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Psychotic Waltz

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5 stars Second album by the most exciting progressive metal band ever.The band was still in great form after its brilliant debut.Dan Rock and Brian McAlpine did outstanding job on the guitars. Buddy Lackey's voice is magical. All eight songs are wonderful , from the mystic/spheric intro of Ashes . The heavier tracks , like Out of Mind , Tiny Streams are excellent just like feelingful ballad Hanging on a String. But my absolute favourites are the amazing Freakshow , the melancolic title track(what a solo !!!), and last but not least Butterfly. It's a really amazing composition ! It's a shame , that this band did not get wider recognition , their music is uniqe and it can not be described with words.
Report this review (#48653)
Posted Tuesday, September 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This very good progressive metal album is reminiscent of Symphony X, Black Sabbath, Mercyful Fate and even Judas Priest. The good & expressive lead vocals are sometimes hypnotic, solemn and morbid, and sometimes a bit hysterical: they are sometimes comparable to Ozzy Osbourne's tone. The electric guitar riffs are well produced, and their sound is comparable to Tommi Iommi's and Michael Romeo's ones. There are some more mellow parts that sound a bit melancholic, full of pleasant distortion-free electric guitar notes. Some parts are faster, but it never goes into brutal speed metal. The album contains many melodic & expressive guitar solos a la Symphony X. The drums are very varied and refined although they are often slow. There are some rare but interesting modern keyboards parts, especially on the track "Ashes". Compared to Symphony X, Psychotic Waltz here are a bit more marginal and darker, despite the sound is often quite similar, like on the "Butterfly" track.
Report this review (#71637)
Posted Saturday, March 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars It was one year ago, in my search for some good prog, that i came across Psychotic Waltz. I was searching something different from "usual" prog. I was tired of all that dream theater sounding music, or all that power metal infested prog.. When I listened to Psychotic Waltz I was blown away. It reminded me something of Spiral Architect, the voice, the freaky sounds, the strange melodies... In one word: Innovation! For me this is one of the most innovative album of the 90s, It's simply great! My highlights are the opening track, which has some influences of pink floyd, for the spacey chord progressions in it, the excellent "Into The Everflow", which I'm listening now, and the great "Freakshow". Just listen to the passage at 4:30 in Into The everflow... Great guitar work, spacey, full of emotions... And Buddy's voice... He's an angel. For all of you tired of stupid bloated solo circus (a'la Rudess), and hungry of real music, this is for you. Not for all... but hey, good music isn't for all.Masterpiece.
Report this review (#84310)
Posted Thursday, July 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's really hard for me to tell which one of their first two albums was the better one since each of them just has been great and exceptional on its own way. Whereas their debut represented a quite heavy hunk hard to get into this album here demonstrated best what the band defined as "progressive hippie metal" in a highly fascinating and capturing way. What we get offered here can be described as a perfect blend of Sabbath-like morbidity and intricate playing in the vein of bands like Watchtower and Fates Warning with a slight touch of Symphony X (actually only in the first track) and weird freaked-out vocals as usual by Buddy Lackey. As said already their style changed quite significantly compared to their debut, the songs on here keep sticking much easier in one's mind and the whole album appears more coherent than "A Social Grace". But this ain't a "lite version" of their great debut at all and in fact there isn't any weak track on here with "Ashes", the title track and "Butterfly" being the absolute highlights.

The opener "Ashes" reveals a highly symphonic sound being rather unique here on this disk and as well quite uncommon for the band until that time. It might remind slightly at Symphony X, but if at all than more to some of their (few) less overblown works and hasn't any similarity with the usual neo-classical/neo-progressive metal stuff but is rather a fantastic atmospheric metal song. "Out Of Mind" in contrast is a very heavy rocking song with some odd breaks and weird psychedelic vocals, certainly an extremely good one. "Tiny Streams" continues in a rather heavy and odd vein having a great spacey and drug-inspired middle part. The title track is actually quite reminiscent of Sabbath revealing a brilliant tense structure and awesome guitar solos. This one's an absolute freaky psychedelic epic masterpiece. "Little People" can't quite hold up the top level of the previous ones but the guitar play is here once again just amazing. "Hangin' On A String" is actually a melancholic ballad but anything like the standard "one ballad per metal album" and Lackey's great vocals are once again shining here on this track. "Freakshow" has to be considered another highlight of this album with awesome dual guitars and great versatility and the greatness of this track can just be topped by the final one "Butterfly" combining all elements of this unique album. Starting rather mellow it rapidly changes into an up-speed and freaky instrumental part before it culminates into a section dominated by Lackey's dramatically sounding vocals. Then all musicians are entering and a short instrumental part leads into the great percussive section being an homage to psychedelic classics starting from Hendrix to Bowie before the album closes once again very quietly.

