Following up 2014’s ‘Balance’ Sean Bodley‘s fourth album sees the Tauranga local polishing his sound and instrumentation, without sacrificing his virtuosity. Easily his most impressive to date, Bodley’s skills, not only as a guitarist but as a songwriter/composer, continues to grow. Paying obvious tribute to the likes of Eric Johnson, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, Bodley skillfully weighs a wide array of moods. Easily his most impressive listen to date, tracks such as Fresh Bones and Shifting Sands of The Sahara find Bodley firmly rooted in the metal tradition while, A Drifters Tale sees him experiment with acoustic instruments and folky flourishes.
Recorded by Bodley and Tim Julian at The Colour Field Recording Studio in Tauranga, ‘Pitchblack’ features Bodley on various guitars, banjo and bass, plus drum, synth and orchestral programming. Ian Clark helps on bass and Julian adds organ and piano, with all 14 tracks composed by Bodley. Inevitably Bodley’s songwriting skills sometimes take a backseat to an all-out shred-fest, but ultimately it’s his non-guitar instrumentation and interplay between backing instruments that gives ‘Pitchblack’ its charm. Fusion fans look elsewhere, but fans of post-metal rock guitar will find plenty for repeat listens here. Explosive riffs, fret-board burning licks and impressive compositions are the order of the day.