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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Brandon Teskey

Screaming Into the Void

Review by Gary Hill

Brandon Teskey is probably best known as the guitarist in Until the Sun. This solo album showcases his sense of blues rocking sound outside of that group. The bulk of this is instrumental. Teskey does provide vocals on a couple songs, though. He's also joined by Until the Sun singer Alyssa Swartz on a few. Until the Sun drummer Chris Tex is also featured on this set. The music ranges from more faithful blues to more rocking stuff, proggy zones, jazzier things and more. All in all, this is quite an effective and entertaining disc.

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Track by Track Review
Screaming into the Void
This guitar rocker has plenty of blues sound built into it. It's a real classic rocking groove. It's a classy instrumental from start to finish.
Vertigo on the Heights of Desire
Here we get a slower moving and subtler blues guitar solo. This is melodic and rather proggy at times. It's also so cool. As strong as the opener was, this definitely ups the stakes here.
When the Sun Goes Down
A hard-edged blues rocker, this is the first tune on the album to include vocals. There is a Led Zep meets Joe Bonamassa vibe to this in a lot of ways. It's a great blues rock romp. The effects on the instrumental section, and the whole groove of it, definitely calls to mind Jimi Hendrix.
Side Tracked
Here we get a real old-school electric blues jam that brings to mind folks ranging from B.B. King to Buddy Guy. This instrumental is so classy.
Amare Nocturne'
There are some definite jazz and even vaguely proggy elements at play on this instrumental piece. It's less direct than the last couple tracks. It's no less interesting, though. It still has plenty of blues on the menu, but it's a different tapestry overall.
To Not Go Blind
Featuring lead vocals by Alyssa Swartz, this mellower tune really does come very close to a prog rock vibe. It's on the mellower side, and still manages some hints of blues rock, but overall this is balladic tune is a big change. It's also one of my favorites on the disc.
Tree of Life
With a classic and prog rock angle to it, this is more of a blues rock piece. There are some non-lyrical vocals (Swartz again), but otherwise it's an instrumental.
Dance of the Fiddler's Bitch
Another that does manage to get into some proggy zones, there is some decidedly fusion-like jamming on this thing. That said, it's set heavily in a blues rocking motif, too. This powerhouse is one of my favorites here. This includes a drum solo that is part of an intriguing musical side-trip.
Autumn Leaves

Here we get another proggy balladic piece featuring vocals by Swartz. It still has some blues on the menu, but that's mostly from the guitar solo. This is an evocative track that is another highlight of the disc.

This powerhouse blues rock instrumental incorporates both wah guitar and slide. It has some real hard rocking vibes at play along with plenty of classic blues guitar.
Spider's Web
With some proggy angles along with a healthy helping of jazz, this is a big change. Teskey provides vocals on this.

This number definitely has a lot of jazz built into it. Part of that comes from Danny Markovitch's saxophone. I can make out some hints of Traffic and maybe even some early Santana. This instrumental is quite a big change and another highlight.

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