Ben Craven is a cinematic progressive-rock artist from Brisbane, Australia.
Immersed as a toddler in the era of big prog rock, Craven taught himself guitar and keyboards and joined a series of bands. None of them made it and none of them remotely played the kind of music that had been burned into his mainframe as a kid. Nonetheless, the songs he wrote accumulated steadily.
His 2016 album, Last Chance To Hear, was a stunning triumphant musical masterpiece of progressive rock. The grandness of the album suggested it was performed by a five or six-piece band. There was also a special appearance on the album by legendary Star Trek actor William Shatner, providing spoken-word vocals for the track “Spy In The Sky Part 3”. Craven achieved a great accolade in 2016, winning the MusicOz Australian Independent Music Award for Best Instrumental, for the track “Critical Mass Part 2”.
“Monsters From The Id” is the logical realization of Craven’s musical trajectory thus far. It’s an album of two halves, each containing a traditional progressive rock “epic” the length of a side of vinyl. The two pieces comprise flowing parts and movements with both rock and Hans Zimmer-esque orchestral arrangements, punctuated by Ben’s distinctive lead guitar and vocals. “Lyrics are incredibly important to me,” explains Craven, “but this music was not driven by words or language. It’s pure other-worldly escapism. It’s playing dress-up, wanting to make the world look much bigger than it seems right now, trying to recall the feeling that anything is possible, no matter how unlikely that might be.”
“Heavy-duty prog rock monster” – Anil Prasad, Innerviews
“Cracking virtuoso performance by an absurdly talented individual” – Classic Rock Society
“Craven’s one-man-band production is a prog opus for the 21st century” – Musoscribe
“All the drama, thunder, strum and drang you could want the spiritual grand child of Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson to bring” – Midwest Record
“Craven’s tremendous ability to combine memorable hooks with complex progressive rock and cinematic orchestral music is astounding” – Sea Of Tranquility
“Press play and this album does the rest” – Muzikreviews
“Seriously well-distilled and blended” – Van Dyke Parks