Saturday, April 14, 2012

High Concept

Once Upon A Time, A long long time ago (1987) in a city far far away (Lynchburg, VA), three friends started a band that took the Christian Music world by storm. Michael Tait, Kevin Max Smith and Toby McKeehan were the friends and the group was DC Talk.

DC Talk broke up in 2001, but the members have continued to make an impact on the CCM world. Michael Tait (the singer) followed up his solo act (TAIT) by becoming lead singer of Newsboys (you may have heard of them). Toby McKeehan (the rapper) dropped his Irish name and went on to Rock success as Toby Mac.

And then there was Kevin (The Poet). Even while a member of DCT he dropped the Smith and was just Kevin Max. His solo debut was Stereotype Be (2001). I guess in my own way I have stereotyped the former DC Talk Members, but that is the way that things worked out. Toby started out in the Rap/Hip Hop arena, though that has blended into Rock for most artists these days, and Michael "wanted to do the Rock thing" (one shot, Newsboys Born Again). Spoken Word poems like there is a treason at sea on Supernatural were Kevin's forte. And now, it seems, so are angels.
Fiefdom of Angels: Side One is Max's latest, and true to form it is beautiful, very middle eastern sounding, and very esoteric. This time around he is exploring the origins of angels and the devil and dragons, and has a Graphic Novel paired with the release. The graphic novel is the idea of Max along with a few collaborators, notably Mike Bullock (The Phantom), Tyler Walpole (World of Warcraft Trading Cards), Peter Mohrbacher (Kabam Games), Josh Aitken (Gladiator), and Rob Schwager. He certainly didn't skimp on the talent. Of course, from the download, it is a teaser. The story goes on only for about 5 pages or so and the rest (23 Pages) is description, maps, bio. I was somewhat disappointed on that front. I would like to have seen more on the Graphic Novel front.

I was more impressed by the EP (Side One). The EP kicks off with Send Me An Angel, which seems to be about love and dating. We don't seem to really switch to the theme of the Angel Wars until End of The Beginning. Thanks to Soundcloud I can embed the player allowing you to listen to Shadowplay and Dragon Attack, cuts three and four on the EP. Sorry, Dragon attack isn't allowed to embed, click on the link for listening on soundcloud.  

I am going to give Fiefdom of Angels: Side One a preliminary rating of 4.5 Emeralds. I don't usually promise to readjust a score, but I am going to do it in this case. I want to hold out for side two if I can. It could be equal to side one or it could be an Impostor. Who knows. It is promising, however. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.