Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter (Purple Pyramid, 2013)
It’s taken rock band Flash 40 years to record a new album. Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter is the exciting new release by this short-lived act from the early 1970s. Flash returns with original members Ray Bennett (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, bass, keyboards & percussion) and Colin Carter (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) plus new members Rick Daugherty on keyboards, Mark Pardy on drums, and Paul Pace on drums.
Many progressive rock fans are familiar with Flash because it was founded by original Yes guitarist Peter Banks, who passed away recently. Flash combines masterful guitar-oriented progressive rock with good old classic rock.
The opening track ‘Night Vision’ presents a rich mix of commendable guitar work and great harmony vocals inspired by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The guitar sections have strong connections with the sound of early Yes.
‘Hurt’ begins with excellent solo bass lines. It develops into a lengthy piece with an excellent combination of progressive rock and classic rock characterized by creative guitar and bass interactions.
‘Something So Dark’ brings back the folk-rock influence on the vocal side. Imagine Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young jamming with Yes.
‘Manhattan Morning’ is a simple ballad. It’s followed by ‘Into the Sun’ which is a vibrant classic rock piece with some fine guitar work.
‘Grand Canyon’ is the most ear friendly song, with well-crafted classic rock hooks. The fabulous instrumental ‘Morpheum” is possibly the best cut on the album. Ray Bennett showcases his dazzling skill as a guitar player in this piece.
I didn’t find much of interest in the rock song ‘10,000 Movies.’ The final piece of the album is an instrumental that brings Rick Daugherty’s keyboards to the front, with notable piano work and more of Ray Bennett’s splendid guitar interactions.
Flash’s Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter is truly an impressive comeback. Kudos to Purple Pyramid for bringing back these great musicians.