Saturday, May 18, 2024

SiX by SiX Go Beyond Shadowland

Following the success of their eponymous debut album, SiX by SiX have now released their sophomore album, Beyond Shadowland, once again pooling their diverse talents into another stellar collection of tunes. SiX by SiX are a trio and all three members have made their names playing in successful bands and with what they’ve included on this album, those reputations can only be enhanced.

The band comprises of Ian Crichton, guitarist from Saga, Nigel Glockler, drummer with British rockers Saxon and Robert Berry, bass and vocals who played with Keith Emerson’s band. Between them, they possess a wealth of experience and creativity, and they have nothing to prove to anybody. They can stand comparison with most other power trios, and musically are probably streets ahead of many of them.

As their two albums to date prove, they don’t just blast out riffs, they play tunes of varying length and power. They don’t play lengthy epics, and most of the songs hover around or run slightly over the four-minute mark. However, there’s thought and precision in their music, and they gell together so tightly that anyone listening to them for the first time would be forgiven in assuming these guys have been playing together for many years.

From the tone of the lyrics, it would appear a degree of dissatisfaction with particular situations and people were at the forefront of the band’s minds when writing. On the very proggy ‘One Step’ they contend… “Your evil mind, you’re really something, thinking you have all the answers. Hope the smile lasts till judgement day.” 

As always the playing is superb, and a shout-out goes to Nigel Glockner who copes brilliantly with the kinds of time changes and tempos he never finds in Saxon and, at 71, despite some health issues, he’s still a powerhouse. Some of Ian Crichton’s guitar work is stunning. Without the keys and other things in Saga, he’s given free rein here and he plays riffs, rhythms and solos and, as the dominant instrument, he can go where he wants, and on tracks like ‘Outside Looking In’ and ‘Spectre’, his playing is sublime. The gentle ‘Only You’ features just Crichton and Berry’s voice, which throughout is not too dissimilar to the late great Phil Lynott, and the power ballad ‘Obiliex’, sung with real feeling by Berry, features some delightfully understated playing.

This is a strong album from three guys who relish playing together, with the music being at the more rocky end of Prog, and it’ll be interesting to see if they follow this up with some live shows.

Laurence Todd
Laurence Todd
Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

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Following the success of their eponymous debut album, SiX by SiX have now released their sophomore album, Beyond Shadowland, once again pooling their diverse talents into another stellar collection of tunes. SiX by SiX are a trio and all three members have made their...SiX by SiX Go Beyond Shadowland