As a summary I've to say that this album together with their debut has to be considered one of the must-have ones in prog-metal and deserves absolutely a full-score rating. The only downer is its brevity in fact, but its re-released edition contains a great bonus track anyway.

Report this review (#98458)
Posted Sunday, November 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars I think I would describe this album as more psychedelic and darker than their debut. Perhaps not as over the top in it's complexities as well.

"Ashes" opens with some orchestration as we next hear some gently played guitar. This is an atmospheric song and the vocals don't come in until after 3 minutes. "Out Of Mind" is such a heavy song. The drums are thundering in this complex,dark beauty. "Tiny Streams" opens with guitar as heavy drums come in. Sinister vocals arrive in this song that appears to have been written about an experience he had when in an extremely stoned state of mind while he was listening to SABBATH. He says "Black Sabbath record turning". The song becomes catchy 2 minutes in and there is this sample that comes from nowhere saying "I am stoned, I am stoned !". Funny. Some great guitar and bass work on this one.

"Into The Everflow" opens with gentle guitar as reserved vocals and drums come in. The dual guitars grind away as Buddy spits out his venom. "Little People" has some very strange lyrics while the guitar melodies are so intricate. The vocals to end the song are the highlight for me. "Hanging On A String" is a mellow song with some lazy guitar solos. "Freakshow" has some good contrasting soundscapes while the guitar melodies are intricate and complex. Check out the guitar solos after 2 minutes as well as 5 minutes in. "Butterfly" is like a tribute to Buddy's musical influences, or perhaps to rock in general. Lines from HENDRIX, LED ZEPPELIN, JETHRO TULL, DAVID BOWIE and THE BEATLES are sung while some terrific percussion is playing along. A real heavy sound 4 minutes in as things start to cook. The bonus track "Disturbing The Priest" is a BLACK SABBATH song that they are quite faithful to.

I really think all four of their studio albums are must haves for Metal fans. Each one has it's own distinct personality, but i'm sure you'll love them all. Get them while you can !

Report this review (#120479)
Posted Wednesday, May 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Into the Everflow" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, California based progressive metal act Psychotic Waltz. The album was released in the US through Dream Circle in November 1992. It wasn´t until March 1993 that the album was released in Europe. "Into the Everflow" was re-released by Metal Blade Records in 2004 with a different cover artwork and a bonus disc featuring the "Into the Everflow" demo and the Aslan (the band´s original name) demo.

While "Into the Everflow" is generally highly regarded by fans of progressive metal, Psychotic Waltz never really broke through commercially. But to a few diehard fans, they will always stand as the ultimative experience in weird, tripped out progressive metal. Especially this their second album "Into the Everflow" is generally regarded amongst fans as the band´s masterpiece.

The music on the album is a mix of heavy/power/thrash metal and progressive rock. The instrumentation, which does include some synth, but not a permanent keyboard player are strongly guitar driven. The quite frankly brilliant guitar team work, by the two guitarists Dan Rock and Brian McAlpin, are simply outstanding. They compliment each other perfectly. The rythm section which consists of bassist Ward Evans and drummer Norm Leggio also play a great part in creating the unique sound on the album. To top it off there´s of course also Buddy Lackey on lead vocals. A distinct sounding and strong vocalist who is able to put great variation and passion into his vocal performance throughout the album.

"Into the Everflow" opens with the track "Ashes" which is a beautiful synth heavy piece. The track closes with one of the signature McAlpin/Rock dual sweeps that can be heard on several other tracks on the album. "Ashes" segue into the next track "Out of Mind", which is the most fast almost thrashy track on the album. Some odd breaks, some really interesting vocal melodies and a challenging singing style are some of the notable attractions in that track. "Tiny Streams" is a great heavy track with weird tripped out lyrics (Which is common for every tracks on this album). But it is with the fourth track, the title track, that things really come together. It´s a rather slow track which clocks in at about 9 minutes. It´s the kind of song that builds and builds (Say, like "Stairway to Heaven") until it reaches it´s climax with the dual guitar solo, which is just astonishing. It´s a magic McAlpin/ Rock moment. McAlpin and Rock make it their life mission to make their contribution to the solo a personal one. In one section of the solo one of the axemen bends the notes and the other uses the vibrato arm. Small things, that just makes this solo so special. In another section one of the guitarists breaks out from the solo to play longer melodic notes while the other sweeps underneath. A moment of pure bliss.

