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Psychotic Waltz - Mosquito CD (album) cover


Psychotic Waltz


Progressive Metal

3.71 | 106 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars What is Psychedelic Metal Anyway?

I really wish I had known about Psychotic Waltz when they were releasing albums. I would have obsessed over them as I was on a quest for metallic psychedelia and frankly very little qualified in those days. PW's old website is still up and you can still download free mp3's from it, and this was how I was introduced to the band's sound. One of those songs was the title song from MOSQUITO which I later ordered bundled with A SOCIAL GRACE. The two albums, as many have mentioned, contrast quite a bit. While the debut uses more tech metal and prog ideas, by MOSQUITO Devon Graves, er, Buddy Lackey, and company had developed their sense of melody and composition by quite a bit. Without a doubt, the music is easier, but it's also more textured, better recorded, and simply more listenable.

It must be pointed out that this album still relies on classic metal tonalities and ideas. The heavily reverbed guitars use a dated distortion and Graves / Lackey's vocal delivery still is very much rooted in the classic metal mold. (His current vocals with Dead Soul Tribe almost seem to come from a completely different singer.) The darkness of an Alice in Chains combined with a more classic metal sound of Iron Maiden or Queensryche would describe the band on this record, but really nothing else I'm aware of sounds quite like this. The drums are much more syncopated than most metal, though they remain in straight time. The bass is clear in the mix, filling a big space in the mix. The twin guitars intertwine for moody accents as much as soloing, showing how much grunge had influenced music at the time of this release.

Graves' flutework here is great where it appears "Shattered Sky," but as always I wish there was more of it. It is a truly unique part of this music, completely out of left field in 1994 but sounds great. Similarly, the psychedelic funk-reggae of "Mindsong" looked forward by years, and still holds up better than some of the other PW songs. Sadly, none of this propelled the band into a high enough profile for this Midwestern Metal fan to get a chance to know them when they would have been a colorful delight.

3/5 stars. Good music, but limited prog elements. Its innovative ideas from 15 years ago are not as surprising today. Recommend for traditional metal fans, prog or not.

Negoba | 3/5 |


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