2016-04-26 – Progressive Rock Central (Review)

Originally published at http://progressiverockcentral.com/2016/04/26/one-man-master-of-prog/

ONE-MAN MASTER OF PROG
APRIL 26, 2016 ANGEL ROMERO LEAVE A COMMENT
Ben Craven – Last Chance to Hear (Tuneleak Records, 2016)

Ben Craven, the extremely talented Australian multi-instrumentalist and composer, has released his eagerly anticipated progressive rock album titled Last Chance to Hear.

Although in the past, he had discussed forming a band, Craven wrote, performed and recorded all the material on this inspired album except for a very special vocal performance.

“The new album is a logical progression from my previous album, ‘Great & Terrible Potions‘,” explains Craven. “The arrangements are more confident and more purposeful. But probably the biggest difference is that there are fewer vocals on this new one. ‘Last Chance to Hear’ is more about having the confidence, and presumably the competence, to let the music do the talking.”

I really enjoy Ben Craven’s epic and forward-thinking progressive rock style. He has developed a unique type of sound that mixes classic 1970s symphonic progressive rock with jazz swing, lavish cinematic and orchestral passages, mesmerizing electronic music, echoes of Pink Floyd, and, on one piece, something that I can only describe as progressive rockabilly.

As indicated earlier, Ben Craven plays everything on this recording: drums, bass, keyboards and his signature guitar. Although the album is primarily instrumental, Craven also provides vocals except on ‘Spy In The Sky Part 3’ where the vocals are performed by famed actor William Shatner (Star Trek).

I recommend that you get the physical version. It’s a 2-disc set with the audio CD and a DVD with music videos, making-of footage and interviews. It’s also beautifully-packaged and pays a tribute to albums, with a fold-out poster.

The beautifully-crafted Last Chance to Hear demonstrates the maturity of Ben Craven. It’s his best work yet.

To purchase the album in physical or digital format, go to bencraven.bandcamp.com/album/last-chance-to-hear