"Little People" is the next track, and a great one that is. Buddy Lackey´s vocal delivery is pretty aggressive on this track with lyric lines like: ""Little People, Little Houses", "Happy living little lives", "when they wake up with perfect make-up it makes me sick"". An ode to weirdness and a kick in the balls to conformity. This is exactly what Psychotic Waltz have always been about. The ballad type track of the album "Hanging on a string" is the next track. It´s the most simple tracks here and a beautiful breather between the more technically challenging tracks that generally populate the album. "Freakshow" is another crazy technical progressive metal track, just listen to the main riff, it´s quite challeging. The whole track is actually quite challeging with multible sections, dynamics and moods. The closing track "Butterfly" is quite an epic not unlike the title track. There are multible sections in this track, but one stands out clearly from the rest. The mid section of the song is dominated by percussion and a wah wah guitar part that is powerful and distinct sounding. If you´ve seen Psychotic Waltz live, you´ll know that both Buddy Lackey and Dan Rock play percussion on the track, while Brian McAlpin plays the wah wah guitar part. Well... Brian McAlpin didn´t exactly use the wah wah pedal himself as he is paralyzed from the waist down, so a technician in the back helped out. "Butterfly" is the perfect close to a perfect album.

The production might be a minor issue to some people as it might not live up to the standards of modern sound productions but to me it´s what makes this album so charming. It´s got a unique sound, that makes it stand out.

There are many other standout progressive metal albums out there but "Into the Everflow" is maybe the most original and unique one of them all. A truly progressive album that sounds vastly different from the "norm". I find it highly recommendable if you´re interested in a psychadelic and weird take on progressive metal. This is probably the most deserved 5 star (100%) rating I´ve ever given.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Report this review (#145919)
Posted Friday, October 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars If this isn't progressive metal, I don't know what is. There's no way I can classify this as anything but a masterpiece of its respective genre. I found A Social Grace to be on the same level in technical terms, but Into The Everflow is packed with more wow moments lyrically and compositionally.

The climax of the title track is one of few musical moments that gives me goosebumps every time. When that happens, I know the band has something special. But on my most recent listen, this album gave me the shivers three, count 'em, three times. That's an instant classic in my eyes.

Some really psychedelic lyrics and sounds here, but merged with technical metal. This is impressive to me because when I think of psychedelic music I think long, drawn out spacey passages with lots of synth work. Not sharp and complex riffs and beats.

Buddy Lackey's got a very unique voice that settles perfectly over the top of this crazy music. Whether he's pounding out intense lines lines like in Little People, or almost moaning high pitched vocal harmonies, it all works.

This band had a relatively short life-span and, in my opinion, took a sharp decline after this album. They don't seem to be very well known in the prog world, and I can only imagine that their albums will become more and more rare as years pass. When they released their four studio albums in a duo of double packs I jumped on the opportunity to buy them. I'd suggest anyone interested in a different kind of progressive metal should do the same.

Report this review (#187822)
Posted Monday, November 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In the beginning of the 90's I got into a serious 'metal state'. The reason was obvious. At that time it was the liveliest scene around. Prog had been gone for years, new wave was turning stale and the Happy Mondays were ruling the charts.

All creativity seemed to shift towards the metal scene: thrash reached peaks for me with Persistance of Time and Rust in Peace, extreme metal was getting more interesting with the expansion into death, doom-death and black metal. Even in the mainstream, excellent grunge and crossover bands like Alice In Chains, Faith No More and Soundgarden emerged from the underground scene.

In this climate also progressive rock morphed into its metalized shape: progressive metal.And next to pioneers like Dream Theater and Fates Warning there was also this less known but nevertheless marvellous band Psychotic Waltz.

Into The Everflow was the first Psychotic Waltz album I heard and it rocked my socks off. It's sure the most overwhelming prog-metal album ever for me. They play with considerable rhythmic and melodic virtuosity, yet balancing this against very subtle and intimate passages and very intense, expressive and original vocals. Imagine Ozzy could really sing and you're close.

The opener should be an immediate winner for all progheads. Gentle guitars and keys work against heavier sections. It changes into a huge David Bowie salute when the vocals kick in. The dead-heavy second track leaves no doubt that they are really a metal band. Be it one with an exceptional gift for original melodies, both in the eerie vocals as in the intricate guitar riffing that constantly progresses into new sequences. Inspiration for 5 albums on this one track.

Next on is Tiny Streams, a song with a huge Sabbath feel (even in the lyrics). It was the first song I heard from them and it immediately drew me into their weird psychotic sound.

