Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 13

Album Review Saturdays this week brings you two heavy electric pieces that hit hard, but in completely different styles and genres, while we finish up with the quiet electric of Pat Metheny to sort of bring us back from the edge of darkness (will call it). It’s funny because the first band has ‘Quiet’ in their name, but I probably spoiled it for you on why I went from two completely heavy emersed and crunching albums to “Dream Box.” Darn it…well, let’s review anyway because you’ve got to start listening to these records because there’s more great new ones on the way — or already arrived, actually!

Dead Quiet – IV

What is it with Vancouver British Colombia and stoner metal bands? This is the second one we’re reviewing this year, but while they are all kinds of variety in the metal, hard rock genre, the one consistency seems to be the dedication to their music, the delivery whether with lyrics or without, and of course the production! Dead Quiet has, just like Hail the Void, all things riffing on all cylinders.
Let’s keep it simple for you in the music multiverse, this is a doom stoner metal quintet that has a Sabbath like draw with hard blues guitar with enormous detail and progressive keyboard connection against a hard rock vocal that has every business being at the helm. Why can I say this? He’s not over-stepping. He’s not doing some off processed growl, and he knows how well his voice works in his originality and range. Here’s just an example of some of one of the many lyrical deliveries “before you could walk, before you would run, this is the hill you will die on” (Existential Dread), and he nails it — as does the musicianship around it! There’s nothing quiet about this album except a 53 second instrumental that leads into ‘High Roads’. Even the ending track ballads in bombastic fashion in a tempo estranged from the rest of the album. If you’re a metal fan, and have been looking for an interesting, hard hitting, detail oriented new listen this should be on your list!

The Band
  • Kevin Keegan – Lead Vocal, Guitar
  • Brock MacInnes – Lead guitarist
  • Michael Grossnickle – Bassist
  • Michael Rosen – Keyboardist, Piano
  • Jason Dana – Drummer
IV Track Listing

 

 

1. The Hanging Man
2. No Gods, No Gold
3. Lamentations
4. Dying To Live Again
5. Existential Dread
6. Ascensions
7. High Roads
8. Murder City
9. Leave the Light On

 

 

King Gizzard & the Wizard LizardPetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation

Since we’re in the metal environment, why don’t we stay there for another? Right!? This one is a blistering as the crushing title suggests, and while King Gizzard (for short) has a tendency to put out a lot of interesting music surrounding and bending the stoner music multiverse, this one is it’s harshest, shredding, pounding, exhilarating, monumentally metal recording to date! The shredding, the pace, the vocal, and every inch of space captures whatever apocalyptic vision you can imaging put to sound under a sonic thrash that might make Rob Zombie release his thrown for a stint. That’s right! Plenty of speed groove and hooks still, so the band hasn’t relinquished their tight musicianship in this fiery foray Metal lovers are going to have a chance to see metal through the eyes of a psychedelic stoner band, which turns out to be extremely engaging, entertaining, and generously over-indulgent. It’s not a barn burner — this is a planet destroyer, so make sure you’re a safe distance when the record ends (wink).

The Band
  • Stu Mackenzie – Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Synthesizer
  • Ambrose Kenny-Smith – Vocals, Synthesizer
  • Joey Walker – Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Synthesizer
  • Michael Cavanagh – Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Electronic Drum Kit
  • Cook Craig – Bass, Vocals, Synthesizer
  • Lucas Harwood – Synthesizer

 

PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or
Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation
Track Listing

 

 

 

1. Motor Spirit
2. Supercell
3. Converge
4. Witchcraft
5. Gila Monster
6. Dragon
7. Flamethrower

 

 

 

Pat Metheny – Dream Box

When the jazz guitarist in Metheny reals it back, it can be a tremendously beautiful experience, as his infinite possibilities and delicacies are always on audio display at every nuance, showcasing his complete mastery over the guitar and the intimate sounds that it can produce. This is so controlled, so peaceful and powerful, that you thought maybe you were hearing some other instruments – but you’d be wrong. This is the strings of the guitar dancing, plucking, and reverberating as if every breath of Metheny was calculated, in tune, and balanced with his playing and even the studio production and recording that had collaborative team of Pete Karam and Steve Rodby (former bassist for Pat Metheny Group from years ago). This is of note, as these are seasoned, experienced Metheny jazz henchmen that know what he’s throwing down in original compositions, but also in the two jazz standards, and the one cover song. Metheny is so precise that we can suddenly feel that it comes easy, or it’s careful. It’s safe — is that what we’re calling it? When it comes to the safety of a composer, jazz guitarist extraordinaire like Pat Metheny, whom I have seen live working by himself with people-less instruments doing his bidding based on chord structure through valves and switches, it’s unsafe to say this is safe. Let’s call it a glorious, perfect holding place while we wait for whatever he might conjure up next!  Also, I would like to make note that there’s going to come a day in the music mulitverse where some new jazz musician is going to be doing Metheny standards and a cover or two, for sure!

The Band
  • Pat Metheny – Electric Guitar (as he puts it, “Quiet Electric Guitar”)
Dream Box Track Listing

1. The Waves Are Not the Ocean
2. From the Mountains
3. Ole & Gard
4. Trust Your Angels
5. Never Was Love
6. I Fall in Love Too Easily
7. P.C. of Belgium
8. Morning of the Carnival
9. Clouds Can’t Change the Sky

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