September 13, 2020

The name of Fraser Edwards is new to me, but it seems he has created a little piece in history for himself – as the guitarist and creator of Sharky Sharky which is, apparently, a shark themed rock band for kids! I kid you not, I checked out their website and there it is in all its glory – but I suspect you have to be a kid to get the joke and fully appreciate it. However, as with all these novelty bands and records, there are real musicians behind them and some pretty talented ones too. Edwards is also the guitarist with the Aberdeen based British power metal band Ascension, a group with just the one album behind them so far called Far Beyond The Stars, but it is a pretty impressive one and you should certainly check it out. It is from 2013 but it seems that a second album is in the pipeline (according to their Facebook page). He has other credits to his name too, having worked with Metalite and Captain Black Beard, and he is also a music producer and mixing/mastering engineer so he is a pretty all round talented chap.

The Architect is a neo-classical affair, with guitar work very similar to the likes of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, but it is not a purely instrumental affair as he has brought in several guests to help him fill out the sound. He has Andrew Scott (King King, Paul Gilbert) on drums, Ricki Carnie (Ascension, Sharky Sharky) on vocals, Graeme McDonald (Rise with Honour) on vocals, Sergey Boykov (Vital Science) on keyboards and Dick Gilchrist (Ascension, Barque of Dante) on drums – all making this more of a band vibe rather than a guitarist just showing how clever and fast he is, although there is a bit of that. There is a little humour too but you can find out those moments of madness for yourself – the references to Dragonforce are real killers! There are a couple of slower numbers, but it is mainly a progressive metal album with strident vocals and sublime guitar from a musician who seems to have a real sense of worth, value and humour about him. Give it a try and I doubt you will be disappointed.

Track List: The Architect (5:21), Stop Saying We Sound Like Dragonforce (4:44), Warzone (4.01),  The Death Zone (4:01), Ruination (2:36), Dio Volendo Lo Faro (4:41), Among The Stars (6:11), This World Can Be Ours (5:16), Sorrow Of The Loneliest Dragon (1:43), Crouching Comrades, Hidden Dragonforce (2:32), On My Own (Bonus Track) (3:31), Your Song (Bonus Track) (3:48).