By Jill Hughes

What do you get when you put together four excellent progressive musicians named Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery), D.C. Cooper (ex-Royal Hunt, Silent Force), Nick D’Virgilio (Spock’s Beard) and Kurt Barabas (Under the Sun)? -Amaran’s Plight!

Voice in the Light is a heart-wrenching concept album with the majority of the lyrics written by John Crawford, the guy who is behind the project and got it signed through ProgRock Records. I am not familiar with the experience Crawford has writing lyrics, but if I were to compare him to someone it be Richard Marx. He makes you feel like you are stuck in an 80’s time warp of love ballads. Sometimes it just doesn’t mesh with the extremely well-played music with powerful drumming, melodic keyboards, roaring guitar riffs, belting vocals and the right-on-beat bass playing. The album totally rocks instrumentally, and when I looked to see who wrote the music, it was none other than Gary Wehrkamp, so it was not a big surprise that the music was well-written. The intro guitar shredding in the first song, “316” is like …’heck yeah, bring it on!!’ What a way to start the album! But when you get a “supergroup” of musicians together, I hope in the future it is not as much of an emotionally draining story as this one.

Yet I did feel the passion behind these songs, sort of like when I listen to Shadow Gallery. It makes you want to get up on top of a mountain and sing on the top of your lungs along with the songs. D.C. Cooper sings with all his heart and the rest of the musicians give it their all with one punch after another. This album is so comparable with Shadow Gallery’s strong instrumentation, harmonization, and climatic moments. It truly has some great instrumental pieces to it that will wow you to tears.

There is no doubt this was a fun project to work on for all involved. Hope to see more from them in the future. So if you can tolerate some of the cheesy love songs like “I Promise You” then you will most definitely enjoy this album, and put it on your Top Album List for 2007.