Renegade Priest is a talented multi-instrumentalist who has been writing and recording songs for 30 years, but is only now releasing his debut album. He’s not just a priest in the sense of his artist name – in his day job he’s a Church of England vicar.
On the album he plays all the instruments and sings all the vocals.
“The opening track, Exile, is all about leaving what we can refer to as ‘Eden’, being born here on earth, and starting to live the messy, complicated life we all experience,” explains Renegade Priest. “The closing track, The Return, sees all that resolved; being reconciled to all that has happened and being ready for death — returning to the Eden from which we have come.
With this being a Prog album from a new and unknown artist, my expectations weren’t that high, so I was pleasantly surprised when I hit play. In fact if I’d had high expectations for it then I’d still have been pleasantly surprised – this album by far exceeds anything I’d expected or even hoped for. I’m a big fan of Pink Floyd, who I’ve listened to for several decades, and this album has quite a similar feel to it.
The music is absolutely beautiful, and like Pink Floyd, Renegade Priest uses sound effects such as children playing to lead into the music, and as with Pink Floyd it’s done extremely well. A large part of the album is instrumental, and with some bands that can be quite boring, but here the music is so good that vocals aren’t necessary to keep you involved and to provoke emotional responses. The album is about life and death and so it’s only fitting that the music should provoke a range of emotions as you listen.
When he does sing, his vocals work perfectly with the music. Vocals are always an area where songs are made or broken – I’ve heard a number of bands where the music is great but the vocals ruin it for me, but that certainly isn’t the case here – the vocals here complement the music nicely and add to the songs.
If you’re a fan of Prog in general or Pink Floyd in particular then I strongly recommend that you check out this excellent album.
“The forest of Pi” will be released on 29th June 2017 via Blood & Desire records
2. New world
3. First day
4. Come tonight
5. Remember when
6. Coming home
7. The last spring
8. Hold me
10. The return