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Iain Jennings: My Dark Surprise

Sci-fi solo work from the Mostly Autumn synth-wrangler.

Taking time out from his daytime job as keyboard player with Mostly Autumn, Iain Jennings has come up with a multi-faceted, thoughtful solo album. My Dark Surprise has a sci-fi concept based around themes of identity and reality, and it works because Jennings is bold enough to try different musical ideas.

The title track has a very modern approach, even offering hints of R&B and colourful saxophone touches from James Russell. Stand Inside The Shadow uses a funky bass line to underpin driving hard-rock passion, while A Choice To Make A Change is hauntingly introspective.

Throughout, Jennings varies the pace and style of his music, while vocalist Mark Chatterton has written some intriguing, thought- provoking lyrics. Other Mostly Autumn members make the occasional appearance (such as guitarist Liam Davison), but at no point does this sound like an ersatz version of that band. The album climaxes with the brilliant juxtaposition of the blazing Nowhere In My Head, the delicate A Mirror Of Me and the dark Just Your Genetic.

This fascinating, cunningly weaved album leaves you with the nagging feeling that we really can’t escape our fate. Art, then…

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio, which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.