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At War With Self - Torn Between Dimensions CD (album) cover


At War With Self


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.83 | 29 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars i first heard about glenn snelwar from sean malone's gordian knot. upon listening to that album, i was quite intrigued by the fact that some guitar parts actually sounded . . . good. the thing is, on the credits, the name that stood out the most (besides both sean's) was ron jarzombek (sorry glenn). don't get me wrong, he's a great guitarist, he can shred like there's no tomorrow, but his lines are to "souless" and lack the feeling that i'm accustomed to. i then noticed another name, "glenn snelwar," and from that point on, any guitar part on gordian knot's self-titled album that "sounded good" was linked to this musical genius. a couple of months later, i decided to do an internet search for this glenn snelwar fellow, and was surprised that he had a project too, and at once, i added at war with self's album to my "cd-get list."

first of all, we have to review the line-up. excluding his work with gordian knot, glenn snelwar was relatively new to me, but i had high expectations from previous listenings via his website. michael manring comes next, and if you know anything about him, he is a phenomenal fretless bass player, and studied under the late jaco pastorius (the greatest bass player that ever lived). mark zonder is last on the line-up, and all i know about him is his work with fates warning, namely, the album "a pleasant shade of grey." i wouldn't hestiate to juxtapose him with dream theater's mike portnoy. so, this should give you a guage of what i expected from this cd.

upon popping it into my cd-player, i was a bit scared, that this group wouldn't meet up to my expectations, but with the first track, "the god interface," i was relieved. my god. if nothing else, this album is about 1239487 musical ideas lumped perfectly together, under the guise of being "progressive metal." there's everything from eastern or tribal influences, straightup metal, early progressive, and even some jazz. the almost seemless blending of such beloved genres was ecstacy for my ears. snelwar exceeded my expectations by ten fold, with his plethora of neat classical acoustic fills in the songs. zonder's work was as good as, if not better, than his fates warning stuff, and manring, perhaps with the chunkiest, deepest bass tone known to mankind, weaves in and out of snelwar's liens and zonder's beat. another highlight the addition of mandolins, eastern percussion, electronic ambient effects, and keyboards to various tracks gave it a "moody" feel, highlights the "texture" of each piece (for lack of better words). this is something very commendable, since conveying "moods" and feeling via an instrumental album isn't the easiest feat.

complaints you ask? by no means is this a perfect album (and for that matter, perfect albums are BAD, perfect should not exist). the mixing quality is a bit unbalanced, with manring's fretless in the foreground, zonder's drums next, and all the way in the back of the mix, snelwar's acoustic guitars. at times, you have to try and find the guitar lines, but then again, singling out certain instruments on ANY album ruins the musical quality of it. other than this, this album gets a well deserved 5/5 (since 4.5/5 doesn't exist here, 5/5 doesn't mean "perfect" by any means, just what the scale states: "essential, a masterpeice of progressive music") . . . be sure to get the next at war with self album :) . . .

| 5/5 |


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