REASON – The Darkest Star (2012)


Coming from Cheltenham, UK, REASON was formed in 2009 by ex-Vandamne / Fyrebyrds / Empire / Crywolf guitarist & songwriter Chris Gyngell and vocalist Paul Mace. The band has just released their debut “The Darkest Star”.

Gyngell and Mace grew up in the same small town in central England. In fact, they grew up in the same street. Both aspired independently to become rock musicians, and even crossed musical paths in their teenage years.
Inevitably, as they all learned their trades, their paths separated, and both of them progressed through the variety of musical ventures.
Then in early 2009, by chance, Chris and Paul met up and came to the same conclusion; that they should invent their ideal band.
Chris was already a proven and accomplished songwriter, and set about creating an initial set of songs which embodied all of the things that they loved.
After recruiting the remaining members, Reason signed with a Swedish label.

“The Darkest Star” sums several influences from ’80s and ’90s classic bands, resulting in a more than interesting Melodic Hard Rock sound with a Progressive influence.
Possibly my favorite track on the album is opener “Another World”, a strong melodic hard rocker with a mysterious aura accented by the massive use of synths in the background.
Follower “Rise” is another really good track with a classic eighties vibe. This one has been mixed by veteran Beau Hill.
On tracks such as “Before The Dawn”, “The Darkest Star” and “Cool Starry Night”, Reason glides into a more progressive territory, adding to the songs colorful textures to enjoy.
The diversity of this band doesn’t ends here, as “Fire Eternal” has a commercial approach driven by a punctuated guitar line, “Life To A Flame” brings to the table traditional British metal sounds, and “Forever” has some American AOR elements in the style of earlier Journey, complete with nice keyboards.

On “The Darkest Star”, Reason makes clear their love for the classic sounds, evidenced by the arrangements and the overall vibe of the album.
Composer Chris Gyngell has learned the ’80s lesson, and his guitar licks (specially the solos) are solid, with a vintage sound. Paul Mace is a fine singer, owner of a tenor register which suits these songs well, while the rest of the band bring to the core a good musicianship.
The drawback here is the poor production, handled by the band. A pity, because the material on offer is really consistent and finely elaborated. But considering that “The Darkest Star” was initially conceived as an indie release, this a point to improve on the next release.
Reason is a more than promising new band, talented and well focused. Check them out.

You’ve seen it first here, at zerodayrock

01 – Another World
02 – Rise (Beau Hill remix)
03 – Before The Dawn
04 – Life To A Flame
05 – Fire Eternal
06 – The Darkest Star
07 – Forever
08 – The Crusade
09 – Evil Angel
10 – Cool Starry Night
11 – Revelation (2012 remix)

Paul Mace – Lead Vocals
Chris Gyngell – Guitar
Gil Hird – Keyboards
Graham Corbett – Bass
Sean Feeley – Drums


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