Alex Lafortune is a vocalist and guitarist based in Toronto, Canada who has been writing, recording and producing his own music for over a decade. He recently released Awakened EP which contains three songs that all go past the six-minute mark.
“Awakened” is the first song. It starts with a hard rock riff and drums that sound distant. LaFortune has a good voice and often goes into falsetto and sounds somewhat similar to Thom Yorke. The music however feels more pop/rock based relying on a 4/4 time and major and minor chords. Perhaps the most unique aspect was the more ’80s inspired guitar solos. There are some good old fashioned Eddie Van Halen type hammer on and hammer off. Once the song gets towards the six-minute mark it goes into more epic territory.
Up next is “Testament.” The stars of the shows are the guitar and vocals. I thought the programmed drums just sounded a little too clean and perfect. That being said the bass was subtle but effective. I liked the melodies on this especially from the vocals which sort of had a ’70s flavor to them. The song also contains a clear ’80s ballad vibe at moments along with a Joe Satriani type lead.
“Afterglow” comes in at almost nine minutes and is definitely the most diverse and dynamic. The song initially contains hall reverb laced guitar, atmosphere and vocals giving it a dramatic Pink Floyd like quality. The song starts to build and Lafortune’s vocals are affected with an auto tune like effect. It’s around the two-minute mark that the song transitions into a heavy metal opera type sound. The distorted guitar is introduced along with intense drums. It’s around the three- minute-and-thirty-second mark that the song goes into a more mellow almost funky section without any warning. The song then somewhat predictably tries to go as epic as possible with the mix coming apart at the seams leading to not much more than white noise.
I applaud anyone doing complete DIY. In this case there were issues with the lower mids somewhere between 200hz and 500hz. The bass drum also had too many sub frequencies and not enough frequencies at around 800hz to hear the click and impact. In these types of cases I recommend utilizing an HPF and experimenting with cutting around 20hz - 45hz. This often can create separation between tracks and create clarity within a mix. Lafortune may want to consider working or consulting.with an engineer at some point to help with these types of technical aspects.
Overall, I thought the songs were well written and delivered. I especially enjoyed his ambition in the last track. On that note his music really seems to be begging for a full ensemble of musicians. These are the types of song that will probably blow you away live and that’s where my thoughts often went while listening.
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