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Shaun Guerin - By The Dark Of Light/Archives

Shaun Guerin - By The Dark Of LightAfter hearing Shaun's vocals on the album Book Of The Dead by K2 (see review), two of his CD's appeared, and they are well presented and produced too. Sadly Shaun passed away in 2003, but his music lives on, and what can only be a fitting tribute as to say he is missed very much.

Firstly, By The Dark Of Night is a solo album in the sense that Shaun not only sings, but he is the whole band, guitars, bass, keyboards and drums. Ten tracks, six of which are instrumental make up the fifty minute album, and the style is in the progressive vein with the influence of Genesis among others. Opening track is the title track, and has a Foreigner style opening, and combined with the spacey style keyboards makes this an interesting song. The spacey feel continues as Shaun's voice makes an appearance. This Is Not My World is a nice ballad, and makes you wonder if Peter Gabriel was still in Genesis, or if he was in his first two album style period might sound a little like this.

Track four Run To Fall has the bombastic feel of ELP, while another ballad She's Sad is next. The playing is very good, and precise, but in total control all of the time. Sing My Prayers has the Phil Collins feel, both in vocals and the drum pattern too, but it is safe to say that this album is very song based and not the over ten minute song sort of album. Closing track Crazy is the ELP sound again, instrumental and up-tempo, and keyboards at all angles, add a touch of a jazz feel, and that is that.

Shaun Guerin - ArchivesArchives on the other hand is the more progressive of the two, and with some cracking cover versions of your favourite songs, make this the pick of the bunch. Nudging the eighty minute mark are sixteen tracks and starting with the Genesis track Back In New York City makes a big impact with energy and feeling. Shaun is on vocals, drums and keys, while he is joined on guitar, more keys by John Thomas. Completing the set up is Dan Shapiro on bass, and this is close to the original, but on hearing this, you feel like this is just a great version all round.

Apart from the cover versions, I would have to say that the next track If This Is A Dream is the best song on the album. The lyrics are strong, and could be a Phil Collins single. It has the first dance at a wedding sort of feel too, and as in the frame of the previous album, Shaun plays everything. The Floyd classic In The Flesh follows the Drum Duet, and is again a good version. The guitar is not quite Dave Gilmour, but still a great attempt, and Shaun's vocal feels a little strange on this track the first time you hear it, but you soon take it in.

Another ballad follows an Infinite Symphony part, then a jazz type rock instrumental Big Lizard sets a new direction to the album. Then the party piece Karn Evil #9 makes a appearance, the full version in it's glory. Shaun here is singing and on drums, while the keys are performed very well by Gary Calamy.

The Rivers Edge again is a ballad, while the last cover song which is The Colony Of Slippermen, and this effort brings the track to life. Recorded live in 2000, and this was Shaun's project band The Supernatural Anaesthetists. The next four tracks are varied in styles, Falling Forward sticks out as a jam style, with Shaun on drums and keys, and some neat guitar work from John Thomas.

It is a great shame that Shaun isn't around to make these great sounds anymore, but these two releases are worth getting hold of to hear his talented performances.

Danny Mayo

Shaun Guerin

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