Psychotic Waltz - _Bleeding_
(Independent, 1996)
by: Brian Meloon (6 out of 10)
This is a step in the right direction for these guys. It's a return to a style closer to _Into the Everflow_ than _Mosquito_. The songs remain simpler in structure, but they are heavier, more interesting, and they've replaced the pseudo-alternative influence of _Mosquito_ with the 70s hippie-rock influence of _ItE_. Although I'm no fan of 70s rock, I think this is a change for the better. They've also retained their Jethro Tull influence, as the intro to "My Grave" will attest. I guess the overall mix of the album is about half and half heavy and light, and half and half hard rock and metal. It's a reasonably coherent album, but it doesn't get boring. Unfortunately, it doesn't get too interesting, either. The playing is good, with the best parts being the guitar solos. However, I get a strong sense of deja vu when I listen to parts of this album, as they seem to be taken directly from (or at least heavily influenced by) their previous albums. Parts of "Locust" evoke a strong recollection of "Haze One", and the solo in "Sleep" recalls the solos in "Into the Everflow" and "Strange". I'm sure that if you liked their previous releases, you'll like this one as well. If you haven't heard them, and you like 70s rock mixed with metal, you could do much worse. By the way, although this is an independent release, the packaging is excellent. It's the best indie packaging I've ever seen; very vibrant and strange artwork.

(article published 10/11/1996)


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