START AT THE BEGINNING is testament to the composing genius that is Ben Averch. Ben has added to his music what few others in the prog-related world focus enough on - a rich, well developed sense of melody. The result is good meat for musicians, with plenty of tasty twists and turns, but also an album that is exceptionally listenable. You'll find yourself humming the well-crafted choruses long after your first listen; they're pleasantly catchy.
Ben's unique voice works very well with this material, and his sense of harmony shines through on some very well executed backing vocals. At times, he brings to mind a certain flavor of Geoff Tate (Queensryche). The guitar work is superb, making ample use of arpeggios that always seem to fit just right.
Tracks that really shine through are "Two Places at Once", "It Ain't Me", "Out of My Reach" (this reviewer's personal favorite), and "What Holds us Together".
This CD is a must-have for anyone who might appreciate a modern approach to rock, with a good portion of 80s pop sensibilities (think Rush from Power Windows meets Yes from 90215, with a touch of The Police from Synchronicity, but updated for the new millennium).
-- Jeremy Race
released 01 April 2008
Ben Averch: drums, bass, guitars, vocals, keyboards, loops
Produced and engineered by Ben Averch
Recorded and engineered by Ben Averch at BaverchNW Studios, Sammamish WA May 2006 - April 2008
Mastered by John McCaig at panicStudios, Seattle WA March - April 2008
Special assistance and objective ear by Mike Averch
Art direction by Ben Averch
Photography by Tom Hanser
Cover art by Anonymous
Thanks to my family, for your love and patience.
Alycia, I love you always.
Ben Averch plays Paul Reed Smith guitars.
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