The title track is probably everybody's favourite. It's an extended and brooding piece with beautiful picking on spacey guitar chords. About half of it consist of breathtaking harmonic guitar soloing. A typical feature of the PW sound but they never had it better then here.

Little People and Freakshow stick to the complex progressive metal style of Tiny Streams. In between sits a pleasantly lighter piece called Hanging On A String. A ballad that is as good as the sweet melancholic ballads that the Scorpions did in the 2nd half of the seventies.

Butterfly is the other long piece here. It goes through multiple changes, from an almost jazzy opening into something that sounds like Ozzy Osbourne doing some Jethro Tull Benefit chorus. Halfway in, on top of some great percussion jamming, an endless number of musical quotations are thrown into the mix. All too soon, the chorus is repeated and the 9 and a half minutes have passed already.

Despite their obvious influences Psychotic Waltz had an entirely unique sound. Maybe an acquired taste but if you dig it, you will probably find yourself entirely addicted. I'd say go in and discover them and who knows, you'll find yourself hooked forever.

Report this review (#247281)
Posted Friday, October 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The dictionary definition of progressive metal

If anyone asks me to define progressive metal, I'll either show them Dream Theater's "Scenes From A Memory" or this marvelous album. This really is an essential progressive metal album to me. It's not too well known, but as I see it every prog metal fan should have this in their collection. It is a masterpiece.

A description of the music: "Ashes" begins very dark with organs and then explodes into a very doomy guitar intro. When the vocals enter, it is just brilliant. The great beat in the background going with the amazing melody of the vocals just makes for one amazing track. "Out of Mind" is a heavy track with great guitar riffs and some great vocals with a sort of oriental feel to them. This track is a great rocker. "Tiny Streams" reminds me of Black Sabbath and contains some sinister vocals from Lackey. The title track is a slow, dark song with more fabulous vocals and amazing riffs. There are some great solos of this track which seem to be a mixture of the styles of Tony Iommi and Dimebag Darrell. "Little People" contains absolutely amazing vocals and guitarwork and is quite a creepy song. "Hanging On A String" is a short and beautiful ballad which is sort of a breather from the heaviness. "Freakshow" contains some very high sung vocals, a great verse riff, and is overall an incredibly complete track. "Butterfly" is the albums closer and begins beautifully, goes through many speed changes, and contains great instrumental work.


Vocals: One of the most underrated vocalists in all prog, Lackey can sing with a lot of emotion, can hit very high notes, and is sort of like Ozzy Osbourne, only MUCH better.

Musicianship: The guitarwork on this album is just magnificent throughout. The drums contribute to darkness and hit some complex beats at times. The keyboards work to give the album a very dark feel when needed.

Melodies: This album contains many unforgettable melodies and riffs.


Vocals over the top?: Personally I don't find this a problem, but to some people, Lackey's vocals may be a little over the top at times. Especially in "Freakshow" and "Little People."

Song ratings: Ashes: 10/10 Out of Mind: 9/10 Tiny Streams: 9/10 The title track: 9.5/10 Little People: 10/10 Hanging On A String: 8/10 Freakshow: 8/10 Butterfly: 9.5/10

Recommended for: Anybody with the slightest interest in prog metal.

My rating: 5 stars without a shadow of doubt. A near flawless album and a must-have for any prog metal lover, or even someone who only sort of likes prog metal. This album is criminally underrated.

Report this review (#293023)
Posted Sunday, August 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A Milestone of Prog Metal leaves the rest for dead!

"Into The Everflow" is an amazing album that has received rave reviews across the internet and I have finally been treated to its craftsmanship of technical metal and symphonic grace. OK confession time again. Psychotic waltz have somehow eluded me over the years although I am a confessed prog metal freak into Dream Theater especially, but Psychotic Waltz are in a league of their own. Indescribable complexity that ranges from dark intricate distorted riffing that blows the wall apart to gentle acoustic and soft vocals that lulls you into a dream. The beauty of this metal is there is none of that death metal growling and yet the brutality of the metal is ever present. The band do not just launch into an all out speed assault without leaving a space for the music to breathe, rather the music is given huge scope with an assortment of fused styles of pure emotional depth. The structure of the songs are astounding with complex shifts in time signatures that are difficult to emulate. There are passages of symphonic ambience and then an onslaught of power riffing. At times the band settle into melancholy territory with heartfelt ballads and then the next track will strip the wallpaper with full blown metal shredding.

