ANDERS BUAAS – The Edinburgh Suite


At nearly fifty years, Norwegian guitarist Anders Buaas seems to have had quite the adventurous life. He used to be the touring guitarist for former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul DiAnno and for former Judas Priest vocalist Tim Ripper Owens. Someday he decided to release music under his own name, starting with the trilogy The Witches Of Finnmark which was released between 2017 and 2019, dealing with the witch trials which took place in the northern parts of Norway in the 16th and 17th centuries. This was followed by Tarot, a twenty-two song cycle about the cards in the Tarot deck, in 2021.

Now Anders Buaas is back with his most ambitious work yet. Remember the seventies, when artists like Genesis, Yes and ELP wrote side-spanning epics? With The Edinburgh Suite, we get a two parted composition, a technique used back in the seventies quite successfully by a young Mike Oldfield with such classics as Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge, just to name a few. While Anders Buaas has a heavy metal background, the parallels to Mike Oldfield’s early material are hard to deny. Although there are quite a few rocking parts on The Edinburgh Suite, there is also enough room for pastoral moments of introspective beauty, and folk elements can also be made out.

If you want to know makes this forty-two-minute epic so wonderful, just have a look at the participating musicians. The rhythm section simply kills it, with drummer Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, The Mute Gods, Necrophagist…) laying down a downright heavy foundation, complemented by bass legend Tony Franklin (Whitesnake, Blue Murder, Derek Sherinian…) whose emotive playing hasn’t deteriorated over the years. The line-up is completed by Richard Garcia on keyboards and Christian M. Berg on mallets and percussion. The latter is also a member of the Oslo Filharmoniske Orkester.

Take this great musicianship, and add a really spirited compositional flair, and you can’t help The Edinburgh Suite growing on you. It’s maybe not an instant pleaser, but repeated listening will get you hooked. The first part, titled Old Town, comes with occasional banjo parts that will take you totally by surprise. Anders Buaas’ guitar playing is incredible throughout the album, reminding at times of a less bluesy David Gilmour. The second part, titled New Town, doesn’t sound that different from the other one, but still has so many great movements that you want to restart once the album is over. Anders Buaas says that this is an album best to enjoy with a good single malt, but I assure you that you can enjoy it just as much with a sober mind.

2 songs

42:00 minutes

***** ****

Genre: instr. symphonic rock

Label: Apollon

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