Graham Butler: Dread Fascination

Expansive and stirring debut from the multi-talented US artist.

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The benefits of being a talented multi-instrumentalist are many, but it’s the opportunity to hone the material until you’re completely satisfied that probably tops the list. For Graham Butler, that process has extended over seven years and the result is this often exhilarating debut, which can be best described as a potent statement of intent.

Yet this isn’t just another bedroom project, and the addition of lead guitarist Bill Franco, along with strong vocalist Kevin Pollack, have given Dread Fascination the feel of an established, unified band.

The record is a neatly constructed concept album that deals with a tale of loss, despair, mortality and an ultimate rebirth. That may all sound rather depressing, but the engrossing nature of the tracks steer him away from Roger Waters gloominess. The music is awash with a depth and texture that ranges from Flicker’s OSI-like minimalism, to the more bombastic progressive metal seeping into songs such as My Disguise, and there are moments of mellow beauty too.

This is a fine debut that leaves you with the impression Butler can only progress from here. You can listen to it for free at his site,