Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Allen Peterson ~ Don't Let The Dark Out (EP)







(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: Christian, hard rock, power metal
Label: self-released
Year: 1989
Home: Bellingham, Washington

Members: Allen Peterson ~ all instruments


This little collector's item privately distributed in Pacific Northwest is representative of so many little bands & musicians people won't know but not because the music is bad but because distribution was small. Actually, there's some well-known full-time musicians who suffer from the same problem. Good luck finding Queen drummer Roger Taylor's final album with his band Cross which was only distributed in Germany ... & it's the best of their three releases, too. I work in a record store in Manhattan that focuses on 70's obscure prog, another case in point. I'm not talking about Yes or Pink Floyd but bands with a single release that are finding new fans, or lost fans, through small reissues via small labels. Allen is a guitarist, songwriter & singer in Bellingham, Washington, the home of the Posies & Modest Mouse, whose music is influenced as much by Led Zeppelin as it is by Rez Band's Christian blues-rock. The title track "Don't Let The Dark Out" is a warning against devil worship or something akin & sets the tone for the album lyrically with spiritually inspired themes. But, though I'm sure he probably wanted the Christian message to come through, the real focus of this four song EP is the array of Richie Blackmore-esque guitars moving from straight-forward slightly distorted riffs & appeggios to solos spanning hard rock to blues. I was reading recently an interview with Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitarist Chris Caffery who said the age of the guitar solo & technically proficient guitarist is dead. Allen has crafted the traditional guitar album that Caffery bemoans the loss of. This is an album for guitar fans. & I didn't use the Blackmore reference casually. The only problem is that some of the songs seem to go a bit long, but for a four song EP that can be somewhat forgiven. Allen also played all the instruments on this small release. I assume the drums too, though I know he's not really a drummer. I've always found it interesting to hear a musician take complete control, as there's no outside personalities or ideas to change the sound or vision. This can be good & bad. A lesser musician than Allen could create a sloppy or limited outcome. But, the outcome can also totally reflect the personality of the creator. It's great getting that window in on a personality. In many ways this little release reflects the 1989 hard rock scene that only a decade later would sound horribly dated. But, now, with the revival & resurgeance of metal, along with many old bands returning to the scene, I know there are folks out there who would relish in the pre-mp3 80's rawness of this release. Allen, whose also a professional graphic artist as can be seen on his website, has since gone on to heavier music which hopefully will someday be released, alongside reissuing this nugget with some bonus tracks I've heard exist.

(no music video available.)

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