The current and ongoing movement of contemporary electric guitar playing has seen the instrument reach new heights in the realm of heavy music. Animals as Leaders and their fretboard wizardry have made them nearly a household name. Acts like Plini, Periphery, and Chon aren’t far behind with their unique, innovative, approach to playing and performing. File Hong Kong’s Oliver Cheung into the “up and coming and tremendously talented” folder.
Oliver Cheung‘s musical background is that of a Cellist that was completely immersed in Classical Music until he heard Dream Theater for the first time. Thus began Cheung‘s obsession with all things related to the electric guitar.
Remembrance EP begins with the slow-burning title track. Guitar effects driven arpeggios softly build to counterpoint harmonies. Cheung has a subdued yet exceptionally tasteful lead guitar style which he uses to great effect during this initial crescendo. Dare I say there is a bit of David Gilmour feel in his lead playing. The introductory song eventually erupts in a colossal fireball of sound. Equal parts Opeth chug and Chon melodicisms make for a memorable opening number. The guitarmonies at the 5 minutes 20-second mark are starkly beautiful.
It’s quite clear early on that Cheung isn’t content with one genre or style. Case in point: track 2 “Fragments” has almost a Djent feel with its syncopated motif. The song itself is considerably heavier than the introductory track. Oliver Cheung is an excellent player with a keen ear for arrangements. Check out the 3 minutes 15 seconds mark of “Fragments” for further evidence. The dizzying guitar playing mounts with layer upon layer of melodic lead lines only to change in an instant to another memorable motif.
The final song on the Remembrance EP might be the most monumental selection of the release. “False Hope” erupts into a neck-snappingly heavy section which will pummel the listener into submission. Cheung showcases his virtuosic guitar playing with lead flourishes and dynamic arrangements. As is the case with the first two tracks of the release “False Hope” is bolstered with catchy sections and a keen ear for detail. All parts seem to meld and fall into place perfectly. Oliver Cheung clearly has a bright future ahead of him. I look forward to seeing what he is capable given how strong this release is.
Release Date: Dec 10, 2017
Favourite Tracks: False Hope
For Fans Of: Chon, Mono, Periphery, Plini, Caspian, Animals as Leaders