Metal and bass guitar often don’t get along well. In most cases, bass is pushed to the back of album mixes and the shadowy corners of stages. Worse yet, the instrument's expressive range and hearty sound are frequently stifled beneath songwriting that treats it as a slower, lower rhythm guitar.
Evan Brewer, of progressive metal darlings the Faceless, has never been one to follow this crowd, and that has rarely been more evident than on his debut solo album, Alone. Every sound on Alone comes from bass—no vocals, leads, or percussion. But Alone is far from one-dimensional. Brewer weaves a variety of playing styles and techniques, including snap and pop, glissando, and many more, into a cohesive and interesting whole. The songwriting is equally varied, ranging from the sunny and joyful “Currency” to the funky “Altered Perspective Two” and the Animals as Leaders–esque “Vertigo.”
With this strong songwriting packed alongside an incredibly full and rich production that allows the songs’ unique qualities to shine, Alone satisfies in a different way than other instrumental shred-fests. It’s a wholly unique disc that deserves the ear of any instrumental music fan. CLARKE READ