Granting my wish to have an epic 80′s feel with a magically modern, and sometimes macabre twist, out in the world today, world renowned Christopher Sluka, ten albums in, has released the intense, and introspective ‘Introversions’. Once compared to bands like Simple Minds and INXS, I’d say that Sluka has hopped out of that sinking ship to sail on, beyond the likes of Savatage in epic, dark, heartfelt, and hard music.
Opening tracks ‘Valentine Lies‘, and ‘A San Diego Zoo‘ have that soft hair metal ballad vibe to them which, in my opinion, is something sorely missed today. Moving through the album though, one comes across an incredible hybrid like ‘Sunday’s Child‘ a sweet ballad that hearkens back to Simple Minds, but only if Savatage took the track, and jacked it up with a heavier beat, and scintillating solos.
Each track I listen through, I think the same thing, over and over: Thank goodness someone has brought the 80′s into today’s music without making a mockery of it.
Much of the rhythm is really modern and masterfully melded to the mix that gives it that classic flavour, along with angelic acoustic, and well balanced bass. ‘Paralyzed‘, one of my favourite tracks of the album has this beautiful mix, with the addition of some sweet synth, and a subdued electric guitar, ripping quietly in the background, taking a staple of the hair metal era, and relegating it to a simple bolster of the mix, as opposed to the sole purpose of the song. Brilliant.
What’s even more brilliant, besides wonderfully classic titles like ‘Dr. Strangelove‘, is that Sluka is the sole musician; he plays each and every instrument, composes the music and, for all I know, Steel Flower Music could very well be his solo production company. Sluka has largely escaped the drug addled, ego tripping of dolled up band mates through the years, and has kept true to his own music, his own words; his own feelings. What an inspiration!
Speaking of inspiration, Sluka doesn’t just stop, defined as musician, living in that artistic bubble: he runs long distances on the Earth, and soars high above it. A distance runner, and a jet pilot, Sluka doesn’t just write music for the sake of it: he lives, and writes experience.
Occasionally one gets spatterings of high harmonies, and sultry backing vocals. I should very much like to know just who is to credit for this beauty. Of course, it could be a vocal effect to achieve such a feminine voice, but I think there’s someone else behind those sweet sounds.
Apart from losing that credit, the rest does go to Sluka himself, and much credit must be given. I strongly recommend this technically modern, classic-feeling album of gothic soft metal that is ‘Introversions’. You can check out the album in full right HERE. Look out also for Sluka’s blue ray video album (Some of which you can watch above) being released at the outset of a Euro tour in 2017; keep up to date right over HERE!