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Adrian Benavides
Same Time Next Life
(2012 -  Unsung Records - Germany)



This is not only the first official release from multi-instrumentalist musician Adrian Benavides, but it is an extremely personal and deeply passionate one at that. Knowing the basic story of this 6 song recording is important, in the sense of understanding the emotions that come from it, in varying degrees. This CD is dedicated to Valentina Grace Benavides, Adrian’s daughter who was stillborn April 27, 2010. So you can see just how emotional we are talking here, if you can imagine.
Benavides who sings and handles guitar, bass, sound design and programming, picked a top notch group of backup to assist him, including Pat Mastelotto (from King Crimson) on drums, percussion on 3 cuts, Eoghan McCloskey on drums, percussion on 2 cuts, Markus Reuter (see my other review on Markus’s ‘Kopfmensch’ which features Adrian Benavides) on touch guitar and soundscapes, Alex Dowerk also on touch guitar and soundscapes, and Mike Day on 1 track with additional guitar. He also has guest Annette Garzin on violin playing on last track. The first song is very powerful and allows the hurt and anger to flow from Adrian’s soul. It’s a cross between the heaviest Porcupine Tree/King Crimson, and a nod to Trent Reznor. The industrial mode is more clearly stated on this initial title.
The two ‘Reflection’ (II & III) composition are the most calm and beautiful, giving the notion that this set of 6 songs was truly therapeutic for Adrian. Rich with string and celestial washes, a few moog chug-a-longs for the pulse, and the only cuts besides title track ‘Same Time Next Life’, with no vocals. ‘Reflection II’ has a dreamy David Sylvian atmosphere and will appeal to fans of his. ‘Reflection III’ is magical sounding with excellent programming and the atmosphere really brings things out of the much darker zone the first two songs exist in. This reminds me of No-Man in a big way, with it’s somber but happy in the end type mood. The ending work is simply great aggressive progressive rock. Once again combining the best sounds of Porcupine Tree and King Crimson, this rocks you out and leaves you totally satisfied. I ‘d love another release like this from this superb musician. I love the contrast he creates, the emotion he conveys, and the environment he becomes the master of on this disc. Recommended!
   © Reviewed by Lee Henderson on September 12th, 2012

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