AMARAN'S PLIGHT
Progressive Metal • United States

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AMARAN'S PLIGHT is a progressive-metal supergroup whose members include:

DC Cooper (Ex-ROYAL HUNT, SILENT FORCE) Gary Wehrkamp (SHADOW GALLERY) Nick D'Virgilio (SPOCK"S BEARD, KEVIN GILBERT, TEARS FOR FEARS, GENESIS) Kurt Barabas (UUNDER THE SUN)

The band's debut album, "Voice in the Light" was released worldwide by Progrock Records and its label partners. "Voice in the Light" was recorded in 2006 at Gary Wehrkamp's New Horizon Studio's and described as textbook Symphonic Progressive Metal. It combines the soaring vocals of DC Cooper with the master riffs and melodies of Gary Wehrkamp, backed by the sonic, dynamic and explosive rhythm section of D'Virgilio and Barabas.

Gary Wehrkamp and DC Cooper are no strangers to working together. Gary is the keyboardist, guitarist and Producer of veteran proggers, SHADOW GALLERY. DC Cooper appeared on their 1999 conceptual piece, "Tyranny" as a guest vocalist on the epic track, New World Order. Fans of SHADOW GALLERY have longed for a Wehrkamp/Cooper collaboration
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.. Album Cover 3.06 | 12 ratings
Voice in the Light
Progressive Metal 2007

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AMARAN'S PLIGHT Reviews

AMARAN'S PLIGHT Voice in the Light

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
The thing about supergroups is that unless you are so excited about seeing the musicians in particular work together that just hearing them playing on the same track makes you gleeful, then all too often they're not all they're cracked up to be. Sometimes they're great, of course, but that really hinges on the individual personalities involved gelling and coming up with a distinctive identity for the project. Amaran's Plight do not have a distinctive identity: they play rather generic old-school prog metal of the mid-80s style.

When a supergroup sounds this generic, I often suspect it's because the group members simply couldn't hit on a more interesting sound they all loved so they just settled for a tried and tested approach which they can all live with; either way, what results isn't a bad album, but we've heard it all before and it doesn't really stand up next to the old classics it draws on.

AMARAN'S PLIGHT Voice in the Light

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Voice In The Light' - Amaran's Plight (6/10)

Sadly, the concept of supergroups are a lot like late-night infomercials. Although they promise the greatest thing ever, they almost always fall short of what you would have hoped for. Amaran's Plight is a progressive metal project, hosted by some of the genre's most respected figures. Musicians here come from Royal Hunt, Spock's Beard, Shadow Gallery, and Under The Sun, and if you're any bit into the melodic side of prog metal, you should already be excited as to what Amaran's Plight offers. Although their one album 'Voice In The Light' sports the expected incredible musicianship and even a healthy dose of ambition, the music itself comes off as being a cheesy, albeit wonderfully performed dish that adds little new to any of the band member's careers.

Although metal has now become an immensely vast genre in regards to what the term can mean, 'progressive metal' now generally means a sort of melodic metal that gets amped up in terms of complexity and technicality. Although prog and metal are my two favourite types of music, these mainline brand of progressive metal has worn very thin in modern times, despite the consistent technical prowess that the genre's members can display. With that in mind, Amaran's Plight demonstrates a great many elements that represent what the scene of modern progressive metal has developed into, for better or worse. Fans of anthemic melodies and musical wizardry will find plenty to love in 'Voice In The Light', although listeners looking for something innovative and edgy may find themselves turned away. Amaran's Plight focuses on two areas: melody, and technicality. These two approaches are often considered opposites, and while I would like to say that 'Voice In The Light' manages to break through the barrier and marry the elements together, the technical moments and melodic passages are kept somewhat separate. While there may be a Dream Theater- derivative moment of guitar and keyboard solo craziness one moment, by the time the AOR vocal melodies come back again, the instrumentation has toned itself back down. This leads to a binary state in the music that keeps things interesting enough, but it goes without saying that Amaran's Plight would have been a more successful project, had they tried to do something new with the genre.

For fans of progressive metal, Amaran's Plight may come across as a concept masterpiece; the sort of album that fulfils everything someone would want out of progressive metal. For others- such as myself- I will admire the musicianship from afar, and even the bold sense of melody. 'Voice In The Light' is not a bad album, but the AOR prog metal sound has been done much better before, and I'm left wanting something different. A matter of taste, I suppose?

