In 2021 multi-instrumentalist Rik Loveridge‘s Parkinson’s diagnosis led to him leaving The Kentish Spires. The only proper responses were a little cry and a new album. The album is drenched in the spirit of progressive rock but also explores other genres whilst remaining musically inventive (says Rik)!
He envisaged some stunning guitar and sax elements so enlisted the help of friends Nick Fletcher (John Hackett Band) and Chris Egan (The Kentish Spires and Nuadha). He also saw the need to work with talented audio engineers… cue Paul Cobbold (ex Rockfield) and David Pickering Pick (FFG studio) on mixing and mastering duties. Oh, and granddaughter Willow aged 1!
Something good shall arise from this dark time!
And something good has indeed been delivered with this immersive musical masterpiece. The opening three-part Trilogy suite is languid, relaxed, low key and beautiful and has hints of latter day David Gilmour solo work. Egan’s sax is quite beguiling throughout and Nick Fletcher shows his consummate skill and class with a quite lyrical display of guitar. It’s a testimony to Rik’s songwriting ability that it all blends seamlessly and his vocals add that requisite touch of calm sensibility. Instrumental Dark Matter is a wistful, dreamy piece that adds thoughtful reflection to the album. The wonderful organ that opens Nature’s Eyes imbues a sense of tranquility and harmony to this elegant ballad, a charming touch of nostalgia and this is carried through with spiralling keyboards to the understated grace of Silent Spring.
Death of Major Tom is a more serious feeling track with a melancholy underbelly and one that reinforces a feel of The Tangent to my ears, a theme that runs through the album due to its intelligent writing and sumptuous delivery. You can’t help but smile at the electronica tinged brilliance of West Coast Journeyman that goes perfectly with Nick Fletcher’s virtuoso guitar to deliver a superb instrumental, a highlight of what is proving to be a fantastic album. The inspiration just keeps flowing, With a Glance adds a funky, jazz infused feel to Rik’s Roger Waters edged vocals, Song For Jude with its Tears For Fears intro is an ode to Rik’s beloved wife and is uplifting and engaging and Tully Remembered is as jazzy as they come, Egan’s sax just oozing class and sophistication.
Queen’s Gambit brings us to the closing part of the album and is an outstanding piece of songwriting. An involving and compelling musical journey that entrances and mesmerises the listener throughout and probably my favourite song on the album. Perhaps the two-part Entropy could be called music for the intellectual, it certainly has a feel of 60’s prog from the days of black and white, it’s certainly quirky and idosyncratic but that just gives these two pieces a charm all of their own and one that definitely drew me in. The album closes out with the hypnotising ambient electronica of Teed’s Lullaby, three minutes of trance-inducing calmative music that resets your perceptions.
Sometimes great music just seems to seek me out and I was obviously sent this promo for a reason as the stars have aligned and delivered a wonderful collection of tracks that leave a warm feeling of nostalgia and hope washing over me. With his Single Helix project and this Prog Gnosis album, Rik Loveridge is baring his soul, both musically and personally and, not only is it a superb release, it is very brave of him to do so. I can highly recommend this completely uplifting album, you won’t regret it.
Released 12th February, 2023.
Order the album from bandcamp here: