Right Honourable 2016
Ex-CURVED AIR classicist explores the creations of human subconscious and extends ancient imagination.
Given the long-running link between symphonic music and narrative lore of various religions, it’s rather surprising that Darryl Way touched upon the subject just once, on “Anteros” by his WOLF. More than four decades later, though, the veteran’s interest in what lies beyond the grasp of our mind manifested itself on an entire album, shaped by a non-ensemble DIY ethic yet, unlike 2014’s "Children Of The Cosmos", not shying away from literal expression of a thought.
With Shelley’s lines twisted in the epic fabric of “Prometheus Chained” where a little concerto moves are bound to rock idiom, most of the actual songs sound down-to-earth due to Darryl’s dry vocals that, albeit the pop-prog appeal of “Whatever Happened?” can’t be denied, somehow blunt the sharpness of a riff carrying “Apollo” before its boiling orchestral cauldron is revealed. The seriousness of pieces such as uplifting “Strange Goings On” – full of choral harmonies and harking back to the composer’s classical slant, as is “Aphrodite” – may seem compromised by the rough vaudeville playfulness behind “Dove Of Peace” and the “Helter Skelter” quirky hoedown, but there’s an almost operatic, suitably glacial performance on “The Ice Man” while the solemn “Crusader” lands on a military march to spice it all up.
Still, it’s when Way’s weapon of choice weighs “Orpheus And The Underworld” down that the heavy strains of old mysteries fall into their melodic place most impressively, violin’s high register cutting through its lower reaches and dissolving in piano dewdrops to stage a dramatic dance of a court stripe. What Darryl resolves it in is basically a poetry in motion – the very gist of any myth, legend or tale – perhaps, slightly superficial in approach, yet quite satisfying.