Henning Pauly and all his projects

A month or so ago, I provided a review of Frameshift’s An Absence of Empathy, and now I get the pleasure of introducing more projects from this brilliant musical mind to you all.  However, the good Lady get’s the even greater pleasure of a behind the scenes visit shortly with Pauly as he puts the finishing touches on a couple of upcoming releases.

It’s funny how we can discover new music in this information age.  Gone are the days where one’s favorite radio station and DJ pimping a new band or song was the primary source of new music.  I discovered Frameshift while researching lyrics for Dream Theater’s A Dramatic Turn of Events about a year ago.  Someone had posted the lyrics for Frameshift’s River Out Of Eden (from 2004’s Unweaving the Rainbow with James LaBrie on vocals) as the lyrics for Far From Heaven.  Discovering that gem led me to the rest of Frameshift, and in turn all of Pauly’s other projects – solo, Chain, Roswell Six and just recently, Shadow’s Mignon.

What I love most about Pauly’s work is the sheer diversity he composes… ambient works (Genetic Space Series), piano melodies (Colored Lines), hip-hop, rock (Shadow’s Mignon and Roswell Six), prog (Frameshift and Chain), prog-metal (solo).  There’s something for everyone (but he usually comes back to a progressive-rock style).

I find Pauly to be not only an excellent musician (he performs all of instruments other than drums), but just a fantastic composer (see diverse style’s above).  Pauly combines so many genres/elements … ambient, jazz, blues, metal, prog, glam, pop, funk, punk, grunge, space, psychedelic… either incorporated gorgeously within an album, or transitioning seamlessly within an individual song.

He’s got short, accessible (what could be mainstream hits) songs, especially long masterpieces (see, 38 minutes of Cities), and everything in between.

He’s also had the good fortune (no doubt from some well earned efforts on his part) to work with a storied list of vocalists…. Jody Ashworth (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Michael Sadler (Saga), Steve Walsh (Kansas), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), as well as some lesser known ones (though no less talented) Matt Cash, Adrian O’Shaughnessy, Alex Froese, Juan Roos and Sass Jordan.  With concept albums resulting from what I can only assume is years worth of ideas and effort, to something whipped off in a matter of weeks (which he has done on more than one occasion), Pauly’s artistry truly knows no bounds.  Go to his website where has over 50 songs available free from his website as well.

Chain – EXE is progressive-rock at its best, with a 38 minute opening epic, as good as any other 25+ minute epic prog song.  Reconstruct is a very keyboard drive, space/psychedelic album.

Solo – 13 Days … started out to be a straight forward rock album, but then ballooned into a multi-faceted disc containing songs of metal, pop, blues and prog.  Credit Where Credit is Due is a heavy rock album, held together with a common theme (which I’m not going to revisit here).  Babysteps is dark and heavy, with keyboard musical interludes interspersed throughout.

Frameshift – I’ve reviewed An Absence of Empathy hereUnweaving the Rainbow is not nearly as heavy, much more progressive.

Roswell Six – also featuring Arjen Lucassen and Charlie Dominici, this is just a great rock album to compliment the book.  Take note, Pauly’s contribution is on the second Roswell Six album – A Line in the Sand

Shadow’s Mignon – Midnight Sky Masquerade claims to be a satirical shot at 80s hair metal, but can’t help itself… it’s a really good melodic rock album.

Have a go at some of the favorite tracks here at ladyobscure.  And while I get the pleasure of introducing this brilliant musical mind to you all (once more), the good Lady get’s the pleasure of a behind the scenes visit with Pauly as he puts the finishing touches on a couple of upcoming releases.







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