Thursday, March 10, 2016

Michael Biddlecom - Sonic Battalion CD review

Update 3/10/16: Michael passed away on 2/17/16. I've decided to include the heartfelt message on Mike's memorial card from his funeral in tribute. "I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one. I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done. I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways, of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days. I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun. Of happy memories that I leave when life is done."

Update 1/27/16: I've just learned that Michael has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Please keep Michael in your prayers.

Michael Biddlecom - Sonic Battalion CD review

The title track, Sonic Battalion, is a powerful track that will satisfy any heavy metal or hard rock fan. I'm a bit biased but this is the style of music that I love to hear Michael play because he executes the style with tons of power and passion. A couple of WWII samples set the mood and bring in the heavy guitar rhythm. The rhythm is punctuated by some absolutely ripping guitar solos. This song gets my blood pumping and adrenaline flowing whenever I hear it. Sonic Battalion is my favorite on this CD.
Youtube link
Lost In Heaven starts off with some whispering Italian verse provided by Cheryl LaDuca. I found myself being drawn into the song by this and curious as to what was coming next. Michael's vocals take over on top of a rhythm track that is fairly subdued until the third verse kicks in. This part of the music packs a heavy punch and it sounds great in contrast to the mellow parts of the verse. A bell tone brings in a melodic guitar solo that quickly turns into a flurry of notes that soar by with lightning speed.
Love Is Blind highlights Michael on acoustic guitar. The acoustic guitar provides an upbeat rhythm while some keyboard parts provide the melodic content. A searing wah-wah guitar solo takes the song out in style.
Promises has an 80's sound and a timbre that builds in intensity as the song continues. Once again Michael takes the song out on a high note with some stinging lead guitar playing.
Stranger In My Skin features Michael playing some nicely played acoustic guitar.
Sagittarius invokes a feeling of waiting caution. The sound of this song made me feel like I was walking down a darkened hallway waiting for something to jump out and scare me. The shouting verses' release the spell with some aggressive guitar playing. Sagittarius is one of my favorite tracks on Sonic Battalion.
When I'm Missing You is a lesson is musical restraint, Mike shows that he knows when to play and when not to play to let the groove breathe a little. Of course Mike lets it rip as the song continues. Great instrumental track that is reminiscent of Jeff Beck.
The final track, Morning Star has become more important and alot more meaningful to me since his untimely passing. The melody has a haunting quality and brings back many fond memories I have of Mike and his music. R.I.P. Mike 9/5/59 - 2/17/16.

Thank You Mike! 

This post is dedicated to Michael Biddlecom.