in a very authentic and honest writing method in an intensive continuation of their legacy.

4 Star Rating

1. Valkyrie
2. Gravitas
3. The Closer I Get
4. Nyctophobia
5. Russian Dolls
6. Heaven Help Me
7. I Would Die For You
8. Joe DiMaggio's Glove
9. Till We Meet Again
10. The Closer I Get To You (Acoustic)
11. Joe DiMaggio's Glove (Acoustic)
12. Russian Dolls (Acoustic)
John Wetton – Lead Vocals / Bass
Geoff Downes – Keyboards
Carl Palmer – Drums
Sam Coulson– Guitars
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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