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Steve Blaze Random Acts of Blindness

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Monday, March 22, 2004 @ 8:45 AM


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I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy! That's how I feel when it comes to doing my latest CD review, Random Acts of Blindness, from Lillian Axe guitarist Steve Blaze. I mean, after all, how do you critique someone who is the master of his trade? It's like asking me to find fault with Einstein's Theory of Relativity or something. Well, I will do my best to do justice to this fine piece of work though for me it is the most difficult review I have done to date.

This CD is not what most people would come to expect from His Blazeness, but something that his loyal fans are certainly not surprised about. I would have to categorize this opus as being reflective, almost meditational. It's something you can listen to on the ride home from work and you need to unwind or maybe just a relaxing moment at home when you ponder the meaning of it all. What we have here is not Steve Blaze the rock star, but Steve Nunenmacher the human being. All his thoughts, feelings, memories and experiences are channeled into the tracks on this CD. And he has a lot to draw from. Every non-instrumental track causes you to search inside yourself for answers to why things happen. Why is there death? Will I be able to overcome my grief? The CD runs the gamut of emotions from sorrow to joy, pleasure to pain and confusion to tranquility. While he may be most well known for his music that rocks your body, this release marks a change for the deep and mysterious musician. This is music for your soul.

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From the very beginning flamenco strains of “Dance of the Dead,” we see the classical music influences that Steve has grown with. Tracks range from very simple and elegant to very complex. And, as with all of Steve's songs, they can all be traced to some event that was or is important to him. The track “5” is one of only a couple of instrumentals, but is definitely the most complicated. It is about a group of five people very close to Steve who have suffered tragedy. The song is layered with approximately 80 different guitar tracks. Another great song is “Bridge of Azaleas,” a poignant tale of loss and rebirth based on a true miraculous event that occurred the morning after the passing of his father. Even though it was the dead of winter, one of his mother's bushes bloomed some white azaleas that night, one of which carried what appeared to be the shadow of a cross although there was nothing around that could have caused such a shadow. Other notable tracks include “One Sad Sunday,” “Oddfellow's Rest,” “Winter in New England” and “The Silver Lining.” And for one brief moment, Steve lets 'er rip on the track “Thought Patterns,” a short but beautiful solo that mimics a snapshot of a person's brain waves at any given moment in time, scattered, fleeting and totally without direction. The CD closes out with a reprise of the initial track “Dance of the Dead,” but called “Release.”

To me, this CD is exactly that -- a release of sorts for Steve. He has truly endured some tragic times, most more recent than others, and this record is his chance to cleanse his spirit of the pent up feelings and emotions and put them into words. For the time being, the torture has left his body and he can again begin anew. Random Acts of Blindness is a very touching offering, one that will no doubt bring tears to many a listener's eyes and yet joy as well at the thought that we are all not so much different. We all have things in life that we go through and knowing that someone has been there before and made it back okay gives us hope. If this CD doesn't move you, then you were never born with a soul in the first place.

Checkout Steve Blaze and this release at www.steveblaze.com, www.nleweb.com, www.lillianaxe.com or www.nlesecretsociety.com.

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