If you caught any of Neal Morse’s shows this year or last then chances are that you’ll have seen Eric Gillette. Taking time aside from his guitar/keyboard/backing vocal duties with Morse’s touring band, Gillette brings us a debut album with a title that belies its considered content.
It’s a work that shows a burgeoning songwriting talent and is borne of a mind that swims at the endless opportunities found within non-linear, progressive music. A crunchy metallic riffs opens the title track, there’s a wealth of glitzy guitar solos (some from Morse guitarist Adson Sodre) and Change would fit well over the credits to a feel-good 80s movie.
Featuring bass great Randy George, the 22-minute Lost is an audacious yarn full of twists and turns let down by cheesier moments. Gillette’s vocals have a commendable, unmarred sheen, but that means some cliché-heavy lyrics are offered up with unforgiving clarity. This lets down the likes of the otherwise colossal Bring You Down.
A handful of such elements make Afterthought lean towards prog-by-numbers, but Gillette’s ability and enthusiasm is beyond doubt. It’s just possible that the follow-up will truly be the best a man can get.