2020 Josie Music Award nominee, Darren Michael Boyd returns to the spotlight with his second full-length album, entitled “Wonders of the Invisible World”. This is the follow-up to his 2019 release, “Lifting The Curse”, which was created as a sort of therapy for the physical and psychological complications Boyd had suffered in life-altering car accident. The Ottawa and Toronto-based musician’s curriculum vitae includes with working top tier musicians, and sharing the stage with artists such as One-Eyed Doll, Wednesday 13, Yngwie Malmsteen, Stryper, Harem Scarem, Beasto Blanco, and Lee Aaron.
The guitar underworld, which is populated by countless six-string virtuosos, would be incomplete without Darren Michael Boyd in it. “Wonders of the Invisible World”, showcases once again Boyd’s ability to combine technicality and melody in a flawless, shining, powerful and spontaneous way. “My objective has always been the same,” says Boyd. “Play loud, be seen, and be heard…and proceed to tear the world a new one!”
“Wonders of the Invisible World” is a passionate, adventurous and imaginative album. It’s full of technical mastery that is counterbalanced by a sense of dark melodrama as evidenced by the song titles. Right from the opening track, this a restless album shot through with Darren Michael Boyd incisive attack, biting tone and sharp riffs on an episodic musical journey full of intricate pulses, tension builds and alchemic resolutions.
By the time you hit the drive of the second track, “Earth Pads” and venture towards the eclectic “Night of the Neurotoxins”, it becomes clear that this album has an essential crossover appeal to discerning rock fans, guitar freaks and fusion fans alike, with its deep grooves, melodic phrasing, soaring solos and intense but well-dosed shredding.
As beautifully elucidated on “Making a Homuculus”, Darren Michael Boyd’s playing is an object lesson in taste. He builds his solos with delicate strokes, only bringing pressure to bear when the song or motif requires it. In short, he is one of the few contemporary guitarists who still serves the song. Every note is significant, every phrase illuminates the song’s narrative and each tonal inflection brings a new mood.
On “Disciplinary Measure”, his unbridled imagination and fluency of playing makes you forget that this is an instrumental guitar album. Boyd goes on to solo in a manner that leaps out of the speakers. His armory containing more than simply speed and a relentless barrage of notes.
On the slower, “Ghost Notes”, there are plenty of imaginative tones and motifs, in a musical landscape that sounds as if Darren Michael Boyd won’t settle for anything less than sublime. The track makes maximum use of space and dynamics. On “Ice Storm” Boyd’s expressive fiery tone, burns over some potent drums and a gnawing rhythm section, as he unleashes a flowing cascade of notes with infinite twist and turns.
“Slithering” balances the fluid with the frenetic, as the song is cleverly offset by sudden propulsive phrases, which serve to emphasize the strong melody. Boyd’s guitar tone is incredible throughout “Arachnochakra”, not too saturated in gain, and with just enough reverb and delay to help it stand out.
The bass and drum rhythm section does a great job holding down the fort on this track. The song has a surefooted modernity to it, but also maintains an old-school heavy metal feel, and this brings some excellent results.
Darren Michael Boyd demonstrates his monster musical chops on “The Law of Three”, as he has done across the entire album. Boyd’s layered guitar tracks sing beautifully here, as he thrills and mesmerizes throughout delivering monumental riffs. All throughout, “Wonders of the Invisible World,” Darren Michael Boyd proves that he is own man, and a premier guitarist with fantastic creative abilities.