AMARAN'S PLIGHT Voice in the Light

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sinkadotentree
AMARAN'S PLIGHT is somewhat of a supergroup with D.C. Cooper(ROYAL HUNT) on vocals,Gary Wehrkamp(SHADOW GALLERY) on guitar and keyboards,Kurt Barabas(UNDER THE SUN) on bass and Nick D'Virgillo(SPOCK'S BEARD) on drums.It is a concept album clocking in at around 79 minutes and included are some ballads and some sappy lyrics as well which for me are a complete turn off.Sure these guys can play and compose great music but if your going to make the album this long it's going to be a challenge not to have fillers.And they didn't succeed.I really enjoyed hearing Kurt on bass because that UNDER THE SUN studio album i own is one i really appreciate.So of course there is lots to like here but the negatives are too strong for my tastes making this a 3 star album.

AMARAN'S PLIGHT Voice in the Light

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The T 666
I think this album could've been so much better.

For me, here the parts are more than their sum. Let's face it: when you have the guitarist/composer of SHADOW GALLERY, the drummer/vocalist/composer for SPOCK'S BEARD and one of the great metal voices around, you think you will get an outstanding feat of musical achievement. Or at least a very original, entertaining album.

Sadly, for me, this is not the case with AMARAN'S PLIGHT's debut album "Voice in the Light". I've read reviews saying that this disc is one of the best -if not THE best- of 2007. I disagree, completely. I think this is one of the big disappointments of 2007, not because it's bad (it's actually decent, even good), but because it could've been so much better.

Let's start with the musicians: Barabas shines on the bass; D'Virgilio gives a solid performance on drums, if nothing truly extraordinaire, but he keeps it low-profile. These two give what we would expect them to give us on such a release. It's the other two who don't quite deliver the goods. First, master guitarist Gary Wehrkamp plays a very different style from the one he uses in his main band (SHADOW GALLERY). That's a good thing, for we want diversity, but also a bad thing, for we expect to be dazzled with something, if not incredibly technical, at least original to make up for the lack of the usual wizardry. That doesn't happen. The guitar playing here is quite traditional, by-the-rules, nothing to remember. We didn't expect (nor want) "Tyranny Part II" or something like that, as this is another band, with different members; but we were hoping to hear some really new ideas and those wishes were not entirely fulfilled.

But the other problem that I found in the musicians it's one I would never expected to find: D.C. Cooper didn't convince me. Yes, one of my favorite vocalist in all prog-metal wasn't able to take me to the places he has been able to. It's like his voice doesn't quite match up with the style of this music (not that it actually HAS a particular style; more on that later). I have always thought of Cooper's tone as perfect for obscure characters, or for struggling heroes, form something/someone larger-than-life. Here, in Voice in the Light, his over-powering voice is too much for the character of the music and too dark and deep for the very light, sunny atmospheres we travel in this album. Cooper was perfect in ROYAL HUNT (specially in "Paradox"), magnificent in collaborations like EXPLORER'S CLUB or even with Wehrkamp in SHADOW GALLERY's "Tyranny" (in "New World Order"). But here he's not. He's just another singer.

Talking about style, that's another thing that bothered me about this release. I can't seem to fit this music in any particular genre. Not that good music should be so easy to categorize. But one thing is to transcend genre-boundaries due to unique, innovative music, and another to just lack a distinct character. At times this sounds very "prog-metal-ish", at times it sounds a little like SPOCK'S BEARD, at times it's neo-prog, at times regular rock, but, I insist: not in the sense that it's mixing elements of these genres, but just jumping from one to another between songs. It lacks definition, I don't know what it is.

There are some very good moments with good melodies and interesting ideas, but overall, the experience lacks punch, lacks impact. I have to add that, for me, the story also lacks effect. The tragic story of a man dying of cancer who was in love with a woman could've been better served. It lacks direction, it turns and twists without clarity, not to mention the fact that it makes the album a very sad experience and, even more sadly, not for musical reasons. Yes, let me explain: if we have a sad concept, and the music is also sad, we're enjoying a great piece of art, which transcends our emotions; but when the music makes no impressions on us and it's only the written story that gets to us, we know the album hasn't quite delivered.

All in all, I will give it 3 stars just for the music, as it has good moments and Cooper still manages to shine here and there. But having the names at hand in mind, I can't help feeling disappointed. I would've been more happy to give this album 3 stars if it had been released by 4 unknown musicians. But this is D'Virgilio, Barabas, Wehrkamp and Cooper here; this is just barely a 3.

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