Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lionel Pryor - Siam

Emphasis in the media is decisively anti-local music. Even on radio stations, there is little attention paid to what exists without our own backyards. It's unfortunate because a band like Lionel Pryor transcends so many different genres that there is little here that wouldn't appeal to someone. While the foundation of hardcore, metal and rock are very much on display and lend the consistency to an album like Siam, it's all the subtle influences which really stand out after several listens. The fact that this is instrumental also really aids in preventing many of the dismissals that often accompany metal genre. Opening track "Nebraska" is highly rhythmic and syncopated yet swirling guitar riffs and an overall sludgy vibe appeal to those with dirty taste. It sets a great tone for the album. "Apex Being" is more of a melodic death metal, metalcore track that would appeal to fans of God Forbid, Killswitch Engage or any number of the metalcore bands which blindsided the world in the late 90's early 2000's. "Green Woods" is an electronic filler which funkily wanders in and out. It sounds like a really long slowed down excerpt from the early scene in the Matrix before Neo wakes up in his Jell-o filled pod. "White Panther" takes a lot from classics like The Clash or The Cranberries. New-Age lives here.

"Labour" - spelled with a British flourish, possibly to represent their efforts of Colonialism in South Africa and the slave trade - is a filler which leads into "Goat Weed," definitely the most metallic titled track on the album which should appeal to fans of stoners and should inspire those that enjoy this track to check out Acrimony's 1996 split with Iron Rainbow and the song "Mother Slug". "Lysis" is a peaceful and wonderful long-player at seven minutes that isn't too different from some of the newer Enslaved material such as that off Ruun or cleaner moments from Ihsahn's solo material. "America in the 1980's" is purposely hazy and final track "Blight Dragon' is a soothing mixture of free jazz, electronics and fusion acts such as Return to Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra. As yet unmentioned, it's really third track "Caster Troy" which highlights the album. Named after the Face-Off character played by both Nicholas Cage and John Travolta, the track is a rampaging highlight of the band's talents, especially bassist Andy Longo, who basically taps the entire song. It will undoubtedly remind many of Tool's seminal, "Schism." It's incredibly catchy, as much can and should be when it's instrumental. Generally speaking, the greatest aspect of this album is how those with a short musical attention span can listen to it, and not get too bored. It's not one of Rogga Johansson's million Swedish death metal projects that use and abuse the same riffs over and over; every song is a pristine singularity on the album, but part of the greater experience as well. These guys kill live also. Keep an eye on local bulletins and their facebook page for dates. It's a good time.

No comments: