15 Aug 2022

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Gideon Voon - EP Review: EPsode II: Wanderer's Path

09 Jun 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Gideon Voon is of course guitarist with the mighty Shepherds Reign, one of the finest metal acts in Aotearoa, so when I saw a post from him on FB earlier this week where he put up a teaser for a new track I was intrigued. What would a solo piece be like from someone who is known for crunching out mighty riffs? A quick conversation later and I was amazed to be sent a 5-track EP, as this had been kept incredibly quiet and was surely going to surprise a few people when they find out about it. The reason he has managed to keep it so much on the downlow is that Gideon has undertaken the vast amount of playing himself (when the drummer he wanted was unavailable he programmed them himself). James Cullen, a former MAINZ classmate is studying composition at Auckland University and although Gideon proposed the initial strings and orchestral parts James then added to them. Mixing was by another ex-Mainz student, Joseph Griffiths, while it was mastered by Acle Kahney (from TesseracT).

It is titled EPsode II as this is a follow-up to a 3-track EP he released in 2020 which I am probably going to investigate, as this release had surprised me in many ways. I used to listen to a great deal of guitar instrumental music back in the day, and I still don’t think you can really get past Steve Vai for the combination of sheer skill and musicality (there is a section on the title cut of this EP which is pure Vai), but found many of the other shredders leaving me cold as they forgot there is a need for melody, rhythm, dynamics and composition and not just a blast of showing how quickly someone can play. Also, I have seen Gideon play in the unstoppable force which is Shepherd’s Reign so just how heavy was this going to be?

When Blue Volcano started with a string section I just stared at the speakers, not quite sure what I was hearing as surely this could not be the same person? In fact, a great deal of the first part of that track sounds like modern classical with some guitar at the front, before switching the other way around with the strings providing the support for his wonderfully fluid guitar lines. This just screams class from the very first note, and although it is 4:22 long, in many ways it feels like it is twice that length as there are so many different sections which take us through a series of emotions with powerful use of dynamics and space which provides the contrast which music needs to breathe and really come alive. This just does not sound like a musician recording mostly on his own, with some mates helping out in different places, but more like a full-blown release from a major artist with label support.

I have never been a fan of programmed drums, although I recognize they are a necessary evil, and there are times when Gideon manages to push them so they sound real, but hopefully for the next release we will have a sweaty human behind the kit as that would have lifted this release even more.

Gideon states his key influences were, Joe Satriani, Hans Zimmer, Plini, Paramore, Coldplay, Dream Theater, John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Mateus Asato, Yngwie Malmsteen while he was attempting to mix the different genres of Rock, Metal, Progressive Metal, R’n’B, Virtuoso Guitar, and Cinematic Music. Undoubtedly that is quite some mix of influences and intentions, but the metal has been kept in the background somewhat as there has been a desire to push the melody and not the force, with riffs kept to a minimum. I also think he has been far more restrained than Malmsteen, and is all the better for it, but has captured the fluidity of Satriani.

There is real delicacy on the likes of Pushing Away, which is reflective and far more Hackett-like in its approach, containing an inner beauty and allowing Gideon to really express himself. The variation between the tracks, and inside the tracks themselves, is considerable and the result is an EP which has pleasantly surprised me in a great many ways. Given that Shepherd’s Reign are incredibly active at present and having only recently returned from touring in Australia with Devilskin they will soon be headlining a show at Galatos, I do wonder how much time Gideon will have to put into what is ostensibly a side project. Let us just hope that it is not too long, as this is an absolute delight, from a guitarist who knows how to keep the focus on the music. Superb

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Gideon Voon

Gideon Voon is a musician who is most notable for being the guitarist in Rock/Metal Band Shepherds Reign. This solo instrumental project is an outlet for him to showcase all the musical colours that he loves from a more personal perspective.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Gideon Voon


EPsode II: Wanderer's Path
Year: 2022
Type: EP
EPsode I
Year: 2020
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Scapegoat - Album Review: Reality and the Hanging Tree
12 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Rene Black can often be found out and about on the Auckland scene, either playing in the premier NZ Sabbath tribute band After Forever, or just supporting other bands and enjoying the vibe. We regularly bump into each other at our favourite dive, Ding Dong Lounge, but whereas that is a relatively new place for me, Rene has been on the circuit for years as he was also drummer and founding member of both His Masters Voice and {Cripple Mr.
Caitlin - EP Review: States
12 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the debut EP from young Christchurch-based indie-pop musician Caitlin (Caitlin Bradley) who is currently studying at Ara Music Arts in the city. She took the songs to Ryan Chin (Fisherman), and together with Will McGillivray (Goodwill), Thomas Isbister, and Shaun Malloch they worked to capture her innocent vocals and songs in a manner which brings together lots of different styles.
Corduroy. - Single Review: Ozone
11 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Ozone is the latest single from Wellington-based band Corduroy., and is taken from their forthcoming EP, Halftime Oranges.
Mim Jensen - Single Review: Germaphobe
11 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This is the debut single from Otautahi artist Mim Jensen, and a load of fun it is too. It commences with jangly guitar and Mim’s vocals, and soon we are taken into commercial indie rock which has definite nods back to the likes of Fur Patrol.
Moone - Single Review: I Am Who I Am
10 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
There are some people who come into this world and put the rest of us to shame as to what they achieve, and undoubtedly one of those was Eva McGauley, who at the age of 15 was diagnosed with terminal cancer, to which she succumbed a little more than 3 years later. Eva was involved with the Wellington Rape Crisis Organisation, was an intern with the Green Party, ran her own charity 'Eva's Wish' raising more than $70,000 to help sexual abused survivors, was involved in the '200 Women Who will change the way you see the world' book and exhibition and was nominated for Youth Wellingtonian of the year award, among others.
Oliver Birch - Album Review: Burning Daylight
05 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This is the debut album from Auckland musician, Oliver Birch, although older versions of many of the songs contained within have already been made available as singles. When the album started with the lengthy keyboard chords and feedback intro I thought it would fall into krautrock, but instead it quickly changed into a psychedelic experimental art rock number with emotionally charged vocals and an outright refusal to conform to any expectations.
Album Review: Black Velvet Butterfly
03 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Black Velvet Butterfly are a one-man band from Auckland featuring James Castady-Kristament. I was intrigued to be sent this as when I looked on their Bandcamp page it said, “It may just well be the coolest thing you’ve heard in the Goth scene since Type O Negative.
Bill Angus and the Mighty Ways - Album Review: All Night Before the World Began
01 Aug 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Bill had a musical career in England before deciding to do something different, and returned to his roots when he started working in New Zealand. This is his third album.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Steve Lacy
    Luude And Mattafix
  • DOJA
    Central Cee
    Doja Cat
    Cat Burns
    Harry Styles
    Kate Bush
    Post Malone And Doja Cat
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem