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Don Caballero - What Burns Never Returns CD (album) cover


Don Caballero


Post Rock/Math rock

3.66 | 46 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Trickster F.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars One of the most unique complex albums in Progressive Music. for today, let us discuss the exciting topic of excellent drummers in Progressive Rock. Who in your opinion is the most competent, unique and skilled percussionist in the genre? What do you say? Bill Bruford? Danny Carey? Mike Portnoy? You are wrong, young man, try again. Pierre Moerlen? Christian Vander? Good guess, but I can only suspect that you simply haven't heard Damon Che, the drummer of the gifted American instrumental math-rock groupDon Caballero, play.

What Burns Never Returns is the group's third full-length album and works as their representative release rather well. They still remain as a group of four members here(one of the guitarists will have left by the time of the next release)and that is crucial as the music created by the two guitars adds greatly to the ricj complexity of the sound. This site classifies Don Caballero as 'Post-Rock/Experimental' and I kind of agree with that. It is definitely experimental and innovative, and the Post- Rock influence is obvious, although the similarity with other Post Rock groups isn't as visible. The music is extremely complex and appealing, deconstructed in the tradition of Jazz Fusion. Sometimes Metal influences can be heard, somewhat reminding of Pelican and Red Sparrowes to the casual listener(both in the sound and the mood).

Don Caballero 3 opens the album and it is the logical, conceptual continuation from the predecessor which was named Don Caballero. After a short percussion intro other instruments join the drums to create a chaotic feel. It may seem random on the first listen, but later you will understand that is it perfectly thought out, constructed and player with admirable accuracy. The "chaos" stops and the group goes into the complex instrumentation it is famous and recognised for with drumming that is inspiring as drumming ever gets, dual guitars creating memorable 'melodies' and perfectly audible and interesting bass guitar playing. Notice how I put I said 'melodies' - these aren't really melodies in the traditional sense and the unusual rhythm and harmony dominates the sound. Needless to say that whoever enjoys the complex side of the Progressive genre will appreciate this recording greatly. Sometimes guitars start buzzing in the background while the bass guitar is the one doing the riffing and it makes the listen even more exciting. The tracks on the release are both similar to and different from each other. They are all instrumental and all match their respective names, which is something many instrumental Post Rock groups are known for. I often read that the whole music is based on Che's amazing drumming and I refuse to agree with this statement, as every instrument plays a great role here.

I haven't heard too many complain about Don Caballero's sound, although I know some people say that it is simply too complex to sit through. Since this is a Progressive Music website, I assume that it will not be a problem to our experienced, endurant listeners. At least it isn't for me. I am really not sure what to compare this album to for the general listener... I suppose if you are keen on King Crimson's albums from the 80's and beyond and also Rush, your ears and heart will find this very appealing. The group's sound is extremely unique, creative and innovative - I will even dare to say that this is as extraordinary as the music made decades and decades ago.

Highly recommended to those searching for a rich, complex sound!

Trickster F. | 4/5 |


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