Saturday, June 26, 2010


How does one come to review a rather eclectic collection of songs which range from bluesy hard rock to more progressive sounds, funk even and at the same time hearing very familiar guitar parts from a myriad of musical influences? (ie. Montrose, Petra, Mylon, ect.) A demanding proposition to be sure, the challenge gets larger when one realizes that there is a generational influence to be sure…

Steve Yost has delivered just such a quandary to my doorstep. His double disc release entitled Behold takes one on a musical journey that not only includes various musical genres, but is also one where the mans spiritual heritage is put on display as well. How can you possibly critique/review that!?!?!

The answer is you can’t; what I’m able to do is make some cursory observations in regards to the musical output Steve has provided here. In respect to Steve's musical acumen it should be noted that he is an accomplished studio musician having been around the musical landscape for many years.

Behold is broken up into two parts of the same whole. Disc one is entitled ‘The Hope’ and Disc two is christened ‘The Prophecy’. It strikes me that disc one is more a homage to his musical legacy while the accompanying platter is devoted to the spiritual.

As we look at the performances musically Steve Yost is no slouch when it comes to handling the instruments he’s played on this release, he plays most of them. You’ll discover some very energetic and gritty guitar playing with plenty of crunch.

Opening with a straight ahead rocker in ‘The Answer’ he moves into ‘Walking in the Light’ with a strong ode to Mylon and his version of ‘Gospel Ship.’ These songs represent some of the more straight ahead bits of whimsy found here. However that begins to change when you start listening to ‘We Can Do,’ there are enough parts and melodies that could be make into at least 2 different songs. Trying to follow along did present some challenges, for some reason the lyrics to this song do not appear in the booklet.

Montrose’s ‘I’ve got the Fire’ is a prime influence during Behold the Lamb. Yet this song again has so many different parts it’s hard to follow, only because it starts off as a straight ahead rocker (and only clocks in at 3:45) but varies widely. This seems to happen often throughout the album. It would seem that perhaps a producer might’ve helped with making the songs tighter and more effective.

Yet as I continued to listened I wondered if Queen and the rock opera concept would be more appropriate. After all how many different movements are there in Bohemian Rhapsody? With that thought in mind, 70’s hard rock is probably a more appropriate description and makes a lot more sense with that mindset. I don’t remember seeing that in the promotional material, alas perhaps I missed it.
However with that thought in mind the rest of this release comes into focus.

If you’re a fan of this style of rock n roll, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy what you hear on disc one. ‘Roll My Blues Away,’ is one of my favorites with a satisfying guitar solo. The funk inspired ‘Seek Out’ hides a tremendous solo by Steve. The nine minute acoustic epic ‘The Olympian’ strikes me as a combination of 70’s art rock with Petra type vocal harmonies.

Disc two is more of a tribute to Steve’s spiritual heritage through various songs and spoken tracks. It is a pretty amazing endowment to be sure. Again more 70’s inspired art rock is performed more as a background. The production aspect has changed from disc one. Steve on one of the spoken tracks shares his testimony and discusses how this collection had been put together over the years and recorded in various studios along the way.

One of the musical highlights for me was ‘The Race is Almost Over.’ Opening with a Pink Floyd style guitar intro that just screams! At the mid-point the music starts to give way to clips of Steve’s own Pastor. Floydian styles permeate this song.

This album isn’t necessarily for everyone, harkening back to the earlier days of CCM this album finds its contemporaries. However Steve Yost gives us a glimpse into his spiritual heart, with heart wrenching emotion combined with a musical fanfare this will please the most ardent fan of CCM.

7 axes

No comments: