Lillian Axe – ‘Deep Red Shadows’
Derrick Lefevre – vocals
Steve Blaze – lead guitar/acoustic guitar/keyboards/vocals
Sam Poitevent – guitar/vocals
Eric Morris – bass
Ken Koudelka – drums
1.) “Under The Same Moon” – The intro to this track opens with a simple keyboard note. This note continues through the entire song. The bass line kicks in, I believe half way through what would be the second measure. Even though this is a very simple bass line it has an intense feel to it. To connect the intro with the musical pre-verse Steve begins playing I believe sixteenth-notes. Outside of the addition of the guitar the guys used the same musical arrangement for the pre-verse as the one for the intro section. On the third and sixth lyric lines Derek added a small vocal accent to the second and fourth lyric. These vocal accents really show the talent Derrick has. The last lyric (alone) had a vocal echo attached to it. Underneath the lyric alone Steve begins playing a second rhythm riff. So now you have Sam playing one rhythm riff and Steve playing a second. This way Steve recorded the opening of this second riff has it going back and forth between the two speakers. Due to the lyrical concept of the song this added a nice effect. Both Sam & Steve switch to playing the same rhythm for the verse. It is at the musical verse when the drums kick-in and Eric changes the bass line. The musical and lyrical hook of the verse was huge. Just like the pre-verse the last lyric of the verse was echoed. Out of the middle of nowhere connecting the verse with the chorus there was a musical bridge. The guys slow the arrangement way down much in part by the electric guitar picking riff. For this section Ken’s ride cymbal goes back and forth and in between the speakers. Instead of recording backing vocals Steve produced Derek’s vocals to where there is an echo. This echo overlaps the next lyric line. This gives the musical bridge a wild sound!!!! The hook of the chorus was amazing!!!! Over the top of the arrangement but underneath the vocals Steve plays a minor lead guitar solo. Steve plays a second minor lead guitar solo in between the second pre-verse and verse. This minor solo runs underneath the vocal lines of the verse. For the second musical bridge that connects the verse with the pre-chorus the band added lyric lines. The solo Steve wrote fit the dynamics of the song perfectly. The solo is over the top of the outro section.
2.) “47 Ways To Die” –Ken kicks this intro off with a tom-tom fill. The way Steve wrote the guitar riff of the intro sounds like it is ascending up a music scale. Through musical intro I couldn’t actually hear the acoustic guitar. What I heard was the actual sound of the guitar pick going over the strings. Derrick sings two vocal lines to connect the musical intro with the musical verse. There is an arrangement change for the musical verse. The rhythm guitar riff of the musical verse and the lead vocals matched perfectly. The way Steve wrote the electric guitar riff of the musical verse lets the acoustic guitar arrangement bleed through and fill-in some of the gaps. For the vocal lines of the verse Derek double-tracked some of his lyrics. Instead of changing the musical arrangement of the pre-chorus Steve just tweaked the existing guitar arrangement. The musical chorus is the same arrangement as the band used for the intro section. There is a minor lead guitar solo underneath the third pre-chorus. After the third chorus there is a musical and lyrical breakdown section. This track consisted of no lead guitar solo.
3.) “The Quenching Of Human Life” – This track opens with a picking/strumming acoustic guitar riff. Steve’s acoustic has an amazing sound to it. After the riff is repeated twice the band added an electric guitar arrangement. Both the electric & acoustic guitars are playing the same riff. It is also at this time when the bass & drum line kick-in. Both the bass & drums are playing the same notes as the acoustic and electric. It sounded like Steve double-tracked a few lead guitar licks over the top of the arrangement of the last measure of the intro. Steve used the same electric guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the intro section. The fifth lyric line of the verse was double-tracked. The musical change of the pre-chorus had an intense feel to it. There is a minor lead guitar solo connecting the pre-chorus and chorus. There is a small Arabic vocal accent leading into the chorus. Steve continues the minor solo through the chorus. After the second chorus there is an intense musical change for the lead guitar solo. The outro consisted of a second lead guitar solo.
4.) “A Minute Of Years” – This track opens with the effects of rain. The musical intro consisted of an acoustic guitar arrangement. Steve used the same acoustic guitar arrangement for the musical verse. Derrick’s vocals were done using a studio effect. Some of the lyrics had an echo attached to them. This compiled with the effects along with Steve’s guitar arrangements is very reminiscent to the stuff Roger Waters & David Gilmour of Pink Floyd was writing between ‘Darkside Of The Moon’ (1973) & ‘The Wall’ (1979). After the musical verse there is a huge tom-tom fill that leads into an arrangement change for the musical chorus. After the chorus the band brings the song back down for the second verse. The first half of the lead guitar solo is actually Steve playing the lyrical notes of the chorus. Then for the second half there is a music change and the solo gets more intense.
5.) “Nobody Knows” – Originally released on Lillian Axe’s 1988 self-titled release. This version was done acoustically. It also sounded like they recorded it in a different key. It also sounded like Steve re-wrote the solo.
6.) “The Day I Met You” – Originally released on Lillian Axe’s 1993 ‘Psychoschizophrenia’
7.) “Sad Day On Planet Earth” – This track was taken off of Lillian Axe’s last release. This version of the song the band re-recorded acoustically.
8.) “Nocturnal Symphony” – This intro consisted of an acoustic guitar arrangement. Underneath the acoustic Eric is playing whole-notes on the bass. Over the top of the acoustic guitar Steve is playing a very simple separate acoustic guitar arrangement. The arrangement Steve is playing leads into a minor acoustic lead guitar solo. There is a small musical rest connecting the intro with the musical verse. The third lyric line of the verse was double-tracked. There is a musical change for the musical chorus. There is an acoustic lead guitar solo between the first & second chorus.
9.) “Deep Red Shadows” – Instrumental
♫♫ Not long after the recording of ‘Deep Red Shadows’ vocalist Derrick Lefevre made the decision to leave the band. However just like Ron Taylor or any other former member you are still a part of the Lillian Axe family.♫♫
At the time Lillian Axe released their second CD titled, ‘Love And War’ two of the five members of the band I was currently in live with me and my fiancé (Thank God that didn’t work out!). Both being fans my lead guitar player and I sat down to listen to the CD. After listening to track 6 “Ghost Of Winter” I stated this was going to be their musical master piece! Here it is twenty-one years later and Steve pulls another rabbit out of his hat! BUY THIS CD!!!!