Reviewed by MJBrady on 06 Dec 2003
On his 4th solo effort, Greg Rapaport delivers his finest effort to date. Let me start this review by targeting the potential and current fans of Gregs music, he plays all instrumental, heavy progressive music, that is both melodic and technical, and should appeal to the fans of progressive metal, instrumental progrock, or guitar based hard fusion. On his last cd - Wyrd I made some comparisons to the likes of Michael Harris, Cyril Achard & Martone. All of these artists have a couple things in common, one, they are stepping outside of the typecastings of instrumental guitar based music, to create musical offerings that are based predominantly on compositions as opposed to the musicians technical prowess on their respective instruments, and two, they are guitarists.
So with Azrael Block, Greg has admittedly been enjoying the benefits of experience, he has taken on the challenge of not only being his own composer, instrumentalist, artist and producer. He now has found the engineering aspect of music a skill worth pursuing. It is evident that he has been a great student of all of his endeavors, as the aural factor of this cd is nothing short of pristine. he employs much more atmosphere and headspace through the course of this recording, and he ventures into the idiom of creating a listening experience with what is a solid effort both in terms of sound and composition.
It was only a matter of time that musicians like Greg Rapaport would be able to deliver a quality production from the confines of their own home, without the demands of labels, managers, and the rest of the corruption that is the music biz. Now musicians can get hold of quality studio gear without breaking the bank so to speak, and with some talent and learning ability, musicians can take their music into their own hands, from the onset of compostion to the end that is personal distribution of their finished product. This is a great time for integrity driven music. No longer do musicians have to compromise for the demands of 'the biz', they can now do things on their own terms. But enough on that, my point was that Greg Rapaport has taken his experiences with all of that, and has created a highly satisfying piece of progressive instrumental music.
You will notice that Greg has either performed or programmed all of the instruments on this cd, and trust me when I say, that the music as a whole does not suffer from some of the shortcomings that typically are associated with such efforts. He is using a very convincing drum system, and the sounds and time signatures are very much sounding true to life. The other sounds are performed, and he does quite well as the guitarist and bassist, with keyboards providing more in the way of effect and backdrop. Overall I would give this cd a high recommendation to the readers that are into progressive instrumental, guitar centered, music. Try going to his site, and give some of the samples a shot.