Review: Preacher – Aftermath (2016)


Impressive eight-piece Scottish progressive rockers prove that just because you follow it doesn’t mean you can’t lead.

Let’s get the obvious comparisons out of the way first. Preacher are huge fans of Pink Floyd, they have taste after all, and there are many times when listening to Aftermath that one of, if not THE greatest band of all time, immediately comes to the front of your mind. The good news is that whilst Preacher were their influence proudly on their collective sleeves they are no mere copyists. After a couple of spins you will be absorbed into the world of Preacher.

Preacher are Martin Murphy (Lyrics, Vocals, Guitar); Arnie Burgoyne (Keyboards); Greg Murphy (Lead Guitar); Iain Duncan (Drums); Gordon Munro (Bass); Ron Rodgers (Acoustic Guitar) and the female backing duo of Angela Bell and Kerry McWhinnie make up the group. Their debut album Signals released in 2013 gave a forceful indication of the talent that they band had to offer and on Aftermath that talent is very close to peaking.

The title track comes first and it’s a piano/guitar intro that leads into an appropriately atmospheric journey that’s introduces the guitar skills of Greg Murphy, son of Martin, and his solos are frequently heavier and more jagged than those latter day sweeping melodies of Gilmour but none less emotive or complex, sharing an ability for melodic phrasing with Gilmour that few can match.

“Welcome To The Fray” has a contemporary feel with a dark and heavy rhythm that once again exploits the Murphy finger-wizardry with carefree abandon. The lyrical themes are also familiar to those of a Floydian persuasion. The need for change in the world, greed, wealth all get put under the microscope.

When the rigid drum pattern of “War” starts up it’s not difficult to be overcome by a sense of foreboding. However, Preacher are nothing if not the eternal optimists, so why the never shy away from the harsh reality of the modern world they often find the light in the darkness to offer an alternative to the grim future. This is never better illustrated than on this track.

There are tracks that are as uplifting as anything you will hear this side of Motown.  The Bowie-inspired “Vinyl” is an album highlight as to the dreamlike qualities of “Vision” give the album a positive vibe occasionally going against the lyrical theme of the album.

There are two sides to every story and “War Reprise” gives an alternate take of conflict from a bystander’s viewpoint.  The power and emotional pull of the track provides a perfect counterbalance to it’s ugly twin.

It’s good to know that there is a band, a few actually if you add the awesome Spock’s Beard, that can not only carry the torch that Floyd set alight but also allow it to burn brighter than ever in the future.  Whilst the album maybe titled Aftermath you get the sense that this is just the beginning.

Donnie’s Rating: 9/10

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