Razor sharp riffing and blazing lead breaks are the forte of the band along with a tour de force vocal performance from Buddy Lackey who is also on keyboards. He might just be the best metal vocalist of the 90s. This band mesmirise with pure metal riffing genius! It's a tragedy that the band disbanded years ago. They have been rightly labelled one of the most underrated bands in history and I agree!

Highlights are here though the whole album delivers some of the best prog metal on the planet.

'Ashes' is symphonic at the beginning, with cathedral synths that provide an ethereal mood. The guitars are gentle over the orchestrated synths with a Gothic feel. Leggio's marching timpani drum begins with huge metal distorted guitar chords crunching in. The synths are beautiful though dark. At 3:18 the vocals finally enter and lift the track to a new level. The vocals are terrific and are similar I guess to James LaBrie but not as high pitched and operatic, a nice harmony too of multi layered vocals works well.

'Out Of Mind' is an all out riffing assault, a relentless shattered macrocosm of power metal with sporadic squeals and psychedelic vocals. One of the heaviest Psychotic Waltz tracks. The Slayer-esque, Morbid Angel-esque riffing is broken by a lead break mid way through, but the riffs continue relentlessly and with bizarre time sigs. The chugging riff at 2:10 is wonderful. This could have been a song ruined by death metal vocals but instead Lackey's vocals are well sung and restrained, and this is why the band appeals to non death metal fans as myself, despite the death thrash metal of the guitars.

'Tiny Streams' has a Black Sabbath feel throughout though ten times heavier. The melody is early Sabbath and the lyrics even contain "? psychic burning, Black Sabbath record turning, " referenced. Then we hear the quote "Don't you understand, I am stoned, I am stoned!" which I believe is from the Cheech and Chong movie "Still Smokin'". Is this an affectionate homage to 1970s pop culture or just a clever in joke? The Sabbath style and references are certainly intentional, it even sounds like Ozzy singing at times. The track has some innovative licks on guitar too.

'Into The Everflow' is a mini epic with many time sig shifts melting the mood swings from darkness to light. The tune has a fabulous hook, and there is a lot going on in the vocal department before a scorching lead break screams in. The lyrics on this get into some dark territory too but they are sung with a lot of feeling by Lackey; "Tortured tongues feast their frenzy, They hiss out all that is nothing, The night time of the hearing flower, Has put aside the laugh dancing flame, No longer warming the wings, Of their fluttering dust angel mistress, The petals have closed for this long night, Their brittle limbs are thinning, their meek and weeping gesture fares their well, To the falling paper blossoms, One by one, down into the everflow?" It is an incredible symphony of blazing metal riffs and a powerful vocal performance. The lead break is stunning on this again with speed picking, screaming string bends and twin guitar picking and harmonic guitar trade offs from Rock and McAlpin creating one of the best lead breaks I have heard. A definitive highlight of the album.

'Little People' has an odd riff that drives it along and some off kilter vocals that don't match the riff but bizarrely works somehow; "Look into these little boxes... everyone has lots of money, everyone lives in style, little people, little houses, happy living little lives, when they wake up with perfect makeup, it makes me sick." The humourous theme is similar to the 60s protest classic "Little Boxes" song. The structure of the song is all over the place but the chaos suits it. The vocals are fantastic on this, and I love those screaming guitars of Rock and McAlpin.

'Hanging on a String' is a very melancholy and gentle ballad in a darker sense, a song about hanging on to sanity and life "that seems to all get taken away? it seems like life is just a game?"

'Freakshow' features a killer power metal riff and funkadelic bass. It sounds a bit like early Slayer in the riffing but the Lackey's vocals and the slap bass give it that eclectic metal style that is definitely unique. A haunting melody drives this with intriguing vocals, "In this state of mind, I'm more than myself, I could reach up into the sky, color in the sun, In the eyes of my imagination I can roll a bigger stone, I've cut the ties that build the rule of lies, And then I tripped away into the void?" A number of intricate time sigs are joined by quite enigmatic vocals. The riffs are strangely familiar at times but always interchanging into new shapes. I like the lyrics on the verse: "So I write this song of mine, To soothe my ears and ease my mind, And so another written page, Will turn into the everflow, Where no one ever really knows about me, Should they even care?"

