Searching through Bandcamp, I discovered this next band that was highly regarded as one of the most popular progressive rock albums available on the site. After looking through the music, lineup, and notes, I could easily tell why. With the legendary presence of some of the most recognizable musicians in rock music, Dave Kerzner should be considered one of the up-and-coming progressive rock giants.
Before I continue, I want to distinguish between the two available downloads of the album I will be discussing. The original album is much smaller, containing about half as many songs and lasting half as long. The newer deluxe edition of the album released earlier this year contains 23 songs and lasts almost two and a half hours. Two. And. A. Half. Hours. That’s a lot of music! So, sit back, grab a bowl of popcorn, and read/listen on!
Now with that said, Dave Kerzner is a multi-instrumentalist from Miami, Florida. Being the lead vocalist, guitarist, and keyboardist for his solo project, Kerzner has previous experiencing working with many other bands and albums beforehand. In his first attempt at a solo record, Kerzner absolutely outdid himself in his album “New World.” Strictly considered a progressive rock album, but with a mix of 70’s-like flair and modern prog, “New World” features some of the most prominent musicians in rock, and what I consider to be one of the most impressive collection of musicians I’ve ever seen in a project.
Seriously, on his website a list of all the musicians that collaborated on this album take up an entire paragraph. To name some, guitarist Steve Hackett, bassists Colin Edwin and Billy Sherwood, and keyboardist Keith Emerson are only few of the talented individuals that make up “New World.” I’m reading over the list of individuals right now and am thinking to myself “How the heck did this guy manage to gather all these musicians in one room?” With musical geniuses comes masterful compositions, which are spread throughout this album. The easiest example I can think of is the song “Crossing of Fates,” which contains Sherwood’s delicious bass lines supporting Emerson’s keyboard solos. This entire album contains groovy bass lines, guitar and keyboard solos over Kerzner’s elegant vocals. Other notable tracks are “Stranded Parts 1-5,” “Nothing” and “New World.”
Not only does “New World” contain amazing hours of music, it is also a concept album! Revolving around a futuristic planet, the main character experiences a journey from being stranded in a desert to finding his way back home to a biodomed city, which is pretty decipherable in the album’s cover art. To describe the story in any way on a two and a half hour long album would take another post in its entirety, so I won’t even begin to. I do want to give a shout out to Kerzner, though, for his creative production and composition. Using the groundwork laid from the original recording of this album, Kerzner was able to create more songs to not only support the original album’s storyline, but to also help expand on the concept. With his creativity, he has provided an avenue for the listener to have a movie-like experience solely using their auditory senses and their imagination. I find that absolutely stunning, and consider Kerzner a genius for inventing a new way to listen to music. Bravo!
My favorite thing about this album is obviously the lead singer / keyboardist / guitarist Dave Kerzner. With a voice similar to both David Gilmour and Roger Waters (depending on what song you listen to), one can easily tell the influence Pink Floyd has had on his life. The song “Ocean of Stars” brings out the Gilmour side, with his gentle, smooth voice over peaceful piano notes. My favorite lyric is within the song’s chorus:
“Immortalized within a song / Shattered rhymes and words unveiled / Now I’m back where I belong / We can’t deny this ship has sailed” (source)
The quality in his voice is easily worth a listen of this album. Like the subject of my previous post, Kerzner is an astounding musician and composer. I am stunned by his ability, and also slightly envious. This man can do it all!
I recommend this album to those who like to enjoy music like movies, who want to experience a cinematic event within the lyrics. The album’s sound can be relatable to Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson, Alan Parsons Project, and even Eloy. Please support “New World” by purchasing either version of the album through his Bandcamp page, or by finding him on Twitter and Facebook. This album shouldn’t be neglected, as I see it being one of the statements on modern progressive rock, and only just the beginning of Dave Kerzner’s path to stardom.