2014 / Journey Music Entertainment
Review by Michael Debbage
With a remarkable debut titled Olympus back in 2007 followed up by the breathtaking Reflections in 2011, it was going to be quite a chore for Andrew to outdo himself. Needless to say any of you naysayers will find Epoch Dawn equal if not above the marvelous results of Andrew’s prior recordings. From composition, production to performance Epoch Dawn is of epic proportions that will move and lift your spirits to the upper stratospheres.
Much like the slow transformation of dawn stealing the darkness of night, Epoch Dawn opens with the slow but steady building title track as it slowly renovates to the brilliance of a new day. With lush strings, percussion and choral arrangements Kelly places his listening audience on high alert that Epoch Dawn is bold and bodacious. Similar results can be found on the slow simmer of “Wonderland” where we can also actually hear Andrew’s subtle piano work. The same cannot be said for the less subtle yet gorgeous soaring cross rhythmic string arrangement that kicks in later. The bad news is that it leaves you wanting more and the good news is that it leaves you wanting more.
Not quite as subtle is the fast paced pounding of “Chasing Glory” and the melodrama continues to hold you captive with the follow up track “Valkyrie” or for that matter “The Incursion” found deeper into the album, They are as good as anything that the dramatic ES Posthumus or Two Steps From Hell have done. Where Kelly Andrew is more successful is that he counters the above songs with the more delicate compositions such as the “Mirrors Of Illusion” giving you as the listener the ability to take a collective breath in preparation for another stormbringer of a performance. Similar results can also be found on the powerful sway of “Castle On The Hill” or for that matter the drifting peacefulness found “Ocean Floor” that will leave you floating effortlessly in its tranquil beauty.
Concluding with the closing track “Living Legacy” that starts with his delicately shaded nuances that later transforms with its dramatic broad strokes of musical colors it includes all the essential ingredients that makes Epoch Dawn the inspiring and dramatic creation that it is. In no uncertain terms Epoch Dawn is an ambitious recording and without a shadow of doubt not only Andrew’s tour de force but also 2014’s album of the year.
January 27, 2015