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Psychotic Waltz - Aslan (Demo) CD (album) cover


Psychotic Waltz


Progressive Metal

3.65 | 9 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars ASLAN was the first incarnation of Psychotic Waltz which was formed in San Diego, CA, USA in 1986. The name came from a character in the novel "The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis and the band managed to release this one demo under the ASLAN moniker before they discovered that the name was already taken, so they changed it to the most obvious choice Psychotic Waltz of course!

This demo already contains the classic lineup of Buddy Lackey (vocals), Brian McAlpin (guitars), Dan Rock (Guitars), Ward Evens (bass) and Norm Leggio (drums) and the band wasted no time finding their own unique sound in the rather nascent world of progressive metal capturing the spirit of 80s Queensryche, Fates Warning and hints of Iron Maiden but proving without a doubt that they forged their own path into this developing style.

This is spectacular for a demo actually. Buddy Lackey sounds like a pro from the getgo with soaring clean vocals that are as wild and adventurous as a pack of bloodthirsty hyenas on the savannah. The guitar rhythms are highly melodic but complex and provide a haunting atmosphere with adventurous drum patterns instantly showing a highly developed sound that is every bit ready to compete with the big boys of the day. The only real issue here is the production as it is the demo quality one would expect but i have a high tolerance for these things and it is what it is, namely a demo after all. The strong musicianship and songwriting more than make up for this shortcoming.

This demo officially has only three tracks but "The Fry Tape" is a fourth unlisted track. This is a wild and experimental track that unleashes the band's creativity and propensity for strong song writing and atmospheric construction. While it starts out with a pleasant down-tuned acoustic guitar with slight background noises providing an atmospheric construction, the seven minute plus instrumental track displays a fully functional progressive band in action and really gets wild at the end with the sonic equivalent of a fireworks display of electronics. "To Chase The Stars" and "No Glory" would never find a home on the studio albums but "Spiral Tower" would be re-recorded and ended up on the "A Social Grace" debut album.

This demo was only ever released on cassette but can easily be found on the "Into The Everflow / Bleeding" combo pack that contains the ASLAN demo release as bonus tracks. All i can say is that i am very impressed by this demo. These tracks are more than strong enough to compete with any other progressive metal band even by today's standards. Psychotic Waltz under the moniker of ASLAN hit the ball out of the stadium on their very first recordings and what a great start for one of the best progressive metal bands to exist.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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