Great melodies and nice metal tones drive the lengthy 'Butterfly' with gorgeous guitar arpeggios. Little squeals and odd time sig changes in the melody are given virtuoso treatment from both Rock and McAlpin. The song has a Queensryche style at first, with the keyboards as a deft touch, and then sounds similar to Symphony X. Dextrous guitar riffs lock in over a howling guitar moan. The bizarro riffs continue, and it is King Crimson like, in the way the guitar doesn't quite synch; almost a jazz time sig follows, quirky vocals and Evans' slap bass figure. The melody changes completely, and then a new time sig with speed riffing which sounds more Dream Theater-ish in this passage. Leggio's tom tom drums punch out an African rhythm and a collection of rock classics are paid homage to including 'Purple Haze', 'People Are Strange', and 'Fame' among others. There is a really cool vibe generated. Evans' bass is divine here too slapping with funky shapes over voodoo Santana drums. A new time sig blasts away until the keys return over the main motif; "I am the Butterfly? I am forever?" A truly mesmirising song.

I was in awe of Psychotic Waltz after listening to this album and have hunted down everything they have done. You can guarantee a true exploration of true prog metal on every album. This may well be their best as it captures everything that is great about them, the intricate time sig riffing, the manic sporadic drumming, the acrobatic vocals, the fractured rhythmic pulse, the shades of symphonic beauty and the dark lyrics. A 5 star triumph!

Report this review (#294095)
Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Psychotic Waltz is in my opinion and for sure many are agree with me, one of the best and most intristing progressive metal bands genre ever had. Releasing only 4 albums in the '90's but one hell of a legacy they left behind. I don't think is a prog metal fan that doesn't know at least one of their albums. Into the everflow is the second album issued in 1992 of this excellent band and yet to many the peak of their career, well maybe, but to me remains always my personal fav Mosquito, hard to describe it in words but remains that way since it was release. Into the everflow is a progressive metal album with plenty of dark moods and psychedelic twists, Black Sabbath meets King Crimson meets Queensruche in places, with a metal infuse, the result is a damn great one. The slow tempo of some pieces , the mood of voice of Buddy Lackey is brilliant, one of the best vocalists ever, his voice and tone perfect and very unique. My fav track from here is Tiny streams, one hell of a piece, just perfect Black Sabbath feel, very psychedelic in aproach but what a great tune, all piece stands in that manner, quite original and very innovative for that period, realy. I've always love Psychotic Waltz, they were unique for sure in their field, from guitar tone to the excellent voice of Buddy Lackey, this band was among the best and one of the most original aswell. to bad that they didn't last to much in musical bussines, but we have besides their music legacy another band Dead Soul Tribe, almost same with PW Buddy Lackey in big form. So, 4 stars for sure, but not as great and Mosquito, who remains my fav PW album ever, still a recommended album with plenty of excellent moments, fans of prog metal for sure will enjoy.
Report this review (#494046)
Posted Monday, August 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I had a surprisingly different initial reaction to this classic recording compared to many of my fellow collaborators. Not only was I not impressed by my first spin of this album, but I also found it quite irritating at times which made repeated listens unbearable at the time. My solution was to put the CD aside, for safekeeping of a sorts, and try to come back to it at a different point in time. This solution took quite some to for me to work but fortunately it turned out for the better!

Into The Everflow is a magnificent album which, I can safely say, grows on it's audiences over time. At first you might only grab bits and pieces of these quite intriguing compositions but it will all come around in due time. Ashes is one of the few numbers that still doesn't sit too well with me, but that's just because of my unfortunate first encounter with this slowly building composition that left a bad taste in my mouth that I'm still not sure can be remedied with time. Fortunately this intro of a sorts soon transforms into a very nice composition and what follows after it can only be summarized as one of the best, if not the best, progressive metal composition of all time!

Not only does Out Of Mind hit it's listeners as a punch right in the gut, but it also generates an instant and long-lasting appeal for the performance of all the participating musicians. It's simply a perfect piece of progressive music that would, in my opinion, have made a much more effective album opener than Ashes. The album's title track is another obvious winner with the exception of a few profound-sounding but overall very pretentious lyrics that make the experience hilarious for me. The instrumental section of the piece is just marvelous and I honestly have nothing even remotely bad to say about it at the end of the day.

The next really awesome composition takes it's time to come around, but once it does we're treated to a trilogy of tracks that can easily be defined as a tour de force for Psychotic Waltz. Hanging On A String is really a weird sounding ballad to come after all these strong metallic pieces but I completely blows the listener away with both it's instrumental prowess and lyrical content. Things get even weirder with the off-beat Freakshow and finally Butterfly, the latter features some of the best performances featured from the collective. This, in my opinion, clearly cements their reputation as the first really great band to come out of the progressive metal sub-genre of the early '90s.

There is really not much more I can say about this album that wouldn't make it sound like a complete fanboy praising, so I'll just make it simple for you - get this album!

