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Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding CD (album) cover


Psychotic Waltz

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is an amazing album, unfortunately the last that this awesome band made before they split up. It's somewhat different from their other albums, a little more relaxed and not as complex as A Social Grace or Into The Everflow. But I like it very much, and I gave it 3 stars because the other Psychotic Waltz albums are a bit better, and some tracks on Bleeding are not very progressive, but just plain metal. Still, they're very good. All in all, the album will not disappoint Psychotic Waltz fans, but is not essential for the general prog fan. Fans of Sabbath-inspired Metal can add one star to my rating.

From all the Psychotic Waltz albums, this is the one that's most similar to the music of Dead Soul Tribe, the band that the Psychotic Waltz singer founded after they split up (Devon Graves/Buddy Lackey). Having said that, it's clear that it's also not as complex as masterpieces like A Social Grace and Into The Everflow.

Faded: The track starts with a Primus inspired bass line and quickly turns into an epic Sabbath-like track.

Locust: Wonderful epic track with majestic chord progressions.

Morbid: Great guitar riff driven track - powerful 8th rhythm as opposed to the 16ths feel of the first track. This also features a traditional guitar solo.

Bleeding: Great Sabbath-inspired multivoice guitar lines here, and wonderful dynamics. The song alternates between a laid back verse with sparse instrumentation, and the epic chorus.

Need: This track is as majestic as the others, with the chord progressions not being as dark and sometimes even in major chords.

Drift: This features very interesting bass/drum work, and interesting structure.

Northern Lights: This is mainly a good straight metal song.

My Grave: This song starts with flutes and acoustic guitar - in fact, this is the track which reminds me of Dead Soul Tribe the most. Not very progressive, but a nice unusual metal ballad in 3/4 - or rather 6/8.

Skeleton: Nice heavy track with distorted vocals - another decent metal track.

Freedom?: This song begins with some quite interesting arpeggios on an acoustic guitar, and soon the distorted guitar kicks in with some organ and harpsichord-like sounds (nearly burried in the mix). This is another epic track, like the tracks from the beginning.

Report this review (#40052)
Posted Saturday, July 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Bleeding" was the last of their four legendary albums and actually quite a big improvement compared to the previous one. From that one they've taken over only the shorter song structures and combined them with some depth and intensity known from their great second release. This album became very dense and tight and probably the most perfect sounding one in terms of production quality. The tracks are sounding very metallic but by far less playful than on their debut and certainly there isn't anything quite on par with both of their first two releases. Anyway there isn't any weak track and the 11 songs on here are brilliant both as individual ones as well as taken in a whole. This disc is great fun to listen from its very first note until its very final tune. Of course looking at the rather short track lengths expectations concerning complexity shouldn't be that high. What we're getting here can be rather considered highly enjoyable, more sophisticated but easily accessible and quite catchy heavy metal music with some psychedelic touch. Highlights are "Morbid" combining greatly heavy guitar with piano tunes and walls of keyboard sound, "Bleeding" which slightly reminds at "A Psychotic Waltz" from their debut and the wonderful, Tull-inspired melancholic ballad "My grave". But all other tracks are very good as well, not to forget mentioning the really fantastic artwork and booklet designed by Travis Smith.

Finally I'd recommend this album as a perfect starting point for all newcomers of this legendary band and consider it an excellent addition to any prog metal collection, especially if purchased as re-release combined with "Into The Everflow" in a good value for money box set.

Report this review (#98713)
Posted Tuesday, November 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars I found this release to be darker and slower than the previous release "Mosquito". Actually if you like DEADSOUL TRIBE I think you'll like this one. Of course Buddy Lackey who would change his name to Devon Graves was the singer for PSYCHOTIC WALTZ and is the singer for DEADSOUL TRIBE now.The art work by Travis Smith is pretty amazing.

The first song "Faded" opens with a cool, fat bass line and it's actually great all the way through. This song will not get out of my head. I know I experienced the exact same thing when I was listening to "Mosquito" even the next day the song would just start playing in my head like this one and not leaving. Great song though. "Locust" is a slower, atmospheric tune. "Morbid" is one of my favourites. The keyboards to open are a nice touch and there is an absolutely blistering guitar solo. It's awesome having two lead guitarists. The lyrics on this one are thought provoking, comparing cutting down beautiful roses to the cutting down of Jesus.

