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Big Scenic Nowhere – Vision Beyond Horizon

Big Scenic Nowhere
Vision Beyond Horizon
by Will Travers at 25 February 2020, 7:19 AM

What happens when you take two very well-established musicians that have been in the industry for years, let them loose in a studio and record the outcome? Well, allow me to introduce you to BIG SCENIC NOWHERE. With roots from both YAWNING MAN and FU MANCHU there is bound to be a fantastic musical grounding. This project group has a certain pedigree about them that I simply cannot wait to indulge in.

The artwork, I would say, is very typical of Prog. In fact, I wouldn’t have been surprised had this been a TOOL cover. With a stylistic approach that is reminiscent of an oil painting, it is simple but raises so many questions. Who are the two figures on the beach? what is in the egg? But most importantly where has the eye come from? I do not pretend to understand art or try to say what the artist was trying to achieve; I simply take the artwork for what I can see.

The opening track, “The Glim”, is a calm and welcoming opening to the album. With a showcase of guitar mastery supported by a peaceful ambience created by the use of strings and a very warm vocal track. It is certainly am impressive album opener.

When we reach “Then I was gone” we come to much more upbeat track that utilizes dissonant chords to its advantage creating an atmosphere that something just isn’t quite right. A depth is added by the use of multi layering over the vocal track, with different pitches and a ghostly reverb certainly adds the idea that someone is gone.

This effect is continued through the album. With an almost psychedelic trance we eventually find ourselves in the midst of “Shadows From The Altar”, it is an impressive track that has a lot going on. The musical depth demonstrated throughout is a testament to both the skill and background of the band members.

The final track of the album, has a very serene and peaceful opening with clean guitars, and either a digital keyboard or synth just flowing through. This is very strange to me, as it goes against what I would assume the song would sound like. With a name like “The War Years” I would expect a very heavy and almost startling sound. However, that is obviously not what BIG SCENIC NOWHERE are trying to achieve. In their own way they create an effect that tips its hat to the disturbed style of life that would be the norm in this circumstance. Personally, I see it as what could almost be a hippieesque Vietnam era track. It is very peaceful and enjoyable.

Overall, I would say that the standard of musicianship and writing throughout is absolutely excellent. Personally, for myself it is a bit slow and soft, but as I said that is only a personal preference. I see and appreciate that it is a bridging a gap between Prog and Stoner, it is very well done and I can understand the appeal and enjoyment. As a project this is very well done.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Glim
2. The Paranoid
3. Then I Was Gone
4. Mirror Image
5. Hidden Wall
6. Shadows From The Altar
7. En Las Sombras
8. Tragic Motion Lines
9. The War Years
Lineup:
Bob Balch – Guitar
Gary Arce – Guitar
Record Label: Blues Funeral Recordings
     


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