***** star songs: Out Of Mind (4:45) Tiny Streams (5:02) Into The Everflow (8:18) Hanging On A String (3:49) Butterfly (9:18)

**** star songs: Ashes (5:09) Freakshow (5:40)

*** star songs: Little People (4:07)

Report this review (#579384)
Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars I was quite into Psychotic Waltz' first album, but I personally find the followup a bit of a disappointment. Musically speaking, it just seems a bit predictable and diluted compared to the debut album. Where's Buddy's flute playing to give a unique twist to the band's sound? What's with the constant flirting with mainstream metal? What's with the much more prominent Queensryche influence? I know the latter will appeal to many but personally aside from their first couple of releases I'm not really into Queensryche, which might be the source of my problem with this album; either way, it's hard to deny that without that flute in the mix the band's sound became significantly less rich.
Report this review (#609219)
Posted Friday, January 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After their debut masterpiece PW returned with an even stronger followup with this one. Like 'Social Grace' it's fairly unique but slightly darker this time around, with more atmosphere and subtile cleverness. After a rather symphonic opening with "Ashes" the music soon drifts into a series of psychedelic, heavy, odd-metered but incredibly creative and melodic songs that stand out even today. A tune like "Out of Mind" takes several listens before figuring everything out and it bursts with cool ideas and takes you on a minor rollercoaster ride for 5 minutes, while the staggering title track always grabs my imagination into the eerie and beautiful landscape on the cover and is a fabulous dynamic exercise with some really smooth twin guitar soloing in it's climax. Aside from the highly inventive songwriting I have to give the musicians credit as well, killer licks from everyone involved adding greatly to the music.

Although a fairly early progmetal band, PW remains unique and legendary even today and should definitely have gotten more recognition from fans of this genre instead of blindly praising Riverside, PoS and Dream Theater all day. All their albums are highly recommended, but this one is the absolute best overall, IMO. Highlights include "Out of Mind", "Into the Everflow", "Freakshow" & "Butterfly".

Report this review (#744435)
Posted Thursday, April 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

I admit I wasn't blown away when I first listened to PSYCHOTIC WALTZ's INTO THE EVERFLOW. For me it was kind of confusing at first, but then after a few more listens I could understand and identify with what direction the band wanted to take and that is to create more of a deeper melody with their overall sound while still keeping and embodying that technical flare with the guitar playing, which they displayed so well off their first album, A SOCIAL GRACE. Certainly, INTO THE EVERFLOW has quite a bit to it both lyrically and musically. For example, BUDDY LACKEY a.k.a DEVON GRAVES is up to his usual tricks by being the rapid, spit fire vocalist that we know and love. A great moment in the album for me lyrically was on the track LITTLE PEOPLE where LACKEY lambasted the sycophantic suck ups of the music industry by characterizing them as small (literally), duplicitous people that are worth no ones time. LITTLE PEOPLE is a vocal laden track that was largely inspired by the band duo to the fact they couldn't get a north American record deal, which sparked a lot of animosity between the band and the music industry. 

Meanwhile, PSYCHOTIC WALTZ would move on and create wonderfully crafted songs like INTO THE EVERFLOW, HANGING ON A STRING and The epic BUTTERFLY. These tracks would help propel the band to massive popularity, especially in EUROPE. Obviously, the garnered success was well deserved because those tracks I listed above are some of the thee most beautiful, technical and well written songs in progressive metal history. Certainly, PSYCHOTIC WALTZ have earned their place to be among the elite in the Prog Metal world. The wizardly guitar playing from both DAN ROCK and BRAIN McALPINE will forever be engraved in my head after listening to album joyfully and repeatedly. 

Thus, what stands out the most in PSYCHOTIC WALTZ's INTO THE EVERFLOW is BUDDY LACKEY's incredible lyrical content and singing performances and the rich epic guitar solos performed by the arpeggio kings McALPINE and DAN ROCK (can't believe that is his real name!) To continue, the drums and percussion by NORM LEGGIO are absolutely solid, but not widely as noticeable like in some other prog metal bands such as FATES WARNING and DREAMTHEATER where drums can really take center stage. As for the bass, WARD EVANS adds a nice steady approach to bass playing that is neither flashy nor filler. The bass lines in INTO THE EVERFLOW and FREAKSHOW are a perfect example of bass playing that inconspicuously floates nicely in the background of the overall sound. 

All in all, I can say that I really enjoyed this album and I can bet that big fans of Progressive Metal will gravitate towards this album nicely. The song writing and guitar playing are huge standouts on INTO THE EVERFLOW and could never be overlooked. My thanks to PSYCHOTIC WALTZ for making me into a psychotic for the amount of times I have played this record. Now it's your turn. 

