[Review] Midgar – Unity

Midgar is the name of the project directed by Andy Wilson – Taylor, who after 8 years dedicated to other musical experiences, returns to the scene with the new album “Unity.” Containing 13 tracks, in the form of a concept, this work was entirely conceived, played, mixed and mastered by Andy, with only the support of Greg McPherson on bass. The musical style follows the Cinematic Rock, with strong symphonic connotations, being appreciated for the quality both in the compositional and realization phase. It is available for the newborn label Year Of The Rat Records from June 2021 and was recorded during the 2020 lockdown. The album opens with “Prelude,” a short introductory piece full of orchestrations, symphonic and with classical references. “Ascension” immediately showcases the artist’s excellent vocal qualities, with warm and expressive tones, while the music is a symphonic crescendo that alternates more delicate moments with more Progressive openings. Well developed, with the intensity that increases with the passing of the minutes, with more metallic and scratchy inserts, at times more Heavy. A spoken voice opens “We Don’t Make the Rules,” and then soon turns into an intense intertwining of distorted guitars and an orchestral carpet, embellished with tempo changes. The voice is warm and expressive, while the lyrics are engaging, a track that showcases the compositional skills of the artist ranging from the most Symphonic Rock to the touch of Progressive Metal. A quality piece that has its strong point in the changes of tempo and in the articulated structure. “Disciple” is heavier and darker in color, with a more powerful rhythmic session than the previous songs, as well as the sometimes scream vocal. These Metal inserts counterbalance the softness of the symphonic parts, creating an original sound, which also in this case has its strengths in the tempo changes and in the orchestral carpets. The central part is excellent where an intricate drum dialogues perfectly with the violins, and then closes with a crescendo, encroaching on quality Metal. Definitely softer and with a more modern style “Sunburn,” continues touching a more symphonic style and close to the style of the ‘song’ by softening the tones. Interesting in that this easy-to-grasp track is short but intense showing another positive facet of the Midgar sound. Following an orchestral carpet and an emotional voice open “Isle Of Glass,” symphonic, intense and with an enveloping vocal with touching piano melodies and the artist’s great flexibility and versatility. We are in the central part of the disc and it is a concentrate of symphony at the service of Rock music, with a modern and personal style. With “Ira Vehementi” we return to stronger terrain, with massive guitar riffs and a solid rhythmic session and a constantly changing vocal that follows the evolution of the song well. The choral parts are good and also the dirtiest ones, which alternate well with the melodic sections, as well as the music that moves on both fronts with an oriental touch. The track ends with a descending electronic sound that paves the way for the next “Nemesis,” a Metal rant with spoken and dirty vocal layers intertwining. The continuous changes that transform the song passing from moments of extreme music to symphonic openings are well managed and of great impact, managing to appreciate a genre so distant from Prog. The ideas expressed here are many and they are fresh and original, adding in the second part of the song fresh modern electronic elements typical of the new course of the Metal genre. “Erebus” begins with a violin that layers creating a dark atmosphere, fueled by the vocal with a slight effect that envelop the listener and lead him to a softer Prog rhythm. The choral parts here play a fundamental role, while the music develops in a crescendo of sonic emotions that makes this section cheerful and with retro flavors. In the finish it increases further with a stronger sonority, while remaining soft and delicate. “We Found the Darkness in the Sun” instead presents a more intricate structure with the vocal and melodies that lull the listener and envelop him slowly. The harmonies of guitar and voice are interesting, intertwining and immediately taking hold, creating a positive atmosphere. An impactful intro with sharp guitar riffs and “Paradise” begins which develops with sudden and accelerated changes of exquisite workmanship. The second part, more elaborate, in addition to an excellent bass line presents fast rhythms and high-level symphonic openings, where Midgar expresses his technique at the drum. “Unity” is the title track, and with a roll of drum the acoustic guitar and a warm melodic vocal enter, just as the song is softer than the previous one. The vocal performance is excellent, warm and emotional, while the orchestral carpet creates the right symphonic dose that guides us with the music throughout the song, very intense and smooth, a good choice as a title track. Closes the album “Go, Carefully” with a delicate piano and an intense vocal, with no rhythmic session but with orchestrations and sounds close to the classical style that accompany us at the end of this excellent work. A disc recommended for the originality and freshness of the sound, well blended and modern, creating an atmosphere that is always in balance between symphonic prog, cinematic sounds and more Heavy features. Andy’s compositional skills are of a high standard, as well as the ability to play all the instruments and sing with ease and confidence, making it all very enjoyable. Although the tracks are 13 there is not an empty moment and all the minutes of the disc are well exploited to express their musical concept, a modern and quality Prog. Attentive to balancing all the elements that make it up, Andy also has the advantage of transmitting intense emotions with his voice, suitable for various situations from melodic to strongest singing. Definitely a record to listen to and listen to again with pleasure, which has a winning weapon in the combination of symphony and heavier parts, congratulations also for the quality in the production phase.

Tracklist

01. Prelude
02. Ascension
03. We Don’t Make the Rules
04. Disciple
05. Sunburn
06. Isle of Glass
07. Ira Vehementi
08. Nemesis
09. Erebus
10. We Found the Darkness in the Sun
11. Paradise
12. Unity
13. Go, Carefully

Lineup

Andy Wilson-Taylor / Vocals, Guitar, Drums, Production

Guest:

Greg McPherson / Bass

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Year Of The Rat Records |Official Website|Facebook Page|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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