Ron Berry first made his name during the mid-80s as one of the many British artists who took the classic EM styles of Tangerine Dream & the like as a starting point for creating their own unique sound. Berry had a slight edge of many of his compatriots as much of his music was created on home-made synthesizers &, as the decade progressed, his style became even more imaginative & daring (listen to either Wastelands or The Reaper for proof of this). After barely a peep during the 90s the new millenium has seen a renewed bout of activity from Ron, finally releasing his back catalogue on CDr (which the intervening years have not dated one bit!) as well as releasing several new albums, of which Temples is the latest.
As has long been his wont Ron mixes abstract & melodic elements with typically imaginative sounds & atmospheres, incorporating them into what is, at its heart, fairly accessable music. Thus the balance between easy-going melodies & expertly-realised, sultry atmospheres is maintained throughout, along with the exotic edge that effectively evokes its subject in a manner that shows a master craftsman at work, starting with the resonant bell that heralds the opening of "Forgotten Temples". This then builds through a dark, ambient soundscape before emerging into more melodic but still atmospheric realms where some effective electronic piano work is backed by good sequencing work although the abstract sounds do return to the surface from time to time. It's evident that the listener is in for an absorbing listen here & this continues during "Gateway To The East" where the authentic-sounding flutey synth adds to the mysterious & tense mood that is later embellished further by the sinuous lead soloing that takes the track to new exotic heights. The initially dark mood that seems appropriate for "Temple Of The Night" is later balanced by lighter chords while, later still, a slow, barely audible pulse that seems to echo one's own heartbeat provides just enough impetus to underpin the atmospherics that Ron so expertly lays down. This exotic mood is then heightened still further by the superbly languid & gently flowing melodics that grace "Pilgrim's Track", ably evoking a hot, sultry climate while "River Passage" soon proves to be one of the most infectious & instantly memorable tracks on the album with the flutey synths adding to the almost folk-like edge although any potentially hazardous 'new age' similarities are easily avoided, even if "Temple Of Restless Sould" does initially sound a little too light for comfort. However, the genuine emotional flavours save it from such an ignoble fate before "White Water" again plays to the album's stengths, invoking more ethnic elements on yet another absorbing track that engages your senses almost without you realising it. Similarly, the soaring, uplfting climax of "Deep Into The Mountain" sets the scene nicely for the gently melodic "Before The Altar Of Light" & the more abstract "Gate To Eternity" to end the album on a more reflective &, despite their differences, nicely complimentary note that, once again, sees this British musician on fine form.
Artist Link: http://www.ronberry.freeuk.com