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  • Gregorian Rock

     

    gregorianrockcoverGregorian Rock
    Roland Dale Benedict
    Review Date: February 02, 2014

    I can honestly say that what little bit of high-brow culture I might have ever received when it came music came under the tutelage of my high school Concert Choir teacher, Mrs. Caldwell. In those years, my warped little mind was exposed to the classics by Bach, Handel and Wagner. To this day, I can remember Mrs. C instructing us on the exact pronunciation of words like “excelsis” or how to punch out the notes in much of Handel’s Messiah.

    So, when I come across some new music that bridges the gap between my highfalutin edumication and rock and roll, I’m a happy camper. Nothing blends the two together better in recent days than Gregorian Rock Gregorian Rock by San Antonio citizen, Roland Dale Benedict.

    The album is an adventurous, innovative work blending Gregorian chants with rock and even reggae.

    For instance, regarding Gregorian meets Reggae, the song, Hands Up, incorporates some great Jamaican rhythms that would’ve made Keith Richards stand up and take notice. Oh, and it wasn’t lost on me that the song closes with an cool instrumental line from I Surrender All. This tune ranks as one of the three randomly selected Boomerocity favorites from this album.

    Another favorite is Saeculum. The tune puts me in mind of Mr. Mister’s Kyrie Eleison . . . ‘cept on steroids. Driving, steady, and hard, the song will hook into your cranium and stay there until it’s good and ready to let go of you. Pat Neil’s guitar work is flat out wicked . . . in a sanctified way, of course. The fusion heard in this song reflects some of the University of North Texas education that is foundational to Benedict’s style.

    The uber smooth, New Agey sounding Soli Deo Gloria is both soothing and disturbing in its sound. What I’d give to hear this one performed live at a gig! Yeah, it’s that good!

    All ten songs on Gregorian Rock are keepers, each one being worth the price of the CD. I’d encourage you to purchase this project if you’re appreciative of blended styles of music and love hearing something new and eclectic. This CD will not disappoint!

    GregorianRock.Com

     

  • Gregorian Rock 2

         

    Gregorian Rock 2
    Artist: Roland Dale Benedict
    Release Date: May 2, 2015
    Review Date: April 26, 2015

     

    When I wrote my review of the first Gregorian Rock CD, in my heart I wondered if Roland Dale Benedict could do it again. I mean, c’mon! We’re talking semi-liturgical sounding Gregorian Chants meets rock – prog rock, even. Yeah, it’s been done before with other groups but that’s my point. Could Roland do it again and keep it fresh and interesting.

    He did.

    Intricate. Complex. Deep. Spiritual. Rocking in ways that conjure up thoughts of Mister Mister and Deep Purple. Gregorian Rock 2 is all of that and more. I’m serious as a requiem, this album is seriously great stuff!

    From the stomping “Deux Lux” to the fading strains of “As Water Reflects,” this album commands the listeners attention in beautifully reflective ways. 

    Of special note is the tune, “Where Did The Time Go.” If this cut was played on radio, it would have the stations’ phones ringing off the hook from listeners wanting to know if it was their favorite prog band (Yes, Deep Purple, Spock’s Beard, Dream Theater, you name it).

    If you’re into creative, boundary pushing music or just like to take the plunge on something you’ve never experienced before, musically, I highly recommend “Gregorian Rock 2.” It’s amazing.

    You can purchase “Gregorian Rock 2” and it’s predecessor at www.GregorianRock.com