"Bleeding" has a dark, sinister, heavy intro. Very BLACK SABBATH-like. Nice contrast throughout between the heavy and lighter passages. "Need" has some great riffs and heavy bass. "Drift" is a mellower tune and I love the guitar intro. "Northern Lights" brings us back to the heaviness. "Sleep" features heavy bass and drums and the long instrumental to end it is a highlight. "My Grave" is like a tribute to one of Buddy's heroes Ian Anderson. Very TULL like. Acoustic guitar and flute while the vocals are totally different than usual sounding similar to Ian Anderson. "Skeleton" is another favourite of mine. A heavy tune with a catchy rhythm. It would have fit well on "Mosquito". "Freedom ?" has a ripping guitar solo while the soundscape is again heavy and catchy. Nice.

After "Mosquito" this is my favourite PSYCHOTIC WALTZ album. If you prefer the complex style of metal then check out the first two records they made. 4.5 stars.

Report this review (#120313)
Posted Monday, April 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Bleeding" is the 4th and last album in the original run of US, San Diego based progressive metal act Psychotic Waltz. The album was released through Bullet Proof Records in July 1996. It´s the successor to "Mosquito" from 1994 and features one lineup change as original bassist Ward Evans left Psychotic Waltz shortly after the completion of "Mosquito (1994)" and has been replaced here by Phil Cuttino. Although "Bleeding" was a successful release for the band (...underground successful), it was unfortunately the beginning of the end for the band. During the shooting of the promotional video for the track "Faded", an actress who appeared in the video said she was exposed to a light which caused partial blindness, and she subsequently sued the band. During the lengthy legal battle which ensued the band folded. The legal battle was probably the trigger for the split-up of the band, but creative differences had also begun to appear.

But that´s getting ahead of history, as things were still good around the time of writing and recording "Bleeding". Stylistically "Bleeding" continues the more regular vers/chorus formula songwriting approach of "Mosquito (1994)", but it´s ultimately still a very different sounding release to its direct predecessor. While "Mosquito (1994)" was dark and heavy, "Bleeding" is more melodic and bright release (although still mostly featuring a melancholic atmosphere), loaded with memorable soaring vocal melodies. Keyboards were used on all three predecessors to varying degrees, but here they are more dominantly present in the soundscape. Not as a lead instrument, but as an atmosphere enhancer. There´s still an occasional psychadelic touch to the band´s music, but to my ears that element is not as strong as it has previously been, although a track like "Northern Lights", featuring lyrics about smoking weed in Amsterdam and walking around town, of course still point in that direction (as does many of the lyrics on the album).

Scott Burns who produced "Mosquito (1994)" was tapped to engineer "Bleeding", but guitarist Dan Rock is credited for mixing and producing the album (with Woody Barber). As a result the sound production is what I´d characterize as a bit up and down in quality. The drums don´t feature the most pleasent sound and the guitars are sometimes a bit too high in the mix (and the flute solo on "My Grave" is placed too low in the mix)), but overall the album still sounds relatively good.

The material on "Bleeding" are generally well written and catchy, but to my ears the album is frontloaded with the best tracks, while the latter part of the album features most of the less remarkable songs. Highlights are "Faded", "Locust", "Morbid", the title track, and "Northern Lights", the first four of which happen to open the album. The acoustic based power ballad "My Grave", which includes flute playing courtesy of lead vocalist Buddy Lackey, should also be mentioned among the standout tracks on the album, although it´s a bit of a rehash of the ideas used on "I Remember" from "A Social Grace (1990)". Psychotic Waltz are as well playing as ever and Lackey´s voice and vocal style provide the band with a touch of originality. "Bleeding" is not a flawless album and it´s not the band´s strongest album either, but it´s still an original sounding high quality progressive metal album and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Report this review (#148700)
Posted Saturday, November 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ladies and Gentlemen. Behold the first album artwork by Travis Smith and the music to match it!

I don't think Travis Smith needs an introduction here. He went on to do some of the best artwork in recent metal history (Opeth, Katatonia, Anathema, Iced Earth,...). Psychotic Waltz however might be a band you still need to discover and this is the album you could pick up for that purpose.

The first thing you come to notice from looking at the play list is that with 11 songs in 41 minutes, Psychotic Waltz abided by the concise song writing of Mosquito. However, when you start to listen another story is revealed. Right from the first second of Faded, Psychotic Waltz have got their fire back! Not only is the opener faster then anything on Mosquito, it also burns bright with the musical passion of 5 exceptionally gifted talents.

Especially Buddy Lackey is in great shape and delivers some of his most passionate and convincing vocals ever. Locust and Morbid are, even in their condensed 3 minute 30 length, masterpieces of poignant progressive rock. But also Dan Rock and Brian McAlpin got their heads cleared again and throughout the album they shred through some of their best harmonic leads ever.

