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Psychotic Waltz - A Social Grace CD (album) cover

A SOCIAL GRACE

Psychotic Waltz

 

Progressive Metal

4.10 | 270 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Oh yes, this music is as weird as the album art.

I came to know Psychotic Waltz from their second album Into The Everflow and I didn't get to hear this debut until my favourite record store replenished their stock at the time of the 1996 release Faded. Even considering how astounded I was with all their other albums, this debut still blew me away. Actually I listened to it constantly and it has taken Faded, which I had bought only a few weeks before, years to overcome the blow.

A Social Grace is similar to the second album but it's heavier and faster. I'd say it is their most intense and overwhelming album, featuring crazed drumming, virtuoso bass, marvellous harmonic guitars and Buddy Lackey's most extreme, weird and aggressive singing ever.

This album is really long. In those days it was certainly not usual to have 65 minute CDs. Certainly for music that is as intricate and dense as this album, it is a lot to stomach. Luckily there is not one weak spot on the entire album, there is plenty of variety and more vocal hooks and memorable solos then a normal human mind can conceive.

Of course, this consistent quality makes it difficult to single out specific tracks. Let me try to single out just a few. After the excellent opener, Halo of Thorns could be called the first peak. This track is simply gorgeous, with its gentle build, sweeping chorus, thrilling twin leads and heavy finale. Another personal favourite would be I of The Storm, it's hard to imagine how Lackey could come up with these powerful vocal lines on top of those dead-heavy jagged guitars. One of the best metal songs ever for me and it pretty much blasts away all my favourite Judas Priest tracks.

A Psychotic Waltz is one of their classic tracks. I was lucky to attend one Psychotic Waltz gig in my life in 1994 (it was even in my home town Ghent!) and this was the only track they played from the debut. In fact this gig was supposed to be a double bill featuring Psychotic Waltz as opener for Threshold but Threshold didn't show up for one or other reason so we got 1.5 hours of pure Psychotic Waltz bliss instead. This track was the high point of the concert. Very emotive this one.

I try to be selective towards my 5-stars but I see no other option then to give another 5-star quote to Psychotic Waltz here, which brings them to an incredible score of 2 maximum ratings out of 4 albums. I see no other option. Onto The Everflow is sure their magnum opus, but they got their act together right from the start.

Bonnek | 5/5 |

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