First of all let me say that I've never written a review before - nor have I ever felt the need to do so. I've collected these words out of a deep love for the music - I have not been paid.
How can I even begin to describe Requiem? Minstrels, Troubadours, Moroccan Bazzars, Eastern European Bistros, Full-out Heavy Metal Assaults, Tour De Force... all of these things come to mind. You see, Requiem is not merely a collection of songs. It's a profound musical event, an experience a la Roger Waters.
Musically, Curtis Basque draws influence from a very deep Well indeed. Everywhere you look, you'll find ample and delicious servings of (to name a few) spanish, asian, and eastern european spice. Rich tones and an 'In-your-face-drums-forward' attitude, give even the studio version of this music a decidedly LIVE feel. Not an easy feat.
As is often the case, deep waters can run dark, and this work is no exception. Lyrically, Mr. Basque guides is into a very dark, gritty, and sometimes difficult to look at reality. A reality that we at some point during the performance realize, is actually a rather spot-on editorial of our modern day society. Ironically, it may be more difficult for some North Americans to take a deep and honest look into Requiem than it would be for other parts of the world. I say it's ironic, because it's possible that we in North America need to recognize and embrace the message more than anyone else.
In either case, musically or lyrically, we are generously rewarded for making the time to take notice. There are more than enough musical and lyrical hooks to catch the attention of even the most superficial listener, but the real genius of Requiem, in my opinion, is that the deeper you look - the more you find. I'm listening to 'Hold The Moment' as I type this, and it really makes my point. In this song I see a mainstream radio hit... a Monster single. It has the hooks to catch the casual listener, but dig deep into this song (and everywhere else) and you'll find pure gold. Or check out the lead guitar at the end of 'Wasteland'. It raised the hair on both arms while driving me straight into the stratosphere.
Yes, it's safe to say that I'm a fan. Truth be told, Curtis Basque has done with Requiem what very few people have been able to do in the 50+ years that I've been seriously involved with music. He's managed to create something that has earned a place on my very short list of "Favourite Albums Ever." For that, he has earned both my respect and gratitude.
If you haven't experienced this album yet, you're missing out.
My advice? Buy it - Play it - Turn it UP.