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Ben Averch

Washington State

Automatic Earth Recordings

The title is certainly apt. For an album that ventures into wide-open spaces, Ben Averch made the best decision in naming it after the Pacific Northwest. This is a heavy album, but not in terms of volume. Yes, it's quite loud; but these days that adjective has a different definition. Loud as in Korn or Pantera? Good Lord, no. Averch has no interest in dissonance. Instead, he is a one-man symphony of prog rock, utilizing Rush, King's X and Queensryche as reference points to launch his own vision of thinking man's metal.

Playing every instrument himself, Averch manages to splice the parts together and produce an album that is cohesive and intelligent. This is some pretty brainy music, taking listeners back to the time when rock bands could make people think. To today's generation, the modern blueprint for that belongs to Radiohead. Not to Averch, though. Averch's musical heroes are obviously in the progressive rock camp, top-notch musicians that believed in stimulating the brain, not annoying us with pointless avant-garde moves.

Averch includes the lyrics in the CD. Read as you listen. In order to properly experience this record, you have to absorb everything -- the words, the music, the production, which is sparklingly clean and beefs up the instruments, resulting in an epic rollercoaster ride for the ears.

Ben Averch: averch.blogspot.com