The curriculum vitae of guitarist Dave Kilminster is more than a little impressive. He was named guitarist of the year in 1991 by Guitar Magazine, which only propelled him to new heights. Besides writing songs and teaching, producing and engineering, Kilminster has played with a bevy of progressive rock luminaries. These include John Wetton, Carl Palmer, Ken Hensley, and Keith Emerson, among others. Recently he's been playing lead guitar for Roger Waters's The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall live projects. This month he and Waters came to the aid of Hurricane Sandy victims in the historic 12.12.12 concert in New York City.
Kilminster's first solo album gets some new life breathed into it with Scarlet - The Director's Cut. If you're expecting him to tear up the fret board with Gilmour like riffs and leads, then you should look elsewhere. It ain't happening. The core of StDC is pure melodic rock, with strong progressive rock elements. Actually the greater part of the album leans more towards the former than the latter.
Yet that division would be too limiting. For instance Silent Scream has a definite rock fusion character to both the arrangement and guitar. The following Static turns on big guitar rock hooks. Chance and Angel mellow to lighter melodic rock, the latter with Kilminster arranging for a string quartet. It's also an example of his surprisingly good vocal style; he's a very good singer. You get more of the same on the Brightest Star, another solid song.
For the more progressive pieces, look to the last three tunes Liar Liar, Rain ... (On Another Planet), and Harkness, but they're also formed on that foundation of melodic rock. The middle song perhaps has more of that epic solo than any other tune here. This also leads to a concluding observation: as good a guitar player Kilminster is, you can't call Scarlet - The Director's Cut strictly a guitar-oriented album. Rather, Kilminster has crafted and arranged some terrific songs where his guitar skills only play one part. This is a sign of both good musicianship and also maturity. Scarlet - The Director's Cut is a fine album and easily recommended.
Dave Kilminster's Scarlet - The Director's Cut demonstrates his exceptional song craftsmanship as much as his excellent guitar skills in creating a fine album of melodic and progressive rock.