Tastes Like Rock Magazine

Ben Kuzay - A Celebration of Life

Rock/Progressive/Avant Garde


Posted 7/18/14 - 3:42 PM ET

Tastes Like Rock - Ben Kuzay - A Celebration Of Life Review
Tastes Like Rock - Ben Kuzay - A Celebration Of Life Review

Ben Kuzay is back with another bass powered album. A Celebration of Life delves deeper into Ben's composition skills as he lays out an album with varying moods and deeper subtext in his playing than on the last album of his that we reviewed, Perpetual Reign. There's less shredding, well what most think of when they hear "shredding" linked with guitar or bass guitar, this time around; though no less metal than Perpetual Reign was. Ben expresses and emotes more of the spectrum of human experience in these tracks from the sublime to pensive and low; the gamut of Life. Still bass heavy as Ben keeps his bass the instrument at the forefront of each composition, still giving him the distinction of building every song around lead bass. Not to contradict my own writing and detract from Ben's skill as a metal bassist, but he also explores ambient sound for some of the songs on this album rather heavily when the style is not confined to the background melodies. This is a cool touch and contrast to the heavier metal of some songs; classical and folk/New Age influences are also deftly at play throughout the album.

Pacing is even and straightforward, in a good way, with all the styles and influences heard in Ben's songs it would be easy to be all over the place, giving the listener musical whiplash. It's extremely easy to lose oneself in the melodies, even on the harder songs. The blending and overlaying, not to be redundant, is done well; Ben is definitely a musician's musician. To the point that some of his songwriting could easily be lost or at least not valued enough by casual listeners and those not familiar with the song writing process and some music theory knowledge. A Celebration of Life showcases Ben's skill in far more than just his awesome bass playing. 

Track List:

  1. Sensations
  2. Looking In The Eyes of My Child
  3. Dance Of Life
  4. The Bubbling Joy
  5. Valor
  6. After The Bombs Came Down
  7. Rebirth
  8. Ascending To Inner Peace
  9. Tension Descension
  10. Celebration (A Festival In The Woods At Midnight)

Choice cuts are "Looking In The Eyes Of My Child", "Dance Of Life", "Ascending To Inner Peace, and "Celebration (A Festival In The Woods At Midnight)".

Ben Kuzay gets a solid 4 out of 5 for A Celebration Of Life.

For more on Ben check out www.benkuzay.com.

- Michael Meade