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Glass Knight – Joshua Burnell.

Oct 4, 2023

Joshua Burnell, the artist you can’t pin down. Who’d want to anyway? Half the fun is not knowing what he’s going to pull out of the hat next. Happily eclectic he’s previous as a fan of fantasy rock epics, schemes to reinvigorate folk song, discovering long unheard singer songwriters all the while allowing that and far more to permeate his own compositions. Also given to images of a theatrical/modernist nature his next offering was never going to be in the least straight forward. ‘Glass Knight’ proves that theory conclusively.

Chameleon like from the off, there might be a very loose concept to proceedings and I’ll suggest it’s environmental. We’re currently heating the planet to insane heights, threatening natural/our own survival and here similar things happen but on a much more devastating level as explosions, shatterings and general chaos are unleashed in deep space and on worlds unknown. Apparently folk lore about a brave knight slaying a serpent gave JB the initial spur to create the entire suite.

The level of musicianship is high, most tracks are multi layered and no doubt about it pin your ears back in epic fashion, the results are an album that at a crude level you could say was progressive rock but by doing some careful listening reveals itself to be so much more. The album’s the work of an individual. You know that any album with a full string section is going to be thought out and indeed tracks like ‘Glass Knight’ itself has a Ziggy Stardust lope with some great guitar howling and keyboard swathes all building up to a thunder. ‘Lucy’ has a lovely melodic backdrop and less frantic pace, ‘Where Planets Collide’ does admittedly sound like prime Genesis but also echoes Hawkwind. The acoustic and electric elements in the album’s make up chime nicely and show Burnell’s skill at allowing the music to flow naturally to best effect.

It has to be said that the band and vocalists along for the ride do work their socks off, tip of the hat to guitarist Nathan Greaves who can’t fail to impress with some passionate, burning solos, the rhythm team provide perfect bedrock for everything that goes on.

‘Glass Knight’ translated well to the stage at Cropredy back in August which was scheduled as the album’s official launch, the crowd gave JB and crew a rousing reception so recommendation doesn’t go by any genre but to those of more open minds and ears. Joshua Burnell is very much his own man.

Simon Jones.




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