Lewis Turner is a very talented guitarist, so much so he’s employed as the head of guitar at the West Hertfordshire College and is a registered teacher with the Registry of Guitar Tutors and Bromley Youth Music Trust. Lewis can often be found playing live around the UK and has also been involved with session work for other artists.
Lewis and his band are so tight musically – the breakdowns in the songs are faultless…
The Beckoning Silence is an instrumental guitar album primarily focussed towards the heavier side of things, often fusing other genres such as jazz & funk perfectly demonstrating Lewis’ versatility and dexterity.
The opening track “Relentless” is fairly manic featuring some very fast guitar runs, which complements the song title. The talent of the additional musicians playing alongside Lewis is of high calibre and after the opening track I was wondering to myself how many hours it must have taken them to learn all the chops and changes. To be honest, the guitar playing was a little too hectic for my own personal tastes, but by the time the second track “Fat Pigeon” was in full flow, I was reassured that the album wouldn’t be an extended version of the opening song.
“Fat Pigeon” opens with some serious down tuned (or seven string) guitar tones, almost industrial sounding and features a refreshing breakdown half way through the song that climaxes with some super fast playing towards the end. This song appeals to my tastes much more than the opening track and left me curious to know what else is in store for the rest of the album.
“6th Sense” has a jazzier feel, with a lovely Stratocaster tone laying down some subtle 7th sounding chords. The bass sound is really nice, leaving me wondering if a fretless was used throughout the track. The lead guitar is fluid but fairly similar to what I’d heard already on the record and to be honest I think I would have preferred to hear more of the Strat tones in the background. However, the song “Cheese Dreams” ticked all of the boxes as this song has even more jazz influences with some beautiful lead guitar playing. Lewis and his band are so tight musically – the breakdowns in the songs are faultless and “Cheese Dreams” is no exception. This is probably my favourite song on the album and well worth a listen.
As the album progresses it dips back into the heavy rock genre featuring faster guitar runs, yet the songs seem to have an increasingly progressive feel, featuring numerous breakdowns. The title track “The Beckoning Silence” is separated into three tracks, so I decided to play them back to back (in a Shine on You Crazy Diamond manner).
Part 1 is pretty hectic and is similar to how the album initially starts and again shows in abundance how talented Lewis is as a songwriter and guitar player. Part 2 is more of the same and features some interesting breakdowns (back to the prog influence again) and Part 3 wraps it all up with a continued element of fast playing with jazzy, groovy breakdowns.
There’s no doubt that Lewis is a very talented songwriter and guitarist who clearly demonstrates his ability to fuse a mix of genres.
“The Beckoning Silence” is predominantly a heavy rock album – personally I found the playing to be a bit too hectic at times for my own tastes, but no doubt it’ll be a winner with fans who revel in heavy/prog/instrumental/shred genres.
One of the aspects of Lewis’s playing that I enjoyed is the ability he has to make his guitar growl like a Rottweiler and then sing like a bird. The entire band are excellent on this album; providing an extremely tight performance featuring interesting breakdowns and grooves. In fact, I’d love to hear a jazz album from Lewis and this band – I think it would blow a lot of modern jazz acts out of the water.
The question that springs to mind when listening to this album is “What was the inspiration and the meaning behind The Beckoning Silence?” – The guitar is often played with a feel that makes you think Lewis is trying to say something or get a message across. I guess only Lewis can answer that…
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