Review of The Path
Peter Swart - The Path
It takes a lot of guts to come with a CD in 2003 partly based on the works of Tolkien. The danger to be called an opportunist who profits from the hype is indeed lurking. The Path however, the first solo album from Peter Swart, has none of the bombast of Howard Shore or similar approaches.
The independent production has the same feel as many parts of the Private Parts & Pieces series of Anthony Phillips, not in the least because of the same feel of warmth of Swarts guitar compared to that of the first Genesis guitarist. ‘Along Flowing Waters’ would not have looked out of place on Phillips’ album Antiques. In addition, there is much room for woolly sounding keyboards, where you always feel you listen to an intimate gem from the seventies, were it not that you sometimes you’ll be dragged into more recent days by drums and the fretless-imitating bassynthesizer.
His melancholy piano playing has this same effect as for instance Tim Story manages to create and provide a nice counterbalance to the often menacing strings and synthesizer sounds. Swart has a pleasant, almost whispering voice, somewhat akin to the late Duncan Browne and the spoken passages in ‘Tender Innocence Part 2’ and ‘Finale/The Question’ have striking similarities with Magna Carta's Seasons. On ‘Bearer Of Darkness’ from the triptych ‘A Retrospect/ Towards The Unknown’, inspired by the painting The Peddler of Hieronymus Bosch and in which a floating electric guitar evokes a beautiful Genesis-like atmosphere, his partner in the band Morphosis, Peter van der Laan, is introduced as a guest performer. All these elements make The Path to a beautiful type Lo-Fi Sympho.