Originally published in Rock Society, the journal of the Classic Rock Society, Issue 186 (Nov-Dec 2011).
Australian Ben Craven is a talented multi-instrumentalist blessed with excellent writing ability. Keyboard-led opener ‘Diabolique’ segues into the jaunty Floyd meets John Barry ‘Nobody Dies Forever’ (part 1) followed by the languid ‘Aquamarine’ with classic gutsy Gilmour guitar sound. The ‘Ready to Lose’ groove has some juicy blues guitar over tasteful organ and ‘The Conjurer’s piano and gorgeous slide evokes ‘Moon’ era Floyd in a quite delightfully uplifting instrumental number which Craven juxtaposes with the initially moody, grandiose and ultimately cinematic epic ‘No Specific Harm’. Acoustic guitar gives way to uplifting melody and inexorable rise on ‘Solace’, whilst the brief ‘Nobody Dies Forever’ (part 2) and closer ‘Great & Terrible Potions’ are two solid slabs of symphonic prog akin to Rocket Scientists. With a cover by Roger Dean (almost a close up of Yes’ ‘Union’ scene), this cracking virtuoso performance by an absurdly talented individual will appeal to Norlander fans. DP