Also with this Psychotic Waltz album, I went through quite a change in appreciation. Contrary to Mosquito however, I was only mildly enthused upon its release. But I have kept playing it more regularly and hearing it today it still sounds surprisingly fresh and inspired. The songs are shorter and have more traditional rock structures, but as they are so inspired again, what is the harm in that?

The album testifies of their big love for Jethro Tull and on multiple occasions it struck me how huge the influence of Psychotic Waltz must have been on a band like Opeth. Unfortunately, for Psychotic Waltz themselves, the journey ended here. Dan Rock formed the disappointing Darkstar and Buddy Lackey finally remembered his real name and started Dead Soul Tribe, where he managed to maintain only an echo of the greatness of the 8 something years of Psychotic Waltz existence. Amen. 4.5 stars

Report this review (#247425)
Posted Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Short blasts of metal with strong powerful melodies.

The final great Psychotic Waltz album is as good if not better than "Mosquito". It may not live up to the technical wizardry of "Into The Everflow" or "A Social Grace", but this has 11 tracks of outstanding quality, not a bad song on the album, and some of the best metal of the late 90s. None of the songs reach 5 minutes and are rather short blasts of energy that are melodic, and swing from light textures of acoustic and keyboards to intense violent distorted riffs and blitzkrieg lead solo work. The complexity of the first 2 albums is non existent, making this their least progressive, but the melodies are bright and innovative with some excellent guitar work.

Faded is absolutely brilliant metal with a bassline to die for by Evans, and the intricate metal blasts of Rock and McAlpin. The vocals of Lackey are dynamic. The time sig changes are inspirational . I can't stop playing this track! The lead break is soaring and inventive. This is one of the best opening tracks to any metal band including Metallica's Battery.

This is followed by the atmospheric melodic Locust. Lackey's vocals and keyboards sound spacey, and generate a futuristic dark dystopian feel. There are some great riffs compliment the swathes of syth. The percussion of Leggio is as usual inspirational.

Morbid has a very nice piano motif with huge sustained metal distorted chords that ring out. The riff is complex and the vocals are again high falsetto at times, Labrie-like even, but the real drawcard is the structure of the song. It has a strong beat in the verses and the tension release for the chorus; "I'm morbid, I'm morbid". The lead break follows the melody line with the keyboards at first then explodes into a paroxysm of high powered hammer ons and sweeps, speed down picking and squealing string bends. A killer track!

Bleeding is kind of more accessible, straight forward metal with a strong melody. A bit like Sabbath with the doomy metal riffs and high tenor vocals.

Need grabbed me with its frantic riff and very accomplished vocals by Lackey. It has a strong powerful guitar chord structure.

The melody of Drift is infectious and the song literally imbeds itself into your brain. The melodies of these songs are all in fact very easy to latch onto. This one finishes before it has a chance to get complex, unfortunately.

An ultra cool riff drives Northern Lights and erratic vocals. The sound is more commercial sounding but there is still a grinding metal core in the midst of all the melodies.

Sleep is one of my least favourite tracks, a bit dull in places and takes a while to get going.

My Grave and Skeleton are both great songs, with some dark lyrics but a bright sounding guitar riff.

Freedom? Is definitely one of my favourite Psychotic Waltz tracks with a strong melody line and very powerful vocals. Once again this is a song that totally blew me away from the word go.

Undoubtedly, this is a terrific metal album that has some of the best material from the band; all killer no filler, it typifies the sound the band have created throughout their short but infamous career. "Bleeding" is a step up from the disappointing "Mosquito". I would state that every metal fan should find something to enjoy on this excellent album.

Report this review (#408396)
Posted Friday, February 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The last of the classic '90s Psychotic Waltz releases was neither a continuation of the band's first two albums, nor was it a direct followup to Mosquito. Bleeding is definitely more melodic than their previous output and the songs are much shorter, with all compositions being between 3-5 minutes in length. With all that in mind, I still think that Psychotic Waltz manages to hold their own by delivering another unique sounding record and an excellent one at that!

Straight from the get go Faded kicks us off with a funky bass riff that mesmerizes it's audience and the rest of the composition is indulged in a hypnotic state of mind with Devon Graves keeping up his theatrics for the sense of entertainment. There are quite a few excellent moments spread out all throughout this record with Morbid and Northern Lights being the most commercial sounding ones, while My Grave features what can only be described as a great tribute to one of our favorite progressive rock icons!

There is really not a single dull moment all throughout these 11 tracks, something that unfortunately could not have been said about Mosquito. There is also a clear sense of direction embedded into these compositions that don't try too hard in order to impress us and ultimately achieving just that.

