Distributor/label: Prophecy Productions
Released: August 2018
Buy Album: https://duncan-evans.bandcamp.com/album/prayers-for-an-absentee
Band Website: https://www.duncanevans-music.co.uk/prayers-for-an-absentee-album-due-in-2018/
01. Bring Your Shoulder
02. Borderlands Prayer
03. Us And Them And You And Me
05. Poppy Tears
06. I Know
Something very clear from the moment you first listen to this album in its entirety is the amount of effort, life and soul that went into it. I’ll be honest, this isn’t what I normally listen to but I was pleasantly surprised throughout the album and found a new genre for myself to listen to.
This is one of those albums for which, I feel, you should take an evening to really listen to it and absorb what Evans is singing about. I wouldn’t say that this is one of those albums you could stick on in the car during your morning rush hour to get you pumped, as it is quite simply an enjoyable, mellow album. If I were you I would sit – or lay, your preference – in a comfortable place with the lights low and just let the album take you on a journey.
The first song on the album starts strong and instantly. Not necessarily a loud start by any means, but it is sudden. Unfortunately, this song can be slightly repetitive, but overall not a bad track. There were certain areas of the song where it felt like it was going to take off with more oomph and seem heavier but it didn’t quite get there, which left me a little disappointed. Thankfully, this isn’t a running theme.
The second song took me by surprise in the sense that the intro was reminiscent to that of Pantera’s Cemetery Gates – although not for very long. The production of this song seems to have gone up greatly from that of the first track and I found it to be very lyrically thought-provoking; something else that runs with this album.
Throughout some of the album, the use of the organ often gives me old goth rock mixed with Quentin Tarantino, a bizarre and unique combination that very strangely works, although it sounds as though it shouldn’t. From here the album ups the ante, giving me more of what I wanted but didn’t really get on the first track.
Track 4 took me by surprise. It had me very relaxed until it suddenly kicked in with more production. By this point, I’m starting to realise that Evans has this very early Bruce Dickinson vibe in his voice entangled with that of Noah Gundersen. Track 6, “I Know” is truly exceptional. Minus the organ, the track is entirely played by Evans and I feel as though this is the best track on the album because it fully displays what a wonderful artist he is. It sounds as though it could be a ballad in its own right.
All in all, musically this album is good. The acoustic guitar is easily my favourite part about it. Having recorded bits of it in a church and at his home studio, it’s clear that it was a smart move to give the album more ambience. It ends rather quietly trailing off and leaves much for you to think about.
I think that Duncan Evans is a really smart artist. He works really hard and takes inspiration from all different types of areas to come up with his music. With inspiration coming from the likes of Swans, Sparklehorse, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Hüsker Dü, The Stooges, Bright Eyes, Gillian Welch and authors such as Cormac McCarthy, Thomas De Quincey and John Berryman, it’s interesting to see how all of this was pieced together.