[Review] Sudler’s Row – Frantic Empire EP

Sudler’s Row is a Progressive Rock music project, originally from Delaware, USA composed by the duo Nathan Ames (Guitar, Bass Guitar, allInstrumentation) and Anthony Mayan (Percussion). Their music is a blend of Art Rock, Progressive, Fusion, World Music and Neoclassical, with a modern and personal mold. Their debut album is a self-produced EP titled “Frantic Empire,” released on June 3, 2020 and featuring 5 mid-length tracks. The record opens with the title track “Frantic Road,” the shortest track, which starts with electric guitar riffs and layers of headboards in the background on a solid rhythm session, creating a more Heavy atmosphere with symphonic overtones. The guitar is massive and also offers a nice insert in the second part, always well supported by the atmospheric keyboards. “Illusion” begins more gently, with a softer guitar and a slower rhythmic session, always with a pleasant carpet of keyboards, alternating inserts of electric guitar with melancholy features to more symphonic openings. A good song with the guitar protagonist with a solo that occupies the whole central part, to guide us to the finale where the main theme returns and the song closes. “Solace” is centered in the first part by a good work of electric guitar on a carpet of orchestrations on the keyboards, with continuous tempo changes that alternate more melodic moments with others with darker riffs. The theme is developed all around the evolutions on the guitar, mistress of sound, showing a good technique on the part of Nathan Ames. Dark atmospheres and a slow rhythm characterize the beginning of “Blood Moon,” developing on an orchestral carpet of keyboards and giving the impression of walking on the moon. Here too it presents some good guitar inserts, but without ever increasing the intensity and without positively developing the theme, which is too tied only to guitar cues, a bit of an end in itself. Closing this EP is the track “Silk Road II,” the longest of all the work, which begins with a mid-tempo and melancholy melodies of guitar and keyboards, alternating calmer moments with more aggressive openings and with greater intensity. In the central part a more symphonic section with tempo changes and a more elaborate rhythm, while in the final we find a cue of electric guitar that leads us to the end. An entirely instrumental work, mainly focused on guitar cues, which dominates the sound, between riffs and solos, supported by melodic layers of keyboards and a fairly linear rhythmic session without too many tempo changes. Overall a fluent listening, with some interesting ideas especially in the guitar solos, in my humble opinion, however, too isolated and ends in themselves. With a greater development of the themes of the songs, more decisive tempo changes, there are the foundations to improve in the following albums, perhaps creating more plots and duets with the keyboards and elaborating more the rhythmic session.

Tracklist

  1. Frantic Empire (3:56)
  2. Illusion (5:22)
  3. Solace (5:49)
  4. Blood Moon (5:05)
  5. Silk Road II (6:47)

Lineup

Nathan Ames / Guitar, Bass, Electric Mandolin, Keyboards
Anthony Mayan / Percussion

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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