Review: Josh Keech “Warrior in the Clouds Pt​. 1”

Review: Josh Keech “Warrior in the Clouds Pt​. 1”

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By the end of June English musician Josh Keech from Bedford has independently released his first official EP Warrior in the Clouds Pt. 1, the first part of his upcoming full-length album scheduled to be released sometime in 2023. Mixing various rock and metal genres, Josh created flexile and integrated album, emphasizing his guitar playing skills.

This is his first professional record, Josh is a devoted guitarist and youtuber, on his video channel he uploads a diverse range of videos – from his covers of classic metal solos and improvisations to his the best tops, album reviews and personal observations (like the comparison between metal genres or why he hates glam metal). He is very active and social with his subscribers, and his low-key, but loyal fan base inspired him to finally release his music through Bandcamp and also on physical media. So, what did he prepare for us apart from his genuine enthusiasm?

This record is entirely instrumental, and the key focus is directed towards guitar solos; Josh’s fondness of this particular guitar virtuoso genre is beyond questioning. The rhythm is always primitive and unobtrusive, and always smells of old-school days (Josh is undoubtedly a fan of the 80s). His main reference point is hard rock and heavy metal, but some songs belong to traditional thrash concept, but not too speedy and aggressive (“The Entity has gone”, “D.I.E. (Desolation in Extremis”) and “Death Ritual”). “Faded Feelings” isn’t metal song at all, based more on principles of romantic pop rock. “Society INC.” has some modern vibes and grunge mood with steady groove elements peeping around, while self-titled “Warrior in the Clouds” invites us to rock ‘n’ roll realm with delicious southern and blues rock allusions. And the last composition “Death Ritual” refers to the times when epic heavy and violent thrash metal songs offered dark and mysterious intros, aggravating the situation through these contrasting bridges. But the primary goal is always his guitar solos – technical, improvised and unfeigned, sometimes leading the way to progressive domain, but without urgent need to nerd out.

Josh Keech is a newbie in the music industry which is full of competition and excessive demands for self-advertising (it’s so difficult to find any kind of promotional support, not to mention financial aid), but this record is full of his hopes and dreams. Despite assorted mélange of different musical styles, Warrior in the Clouds Pt. 1 doesn’t sound raggedly scattered, providing with invisible line through all the record that cements the core of it in quite a holistic way.

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