[Review] Max Hunt – Hope

Max Hunt is a keyboard player known for his experiences with the Fragile band and for his collaborations with high-level artists from the world music scene. After having released the album with Fragile, already reviewed in the pages of our webzine, he proposed a solo album entitled “Hope.” Released on October 11, 2021 it contains 10 medium to long playing tracks, created during the hardest part of the Covid19 Lockdown of 2020/21. The artist describes the album on Bandcamp as follows:

For Max ‘Hope’ represents the personal hope of a renaissance in musical culture and is inspired in part by the despair, anger and depression of this time and conversely the hope, enthusiasm and excitement for a better future.

The opener “Out Of Time” is the shortest track on the record, and begins with an energetic electric guitar riff and intertwining keyboards. The rhythm session is solid and the vocal adapts well to the track, the passages that develop the theme are interesting, with a good instrumental section in the second part. Atmospheric keyboard sounds open “Prelude,” to which a soft vowel is added, then both the vocals and melodies are layered, adding a delicate rhythmic session in the second part. with dreamy atmospheres is a track that fully centers the meaning of hope, transmitting that feeling to us both in the music and in the soft vocal. “Ascent” begins with a pleasant keyboard background and a deep bass line on which a warm and expressive vocal and a solid and linear drum are inserted. The atmospheres here are darker and at times melancholic, with the track that in the central part evolves with a more symphonic section of keyboard and voice. The vocal that accompanies us returns to the finale, where the music becomes more intense and the intensity increases in the finale. “Voices (Unendlich Vorwärts Bewegen)” follows the sounds of the previous one, with a pleasant keyboard backround, always with a melancholic atmosphere. A harder guitar riff intervenes and supports the sound, which increases in intensity as the song flows. “Dark Age Techno Dream” has positive sounds, which have a YES inspiration, especially in the vocal part that recalls Anderson. The drum is powerful and the melodic weaves created are very elaborate with a strong Symphonic Prog component, fresh and modern. The more electronic sounds of the keyboards blend with the classic ones of Prog, giving life to a passage that also inserts into it references of New Age, very pleasant. “Limitless” is a darker and more energetic piece, where again the artist is good at mixing the past and the present with high-level symphonic openings. Harder riffs and atmospheric keyboards intertwine with a solid and energetic rhythm session, with more delicate passages. the central instrumental section highlights Max’s keyboard technique which offers a fine solo and then returns to the initial theme with an excellent change. A dreamy piano opens “Ikaros,” initially more reflective and delicate with only keyboards and vocals supported by skilfully used effects. The second part with the entry of the other instruments is transformed and increases intensity, a soft song halfway between the Soft Prog and Rock. It closes with a piano section and atmospheric effects in descent, full of pathos. “Christian & The Toad” opens with layered and dreamy keyboard melodies, followed by the rhythmic session to mark the timing. The vocal is expressive and the atmosphere is positive, the intensity increases with the passing of the minutes and the structure is close to modern Prog sounds, in its most melodic version. The second part begins with an interesting lead by synth and then by guitar, to close by returning to the keyboard. A delicate piano opens “Original Design” to then enter a melancholy vocal with a background of layered keyboards. The Progressive ideas are well developed, the atmosphere becomes more positive and the synth inserts are of fine workmanship, the keyboardist shows technique in the passages of the song. A track that incorporates various styles within it, skilfully mixed by the artist who offers virtuous soloist cues in the instrumental sections, very engaging. Closes the album “Shining Light” which is also the longest track with over 9 minutes in duration, starting with an intricate phrasing between keyboards and guitar. The rhythm is elaborate and drawn, the artist offers an excellent mix of virtuosity and symphonic openings in the sung parts, showing compositional and executive technique. The piece is constantly evolving, full of tempo changes, the artist is able to evolve the central theme, a very inspired track. An album that enhances the qualities of Max in the composition and execution phase, playing all the instruments and singing with a warm and expressive vocal. Symphonic Prog Rock, New Age and softer passages, an interesting mix full of positive ideas where the artist also offers instrumental sections with keyboard virtuosity. A listening recommended for all lovers of modern sounds of Prog music, delicate and emotional but also elaborate and full of high-level instrumental sections. Different and softer than the sounds of Fragile, the artist is skilled in proposing a refined but different and personal style compared to the other projects, a pleasant record from start to finish.

Tracklist

1. Out Of Time (04:44)
2. Prelude (05:35)
3. Ascent (06:43)
4. Voices (Unendlich Vorwärts Bewegen) (04:01)
5. Dark Age Techno Dream (06:57)
6. Limitless (05:52)
7. Ikaros (07:23)
8. Christian & The Toad (06:33)
9. Original Design (09:20)
10. Shining Light (09:53)

Lineup

Max Hunt / All Instruments and Lead Vocals
Gerlinde Hunt / Backing Vocals (Track 3)

Max Hunt |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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