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Ray Alder: What The Water Wants
Click for Larger Image of the Album Art for Ray Alder's What The Water Wants

Ray Alder: What The Water Wants

Melodic Hard Rock
4.0/5.0

Stepping away from the Fates Warning microphone, Ray Alder arrives with his first solo album, What The Water Wants. The album features guitaists Tony Hernando (Lords Of Black) and Mike Abdow (Fates Warning touring guitariest), who also helped Alder with his songwriting. Drums are provided by Craig Anderson, long time friend of Alder, and drummer for hardcore band Ignite. Not surpisingly, in this Internet connected age, the four musicians never met each other in the recording process. The album artwork has been created by Alder's wife Cecilia Garrido Stratta, an accomplished graphic designer. (Click on album art above for a better look.)

Ray Alder - Click For Larger Image

Ray Alder

Perhaps your first question about What The Water Wants would be: Is this Alder developing his own progressive metal? While it's probably hard to escape three decades of that influence, I would cast Alder's solo work more in the vain of melodic hard and heavy rock with prog nuances. Moreover, I would add that there is a strong sense of musical practicality that comes from classic rock's melody, rhythm, groove, vocal harmony, and memorable refrains. Put together, Alder has created songs that are both musically intriguing and acessible, nearly in an AOR sense. Of course, as a vocalist Alder remains the same, singing clean and melodic with a touch of natural soulful somberness. Actually, on more than a few songs like Wait, Shine, or A Beautiful Lie (a favorite) I thought I was hearing a more solemn, yet still raging, Jeff Scott Soto.

Other songs of interest include Crown Of Thorns with it's strong jazz-like bass line. Also, there's Lost, a powerful song with a rich rhthym and groove and a terrific rising chorus. Something lighter comes with the ballad The Road which features Alder's voice paired with light acoustic guitar, then later offers a Gilmour-like guitar solo before rising again. All in all, Ray Alder's What The Water Wants is strong solo effort from this fine vocalist, offering an album of intriguing and entertaining, well-crafted, melodic hard rock. Recommended.


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The Bottom Line

Ray Alder's What The Water Wants is strong solo effort from this fine vocalist, offering an album of intriguing and entertaining, well-crafted, melodic hard rock. Recommended.

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