Eight years is a long time to do anything. But that’s how long Josh Brewer, mastermind and founding member of Dusks Embrace has been pursuing and perfecting this project. Eight years and countless lineup changes have brought him to Dusks Embrace’s sixth and latest album, “ReAwakening.” Two of those eight years have been spent carefully crafting this album alone.
I listened to ReAwakening and then met with the band downtown at Taproot. This is a serious album; it is apparent that the band put much effort into its final form. I don’t like making comparisons when it comes to music, but that’s what the brain does. I took a deep breath and told the guys that it was a beautiful album and it reminded me of Opeth meets a Queensrÿche rock opera. Whew! My observation was met with smiles and approving nods. Brewer replied, “In a way it is a concept album. The final track ‘Reawakening’ contains the melody from the very first track from the first EP ‘Oblivion at Hand,’ and the last song from the previous album, ‘From Idols to Dust.’ It is most definitely a ‘coming of age’ themed album.”
I got the impression that Brewer is a pretty intense and serious guy when it comes to the music he creates. His meticulous attention to detail clearly shows on “ReAwakening.” He strives to mix a wide variety of styles and make it sound cohesive and natural. An excellent example on the album is the song “Phychasthenia,” which starts as a pensive, soft-metal (did I just make that up) ballad and finishes almost loungey – all that’s missing is the sax solo. And it works. Mission accomplished.
Brewer also approached this album much differently than before in terms of personnel. He said in the past, he was quite “dictatorial,” in that he would write all the songs, find musicians and teach them all the parts. This left him unfulfilled. He found he wasn’t finding the caliber of musicians he wanted and there was no buy-in from the members, ergo the high turnover. He consciously decided to find musicians whose work he appreciated and allowed them to write alongside him. He said this process was much more gratifying and feels they definitely produced a better product.
This would be the perfect time to introduce the whole band: Liam Manley plays drums, Myke Daniel plays bass and provides backing vocals, Josh Brewer plays guitar and backing vocals and Aldo Arevalo (aka Aldo Calrissian) rounds out Dusks Embrace on lead vocals. Arevalo wrote pretty much the entirety of the lyrics, with guidance in theme from Josh. And what an amazing job Arevalo has done. I had never seen him perform until he fronted a Radiohead tribute band, recently. Um, singing Thom Yorke’s lines is NOT easy and Aldo absolutely nailed them. So Brewer expertly picked the right guy for the job.
This album is getting reviewed worldwide, and now Salem Weekly has music reviews as well. Please go to our website, www.salemweeklynews.com and read newest music writer Austin Rich’s review of “ReAwakening.” You can also download all of Dusks Embrace’s discography on their website www.duskembracemusic.com and also CD Baby.