Rock Company 2016
Spicy, if not spaced out, interpretation of the Muad’Dib story. Epic choruses abound.
Over the years, there’s been a few attempts to harness the essence of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” but only Klaus Schulze had taken it to an LP scale while eschewing songs’ format, an approach which multi-instrumentalist Peter Cox turned around for his fourth album loosely based on the classic book. With former LEGION singer Phil Vincent giving voice to most of the pieces here and clinging to Arrakis’ literary surface in “Fear” to create a triumphant finale, “Lonely Desert” is a many-layered work which reveals previously unnoticed textures with every new spin without losing its infectiousness.
One doesn’t need to be familiar with the context, though, to feel its melodic grip once “Valley Of Pain” has set things in motion with a heavy guitar hook, before vocals bring airiness into the arid riff-and-strum whose AOR magnetism is inescapable. There are also sublime harmonies to make the refrains of “Into The Light” and “Asleep” as memorable as possible, yet dry production and the deliberate toning down of the performances add to the thematic and cinematic dramatism that’s dictated by the original sci-fi saga.
Whereas voiceless vignettes such as “To Bits” introduce folk sensibility to the narrative, they also provide atmospheric contrast to the tension oozing out from the organ-bolstered “Alienation” to let this cosmos breathe. It may be lonely out there, but there’s music for a company.