Crank it!!!

Report this review (#965207)
Posted Saturday, May 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars A band that is totally unknown to me--that I can remember no reference to before, ever, either as a whole or for any of the individual musicians. But this album has a very high rating on ProgArchives.

1. "Ashes" (5:09) a gloomy musical mood reminding me of a cross between 1970s VANGELIS and GOBLIN soundtracks and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT's intentional eerie stuff, but whose use of cheaper modern computer keyboards and effects sadly date it. But, heck, perhaps this is the direction both of the aforementioned bands would have taken. Once the guitars and rest of the band enter, it takes on a different quality all together, but then the synths return. They're just too dated! The vocals, only used at the very end, sound like Uriah Heep's David Byron with David Bowie undertones; the use of multiple tracks to layer the vocal give it quite a cool sound. Great melodies. Impressive vocalist(s?). The stunning beauty of those last 90 seconds almost make this a top three song. (9/10)

2. "Out Of Mind" (4:45) truly impressive acrobatic vocals that remind me of a cross between Ziggy Stardust and Myrath's Zaher Zorgati. Amazing melodies. One of the more impressive vocal performances I've heard in a long time. I love the way the band plays with the pace of the song--as if there is a accelerator pedal to regulate their speed--and everybody stays together. Impressive! Very impressive, nonintrusive drumming. A top three song for me. (9.5/10)

3. "Tiny Streams" (5:02) very OZZIE sounding multi-voice vocal tracks over very updated SABBATH musical soundscape and style. (8.5/10)

4. "Into The Everflow" (8:18) slow electric guitar arpeggi woven with slow deep bass notes and John Bonham-like drum play. The vocal performance here is very bluesy like a ROBERT PLANT performance with Led Zeppelin. Not very much freshness to either the music, the vocal, or lyrics, but then the guitar solo happens and everything is better. Even the return of the vocal is improved by the dextrous guitar arpeggi being performed by the twin guitars throughout. What started out as a very average song has definitely been improved by the two guitar tracks and their duet playing. Another top three song for me. (18.5/20)

5. "Little People" (4:07) back to the modernized Black Sabbath style and sound. The main difference that I intuit between Sabbath and the Waltz is the better drumming here and the speed of guitar play. Weird Frank Zappa vocal impression in the third minute. The rest of the OZZIE-like vocal is, actually, quite meandering--more show than relevance--same for the lyrics. (8.75/10)

6. "Hanging On A String" (3:49) back to the David Byron-like vocal style. (Who performs the back up vocals? He is also very talented.) What a talented singer (or group of singers). The rest of the music and song is quite bland. (8.5/10)

7. "Freakshow" (5:40) intricate twin guitar metal weave with drums and funky bass (mixed too far in the back for my tastes--this bass player might be great for all I can hear but I can barely hear his work.) Buddy sings with an aggressive Ozzie approach while bluesy ballad music beneath dupes us via its metal guitar weave. Again, Led Zep comes to mind--especially with Norm Loggio's spacious, restrained John Bonham approach. Mega kudos, Norm! Many other drummers wouldn't be able to resist the temptation to fill every moment with cymbals and/or drum fills. Great lead guitar solo in the fifth minute. Too bad the music beneath is so plodding. I like the way the band gives its all (especially Buddy) to the finish. (9/10)

8. "Butterfly" (9:18) more moody slowed down ballad music over which one guitar solos mournfully. Another great vocal performance despite it's being slightly muted, negatively effected, and buried a bit within the mix. In the third minute things amp up while infinity guitar (e-bow?) solo plays. But then we're quickly back into OZZY territory. The music does have a lot of twists and turns, which keeps it interesting, but then, it also has the tendency to turn a little too sharply--two wheeling the corners--thereby not letting some motifs play out fully (to the listener's satisfaction). The conga section with "purple haze/when you're strange/fame/I just wanna celebrate" vocal citations is a bit weird but tasteful--kind of like THE CURE's unique rendering of "Purple Haze" of the next year. The symphonic, almost concert hall finale is strange, but it all works--is all quite fresh and refreshing. (18.5/20)

Total time 46:08

An album that is most remarkable to me for the acrobatic vocal talents of Buddy Lackey--someone I'd never heard of before this listening. The drumming and dextrous guitar play of the "twins" are also quite impressive and engaging. Good thing the dominating keyboards of that opening song did not continue throughout the rest of the album.

A-/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music though probably deserves masterpiece status within the Prog Metal sub-genre.

Report this review (#2456833)
Posted Saturday, October 17, 2020 | Review Permalink

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