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Psychotic Waltz - A Social Grace CD (album) cover

A SOCIAL GRACE

Psychotic Waltz

 

Progressive Metal

4.15 | 199 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alitare
4 stars Jethro Tull does Death...

Or not. This is Psychotic Waltz's debut album, A Social Grace. IT features many facets of complex and biting metal, with a more intellectual flair.

These are certainly competent musicians, and the lead vocalist Buckey Lackey is a sheer highlight with his high pitched, yet brutal voice, that has quite the range and ability to it. Album opener ...And The Devil Cried is perhaps the most complex creation, overall. The muscular riffing mixed together with the imagery laden lyrics and powerful singing make for quite the trip. It is a shifting ride, and worth the price of admission. Halo Of thorns mixes the game up slightly, with some acoustic elements, but it is a more subdued song, in comparison to the previous song.

the guys know how to play, most certainly. But, I feel like they are holding back somewhat, in both compositions and playing. I wish they would have given their all, instead of pouring all their peak abilities into a few absolutely stunning tracks. Some of the riffs are downright average, but Another Prophet song is a fine track. It rolls along nicely, and doesn't offend, but it doesn't reach the heights I believe they can reach. I've heard much better drumming, as well. The drumming to In This Place wants to be amazing, but it only does the main job of giving the song a decent fluidity. It rocks quite fiercely, though.

I Remember is the main deviation from what they've been doing, so far. It is one of their most adventurous cuts, and coincidentally, is one of the strongest affairs on the entire disc. The vocals are haunting, the lyrics poetic to say the least, the composition absolutely majestic, and the flute playing tasteful.

The complexity is returned to, somewhat for I Of The Storm. It has the most grooving jazz influenced shifts to see, and quite enjoyable. This still just feels like a weaker version of the ripping opener. A Psychotic Waltz again has them reaching past their pure metal roots, for a fine piano segment, before slowly building sans distortion for a more ethereal effect. Lackey can certainly sing. This almost elevates into operatic proportions.

The album is rather diverse when it wants to be. Ranging form fine heavy to fine soft, and with a solid atmosphere, that remains quite steady as the album trots along. Spiral Tower is the heaviest and most brutal song on here. It features the most vicious vocals, and eerily ominous guitar lines feeding into a sternly marching crescendo of power. The album's ending statement is too, one of its best. Nothing begins mysteriously, with an enveloping mood. This slowly turns into a raging monster of a finish. the lyrics here are superb.

In all, this is a very fine debut, and I listen to it quite often. It suffers from too many average melodic ideas, and a lack of power here and there. Not to mention I feel some of the musical ideas go on for too long, or not long enough. A hit or miss affair that almost exclusively relies on the former. Recommended.

Best Moment - ...And The Devil Cried

Worst Moment - Pretty consistent

****

Alitare | 4/5 |

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