Ricky Graham, whose musical preference to compose is ambient, is from Northern Ireland and is a very accomplished musician !!! He plays guitars magnificently and started to play music at the age of 15. He also studied music at university, file in which he has reached a greatly high level till now and which is still keeps going on. When you listen to his music, his talent is eminently noticeable and it’s quite understandable to see why his first release “Relinquished” is so appreciated everywhere. It’s said to be mostly a melancholic mix of soundscapes. Can’t wait to get and listen to that one too !!!
Some of Graham’s greatest influences would be Steve Vai and John Petrucci, but the EP “Refraction” is a unique and individual piece of work. “Dream Awake”, the first track, is exclusively instrumental (two of the songs have vocals) and is the best one in my opinion. You could maybe recognize “Pink Floyd” influences a little bit in the guitars, the atmosphere, the emotions and the style. It’s dreamy, clam, maybe sounds even futurist too (in a slight “Ayreon” way…). It’s a perfect piece to let your soul fly away from your body. An instrumental dream that will bring you to another dimension. It has magical vibes. The music fits perfectly with its title.
“Black Ice” is my second favourite track. The first two minutes are purely made of sounds again, but I’d say that it’s more industrial. In some way, they almost reminded me of some beats “Nine Inch Nails” does. They sound a bit chaotic, but oh…so good !
“Lucid” is just as special as “Dream Awake”. Sparkling with fantasy notes. But it also has superb and enchanting female vocals.
“Refraction”, for its part, has super complex guitars and it’s really the strongest aspect on this album. It could even sounds a bit like “Tool”. It’s the first band that comes to my mind.
The tracks with vocals are my least favourite ones, but the music is no less awesome!
Briefly, Ricky Graham is UNIQUE, ultra creative and imaginative. I just tried to compare his music to other bands so you can have an idea of what it sounds like.
I rate “Refraction” 5/5 ! To anyone who likes to listen relaxing and dreamy music, filled with awesome guitars, I say: “Try it !” You’ll LOVE. ;-)
My only regret is that it’s way too short (barely 20 minutes). Then, for more satisfaction (regarding “musical length”), we absolutely HAVE TO get Ricky’s first solo album “Relinquished”, which was released in 2005.
Reviewed by Vikie Martel on August 8th, 2006