Greg C. Brown - 'Fairystones'
Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier & Staff
“Fairystones” by Greg C. Brown is an instrumental piece steeped in classic heavy metal incorporating 80’s style synthesizers reminiscent of John Carpenter. The sound to my ear takes influence from artists such as Ygnwie Malmsteen along with the many other fellow shredders found on the early 80’s shrapnel records roster.
Heavily distorted guitars and soaring lead lines crisscross with pummeling double bass drums and a thunderous snare sound which serves as the bedrock of this ear-locking piece while the inclusion of synth brings a more symphonic atmosphere to the piece.
Mixed by Michael Heck, the sound is very bright throughout. The kick drums in particular stand out to me as the mid range frequencies are completely scooped out. This achieves the classic Lars Ulrich kick drum sound best heard on the “And Justice For All” album.
Musically, there are engaging levels of development going on. The dynamic between the heavier sections and more ambient synth parts is unexpected and compelling, as if telling a story without words. Not surprisingly, the title “Fairystones” was inspired by a national park in Virginia of the same name which is home to a unique collection of stones that take the shape of crosses. (Side note, I feel like I need to see this for myself.) In Brown’s own words, “I envisioned a legend with Fairies and such playfully running around the woods and lake.” This seems to be illustrated in particular by those more ambient synth sections. It serves to give the music some breathing room before heading back into it’s more metallic elements. I can close my eyes to see a bunch of forest druids dancing around blissfully particularly at the 1:12 - 2:19 mark.
It’s safe to say that after one listen, one will immediately sense a theme of fantasy throughout. The minor tonality, shredding lead guitar lines and resonant synths certainly pull my attention to images not of this world.
I think this would pair well with an 8 bit RPG. Choose wisely and strap in. I’m gonna have to go with the first Final Fantasy. Greg C. Brown will blow you away.
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About Greg Brown
GregC. Brown has been playing guitar for 40 years and is a founding member of the progressive metal band Age of Fire. He also has a very active classical guitar career which has taken him across Europe, the United States and Canada. He is an active composer having written over 25 books of original music ranging from solo guitar to orchestral works.
Mr. Brown has recorded over 20 CDs in classical, rock, metal, jazz and blues styles. His sheet music can be found at Les Productions D'Oz and J.W. Pepper and his music can be streamed on most major playforms. Currently, he is finishing up a classical CD inspired by the music of Italy and Age of Fire is getting ready to release a new single "Seeds of Tomorrow". As a performer, he can't wait to resume a more consistant schedule after the pandemic.
For more information on Greg C. Brown, visit his website.