Most fans considered Bleeding to be a great record that works on its own but ultimately fails in comparison to the band's first to masterpiece. When you break it down, this record comes close to another masterpiece and it's up to the listener to determine whether Bleeding is worth that extra push up the latter. I definitely think so since it's the last of the classic Psychotic Waltz releases that has only continued to grow in reputation over the years!

***** star songs: Faded (3:45) Morbid (3:39) Bleeding (3:55) Drift (3:34) Northern Lights (3:19) My Grave (3:27)

**** star songs: Locust (3:30) Need (4:48) Sleep (3:24) Skeleton (3:25) Freedom? (4:46)

Report this review (#581467)
Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011 | Review Permalink

Words couldn't be spoken more true about the last defining album in PSYCHOTIC WALTZ's history. An Ace indeed!! Now what transpired in the vision and making of this album was to have the approach of a more modern sound production while still not losing the progressive attitude that clearly defined PSYCHOTIC WALTZ's true character.'

For me, it's the old adage whereby sometimes the 'simple' approach can really make your overall sound, as a band, actually better! In this case I think the more accessible, modern sound that PSYCHOTIC WALTZ put forth with BLEEDING worked out for the better and not for the worse. It's good to change things up and it is clearly shown now to me, that no PSYCHOTIC WALTZ album sounds like the other...not even similar for that matter. Meanwhile, lets be clear here for a moment cause when I say 'simple' I don't mean that the music off BLEEDING is 'dumbed down' in anyway, especially in relation to PW's previous 3 releases. The album, BLEEDING is still as every bit as artful and sophisticated as anything they've ever done. It's well produced, mixed and engineered. For instance, LACKEY's vocal approach is stronger and more mature in connection to the more modernized sound the band carries. Its a fantastic blend, in relation to how the vocals pair so nicely with the music. On the other hand, The guitars by COX (replaced McALPNE due to family issues) and DAN ROCK sound far more fluent and less flashy while still keeping their progressive edge (thank god.) Also the drumming goes without saying, by still being steady as a rock from NORM LEGGIO. As for The bass, by CUTINO is more chunky and it stands out a lot more than previous sound directions by the band. I could barely here the bass on INTO THE EVERFLOW. I just couldn't!!

All in all, the album BLEEDING in my opinion really worked and it was a nice note to end on, in what I think was a brilliant 4 album career.'

The key highlights for me on BLEEDING was the amazing 'chunky' bass line opener in the track FADED, which immediately took me back to the late 80's of how FLEA from the R.H.C.P's would play. Needless to say I loved Flea's work on some RHCP albums and CUTINO reminded me of that. Furthermore, the track MY GRAVE would be an instant hit to my ears and BUDDY LACKEY's flute would remind me of non other than IAN ANDERSON of JETHRO TULL. I wouldn't, however, go as far to say that MY GRAVE was totally inspired by TULL's music. No way in fact. MY GRAVE is yet another unique, quality song produced by mostly LACKEY a.k.a GRAVES himself. MY GRAVE is the quintessential ballad of the BLEEDING album. To continue my plight of passion for this album, SLEEP is a great track where the guitar shines bright with epic soloing from ROCK, which takes you back to the SOCIAL GRACE and INTO THE EVERFLOW experiences where the guitar sound was fast, furious and more technical than space shuttle equipment. Lastly, and how could I ever forget, the massive melodic and majestically driven tracks LOCUST and MORBID. My favourite tracks on the album easily. Both tracks exhibit the strength and quality in LACKEY's voice that you are sure to fall in love with. I love both MORBID and LOCUST equally and they are similar sounding to HAZE ONE from 1994's MOSQUITO, which is another all time favourite for me. Quality music!! And it's cool to note that fans of DREAM THEATER's AWAKE album will find that the opening keyboards by GRAVES on the track MORBID sound so reminiscent to KEVIN MOORE's keys on LIFTING SHADOWS OF A DREAM. I tell you, that didn't hurt me from absolutely loving the MORBID track. Haha.'

In conclusion, this is another incredible effort from PSYCHOTIC WALTZ and I really appreciate the difference that BLEEDING carries compared to PSYCHOTIC WALTZ's other 3 previous releases. BLEEDING is still a heavy album, but not as much as the other albums A SOCIAL GRACE and INTO THE EVERFLOW, which I prefer a bit more due to heavy complex nature both those albums embody musically and lyrically. 'Thus, BLEEDING goes down as an absolutely well received album and it should get the respect of a lot of progressive metal fans and if I might add, Grunge music fans as well.'

Happy Psychotic listening to all.'


Report this review (#966142)
Posted Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | Review Permalink

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