Dave Halverson / Press

“There is no shortage of instrumental rock guitar albums out there, and many of them are essentially overindulgent drills in soulless fret misuse and/or self abuse by proxy. This isn’t one of them. Halverson utilises samples, synths and what he describes as ‘audio cooking and cleaning’ to produce music which is rich in cinematic atmosphere and dark designs. The emphasis is always drawn to the lavish layers of the production and the overall ‘feel’ of the album rather than Halverson’s obvious virtuoso talents. It’s an unequivocal triumph and like a great instrumental jazz or classical recording, engages the listener throughout, without resorting to the human voice. Well worth tracking down. ”

“Halverson has a knack for appealingly melodic instrumentals, churning out several excellent moments on this album. Among the highlights are adrenaline-pumping opener "A Quick Dance on a Shallow Grave," twangy anthem "Song for the Chickens," and film-like epic "Shells in the Clocktower." And there's also some healthy (and successful) experimentation: "The Agonist" is pleasantly eerie and cinematic, and "K" lays tuneful guitar noodling over a bubbly, acid-like bassline. The fact that Apothecary Charms is all the work of one man is perhaps the most impressive aspect of this release; the overdubbing involved must have been arduous! Yet despite its personnel-related limitations, this record comes off as a fully realized and thoroughly appealing artifact of independent music. ”

“Guitarist with the group Trance Lucid, Dave Halverson has been making some great instrumental guitar fusion music for the past ten years. He also has a solo career, a fact made clear with his 2006 solo CD March Forth. Halverson's sixteen track CD ranges from quiet solo guitar pieces to innovative art-rock sounds similar to some of recent King Crimson's more atmospheric works. The title track is an excellent example of Halverson's unique approach to the guitar. Halverson describes his music as unconventional, but his tasty arrangements and inventive electric guitar work are always captivating and imaginative.”

“Halverson's compositions bear the mark of an experienced master of the craft. I listened to this CD with a friend of mine, and when I asked him to visualize the sorts of film events that would suit the current track, we invariably envisioned the same things. To me, that is the mark of an effective film composer: the music should accentuate the events that unfold onscreen, and be relevant with regard to the viewer's prejudices regarding music, film, and mood. I would recommend this CD simply on its technical merits, and its ability to draw the listener into its microcosmic world, but film producers are the ones who really need to check it out. I even uttered a Keanuesque "Whoa!" upon hearing "Erstwhile Horns,” a short piece that sounds as though it had been lifted out of Slava Tsukerman's obscure, 1982, sci-fi cult-classic Liquid Sky. ”