Darren Michael Boyd – ‘Thoughts & Scares’

Darren Michael Boyd presents his new album, ‘Thoughts & Scares’. An associated video, for single, ‘Misty Mundae’ is also available.

DMB has a long history of working alongside various high-profile acts, including Black Ju-Ju, Creeping Beauty, Famous Underground (featuring Nicholas Walsh), platinum selling artist Fefe Dobson, Alice Cooper’s daughter Calico, for whom he was requested to compose music and bassist Chuck Garric’s Beasto Blanco.

His scholarship to Toronto’s Guitar Workshop led to instruction from key musicians, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan, Sue Foley.

Performing alongside renowned bands, One-Eyed Doll, Wednesday 13, Yngwie Malmsteen, Stryper, Harem Scarem, Lee Aaron etc has formed much of DMB’s experience.

Joining the Mississippi Mudds Theatre Group, in spring 2019, for a sold-out run of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You‘ ended in Ottawa Faces Magazine awarding them ‘Favourite Theatre Group’, 2019.

‘Lifting The Curse’ was Darren’s next album, entirely self-composed and produced, except the drums on ‘Was It Something I Said’, featuring Emily Dolan Davies (The Darkness, Kim Wilde). The album was then mastered by Harry Hess, at H-Bomb Mastering (Barenaked Ladies, Danko Jones, Monster Truck).

That winter, Darren received an honourable mention from ASCAP, for (his) debut instrumental, ‘This Song Won’t Get Played On The Radio’.

Since then, Darren’s won and been nominated for several awards, including winning ‘Best North American Music Video’, at Toronto Independent Film Festival, for DIY video for ‘Arachnochakra’, featured on ‘Wonders Of The Invisible World’, his multi-award nominated second album.

The new album, ‘T&S’ follows a nomination for the JMA’s, at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry and numerous live gigs.

Proof Of Monsters – Funky riff intro. Smooth execution. Lots of colour. Steady melody. Vibrant delivery. Intriguing string-bending sections, incorporating a bit of stop-start stuff. Slightly samey, towards the end, but genuinely well performed, featuring plenty of light.

Kickintheballs – A grungier approach, now, with some techno hints and more than enough groove. Excitingly played slide scales, moving up and down the fretboard, with gusto. The bottleneck effect works well here. Ending with a couple of sharply bouncy tones.

Broken Glass And Disappointment – Carefully, but confidently plucked intro notes, lending it an immediate sci-fi effect. Curiosity piqued, sustained by that mysterious tonal effect. Slide coming into play, towards the bridge. Enigmatically delivered scales. Just a touch of screech, before the drum finale.

When The Crawdads Scream – Wolves howl, in the distance. Subtle build up, to classic sounding riffs. Gathered tension, on the way to the bridge. Very Vai and Satriani-esque riff development, from there, closing with more intense wolf howls.

Slow Dancing With Death – A darker echo opens, into considered, sensual riff tones. Plenty more shade and colour, amongst the virtuoso performance. A little more shadow. More of a mid-pace, with a stronger drum presence. A moodier number, with a steady fade-out.

A Waste Of Perfectly Good Sadness – Pinging plucky riff tones into the opening. Milder, mellower vibe. Expanding into a spacey sound. Slightly lower tones. Breathing into the bridge. Keeping it mellow and cool. Rapid raindrop effects follow. Then a tad more echo, ending.

Abusement Park – Fast-paced intro, thrillingly riffed. Then climbing down, as if sliding down a pole. It’s a real monopoly of sounds. Growing more kaleidoscopically colourful. Impressively sustained timing. Growing into a dizzying array of multi-coloured riffage. Descending down, again, while remaining sensual, to the end.

Toad Rage – Into a careful, but sensuous groove, at the outset. Building the tension and volume, then spacing the notes out, alternating the style and rhythms, from there. Again, it’s very virtuoso. Demonstrating notable control of timing and tone. Cool, smooth fade-out.

Galactic Blood Ritual Roadshow – Booming drum intro. Leading into a dark atmosphere, before lighting it up, again. An element of mystery still remains. Alternating the tempo and tension. Speeding up and adding some slide, towards the bridge. A growing enigma yields to a panoply of sounds and effects, making full use of the instrumental capacity.

Misty Mundae – Beautifully gathered, gothic, yet light opening. Again, showcasing a plausible interplay of light and dark, shadow and clarity. Developing, into a cave-like omen, all the way to the end. A bit X-Files-esque.

Thoughts & Scares – A barrelling, mystically intriguing intro. The faster pace serves it well. A flash flood of varied riffage. More drum presence. Similarly styled, throughout. Reaching a rainbow riff ending.

Overall – Typical of DMB’s style, but further evolved, ‘T&S’ showcases more highly progressed riff wizardry and technicality, featuring colour aplenty and powerful virtuoso skill. The closest thing to Steve Vai and Joe Satriani you’ll find, ‘T&S’ is joyful and attention-grabbingly versatile, in equal measure. A much enjoyed and recommended listen.

9/10 *********

For fans of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Lawrence Wallace, Leo Romero, Extreme, Allagash, Herzel, Pink Floyd.









Posted February 3, 2023 by jennytate in Uncategorized

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