Song Review by Andre Avanessian
Don't Look Back - Composed, recorded, engineered, arranged, produced, and all Instruments played by Darryl Jackson. Lyrics and Vocals by Marion Martin based on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Having listened to Darryl Jackson's bold and courageous symphonic metal offering "Don't Look Back" a few times now, the word "epic" most certainly springs to mind. With an imposing feeling of both scale and grandeur, "Don't Look Back" offers listeners an absorbing experience that's powered by a bold sense of creativity and an exhilarating eye for melody. It's in no way a walk in a park to be able to effectively meld conventional rock and metal styles with orchestral elements, it's a balancing act that requires an acute level of delicacy and even greater attention to detail, and whilst there are a few areas in the mix that could perhaps be very slightly improved upon, I think Darryl has done a sterling job of capturing that grand feeling of awe and wonder that the genre is so synonymous with.
I don't think anyone would argue that melody is key in any Symphonic rock and metal tune and it's great to hear that "Don't Look Back" is filled to the brim with a multitude of compelling melodic ideas from start to finish. Not only are these melodies both memorable and well crafted, but the way in which they've been developed throughout ensures each and every passionately executed theme is given the necessary weight and depth needed in order for them to be conveyed in the most effective way possible. The way in which melodies are either played in unison or further expanded upon through the use of harmonizing makes them an absolute joy to experience, I particularly like how this idea is used to strengthen the vocal lines, not only does this provide some compelling layers with regard to tonal color, but each line is given a more pronounced feeling of majesty which is certainly fitting for this style of music. The sheer creative splendor on display is elevated greatly by the engaging performances that help bring the music to life and from the superb guitar work and orchestral arrangement to the compelling vocal performance that leads the charge, listeners will find this to be an intriguing piece of songwriting to delve into.
Target Audience Appeal:
With regard to which genre this most closely fits, I would say this most closely aligns with the symphonic metal genre and I can certainly see "Don't Look Back" greatly appealing to lovers of this particular style.
Artist target suggestions:
Epica, Avantasia, Therion, Wind Rose, Visions of Atlantis, Nightwish, Elyose, Apocalyptica, Ad Infinitum, Imperial Age, Within Temptation, Rhapsody, Haggard, Xandria, Within Temptation.
The Story of Don't Look Back:
Orpheus was given the gift of charming everyone with his music. When his wife Eurydice's (Yuh-rid-ih-see) died he was inconsolable. His music made the whole world grieve and sorrow. Hades, god of the Underworld, granted Orpheus access to the Underworld to bring Eurydice back to the land of the living. The only catch was that he could not look at Eurydice until they had left the Underworld. She hears his voice and his playing of the lute which awakens her from her deathly slumber. She rises to follow him to the threshold of the Underworld. This is a retelling of the story from Eurydice's perspective. At the end of the song, you can decide if Orpheus "looked back" at Eurydice before they reached the threshold to the living.
About the Reviewer:
Andre Avanessian is a freelance session musician, composer, and sound engineer based in the U.K. Having studied music production and composition at a degree level, he has taken his passion for all things audio-related to a level that has allowed him to become both a competent musician and performer. Being a self-confessed "Guitar Nerd" Andre has been continually studying the guitar, as well as teaching it, helping students both learn the instrument, develop their songwriting, and how to become proficient in-home recording.