I love Wes. I figure I’d better start with that. His last solo album, “Disconnect,” was my favorite of his to this point. The album had so many different flavors and great songwriting. This time out John Wesley (known to many as Wes) chose to have a power trio format with ex Iced Earth drummer Mark Prator and Cynic bassist Sean Malone. This is such a KILLER lineup. So with all of that, I had very lofty expectations of “a way you’ll never be…”
Unfortunately, it just doesn’t meet those expectations. The three of them all sound great. Wes can play and his voice is great as always. The issue is that the songs and their arrangements are very similar. The album has little dynamics and little fireworks. The riffs, while a bit more complex, tend to sound awkward rather than interesting. Basically, the songs just don’t have hooks that run deep enough to merit the riffs that sit on them.
This is not to say that there aren’t moments that work. Overall, “the revolutionist” is a good song but it has the same slow pace as everything prior to it. These three have tremendous chops but they wind up trying to hard to make something where there isn’t anything. “to outrun the light” and “epic” are good examples of everyone trying too hard to make something happen.
I really really wanted to love this album. I saw Wes open for Marillion and he played many of these songs live with a taped backing track. It didn’t sound that good but at the time I contributed it to the backing track. It turns out that it’s just that the material isn’t up to scratch. I still love Wes and I hope the next album is better.
1. By the Light of a Sun
2. A Way You’ll Never Be
3. To Outrun the Light
4. The Revolutionist
6. The Silence in Coffee
7. Unsafe Space
10. Pointless Endeavors