After seven years of writing and one poorly recorded CD local musicians Chris Camilli and Les Redding have finally released their first professional-sounding album, Voices of the Wilderness, the first of two albums they plan on releasing this fall with their band Solemn Reign. Solemn Reign also plans on playing one of their first ever shows September 15 at Artspace, the venue attached to Books and Company on Third Avenue.
The band is a culmination of local musicians, including songwriters Camilli, Redding, and Scott LaPointe. Kyle Elder is on bass guitar, and James Sewell is on drums and percussion. They play what Camilli describes as 70’s style soft pop rock.
During shows “We try and do quite a mix with the cover tunes from classic to modern rock such as April wine, Trooper, and Bon Jovi. Nirvana, INXS, U2, Collective Soul, Green Day… Plus our original songs,” Camilli said.
Although their live shows will consist of partly cover songs, their album Voices From The Wilderness contains 12 original songs, penned by Camilli and Redding over the last seven years.
The songs were actually recorded a few years ago for a previous album, though Camilli said that by the end he was disappointed in the album’s sound quality. For this album, he re-recorded, remixed, and better mastered the album, recording it themselves and then sending it off to Edmonton for Garry McDonall at Damon/Soundtrek Studios to professionally master it.
“He’s been in the business a long time… He had some pointers,” Camilli said.
A few of the album’s songs are intensely personal, surrounding personal accounts of death, love, addiction, and other personal issues of either Camilli or Redding.
“Some of the songs are pretty deep,” Camilli said.
Camilli said that during the recording and writing of the album they were inspired by 70’s style rock bands, including The Moody Blues, and Crosby Stills Nash and Young, among others.
Anyone who’s a fan of the synth pop of the late 70’s and early 80’s should appreciate this album. With several catchy songs and an electric drum beat and synthesizer it brings one back to the days of bell bottomed jeans and embarrassing dancing.
They haven’t played any shows since the 80’s because “we’ve been writing for years in the basement,” Camilli said.
Track three, The Bond, is probably the catchiest number on the album, a song that is almost guaranteed to be stuck in your head afterwards.
Camilli and Sewell may very well make it to the big times. Following a 1.5 minute performance the duo did in front of the Showcase of Canada talent agency of Edmonton publishers, they were granted a publishing deal. Camilli hopes this deal leads to songs they record being used in movies and other venues.
Solemn Reign’s follow up album of all new material is scheduled to come out in a couple months. Camilli said the album is more mainstream-sounding than Voices From The Wilderness,
Camilli and Redding previously collaborated in several different bands during the 80’s playing cover songs at several bars and pubs throughout the Prince George area.
The doors for the Artspace show September 15 open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m.. The cost of the show is $7 at the door. Camilli hopes to follow this show with many additional ones in the near future.