Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. As I sit writing this Psychotic Waltz have been reunited for a couple years and touring Europe.
There have been talks of them putting out a new album but no news on its development. So, I write this wondering if this is their last album. Dark Millenium doesn't count. The best way to describe this is a natural evolution of their sound and sort of a cross between their debut and Mosquito. Some of the funk and psychedelic elements from that last album are still there and again the songs are all short and catchy, but this is crushingly heavy in its own way.
After all the fucking around of the past albums Bleeding is the most straightforward thing this band ever did, leaning more towards the power metal end of the spectrum than the prog. There's still enough odd time sigs and experimentation to keep things interesting, though.
The fourth and at this point final album in the PW discography sees the band at their most colorful with richly textured layering of music and vox. Locust - Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding color is matched in the album cover and inner sleeve artwork from Travis Smith. Keyboards are used with atmospheric perfection, the way it should be on a metal album, never as a lead instrument.
You hear that Locust - Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding Theater, you and your wretched spawn of sycophants. New bassist Locust - Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding Cutino enters the picture replacing Ward.
It's immediately clear this man fits in well with the Waltzers as the album opens with a funky bass lick that Begging You Please - Various - International Pop Overthrow Vol. 17 quickly joined by the thrashy sig riff of Faded. Phil's bass presence is loud and busy which perfectly suits the sound of this album. A cap must be doffed to Scott Burns for that sound, who was mostly known for producing Florida death metal.
He had produced Mosquito too but he, along with the band, found the right sound here. A video was made for Faded as was one for My Grave, the only two official music videos for this band. The lyrics on this disc seem to make a lot more sense compared to the last album. Need particularly stands out with thoughtful lyrics as it builds into that emotionally compelling "Your lips destroy like missiles" part. Sleep is the heaviest track although all the songs have some thick Aint Nothing Wrong - Ronnie Dyson - Love In All Flavors in them.
The ending of Sleep reminds me of the ending of Fates Warning's Giant's Lore with obtusely melodic twinned leads over a weirdly metered yet groovy power metal riff. Brian and Dan are no longer twinning every lead though, there's some solos on here as there were Locust - Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding the last album as well.
They weren't afraid to branch out, it was clear this was a band that would never stick to formulas. The ending Locust - Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding it bugs me a bit.
Kind of like the ending of Mindsong on the last album, it seems unfinished. A twisted reprieve of the clean intro riff is played but quickly goes nowhere and could have been developed into something more. Oh well, at least there's no stupid 2 minutes of silence followed by a surprise track.
I've given this album a higher score than A Social Grace but I like that one more, let me explain. This is an easier album to sit down and listen to right through than Grace or anything they've done for that matter, it's just so smooth.
However, their Locust - Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding has the best songs they've written even though the guys sound more comfortable here than ever. It's sad that at the point when it felt like everything was coming together for this band they were broken up by changes. One can only speculate what might have been had they had more success but of course North America cares little for this style of music.
Well, that concludes my review of the tragically brief career of this god-like band. Go buy all their albums now, they deserve your money. Hopefully they drop another one on us. Again the band makes way for shorter compositions that are more based on a verse-chorus structure, while still managing to make them sound progressive and somewhat complex.
With only two songs out of eleven going over the four minute mark one can say that the change of heart and direction undergone in their past album was vastly improved here, and the much better fluidity of the songs confirms exactly that, while avoiding moments that could feel out of character in the process.
And it can be seen from the start that things are going Locust - Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding be great, starting with the bass sound which is immediately presented by the frantic tapping of the newfound member, Phil Cuttino. The chorus almost makes you freak out with its overlapping of sounds coming from all directions, covered in spacey keyboards and great bass lines.
The album travels Everyday People - Sly & The Family Stone - Greatest Hits a whole palette of colours and an immense diversity of rhythms and sensations, presenting everything from rocking out songs that usually feature a heavy and powerful main riff to wailing mid-tempo ballads that swerve from the inspiration of the rhythmic section to bring upon a sense of emotiveness that feels quite intimate.
This song in particular is a brilliant piece of raw emotion, and again the mixing in of acoustic guitars Locust - Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding to be an accomplished experiment as they make you slowly tilt your head as if accompanying the sunset breeze.
However it is a very strong effort and a very cohesive Locust - Psychotic Waltz - Bleedingand more so a work that is the proper realization of their vision. Everything feels in place and they sound at the top of their game, despite all the past and present problems they had to overcome. Bleeding may be their last testimony of greatness but for what is worth it sees the band going out in style. However, Psychotic Waltz manage to improve the sound in every way, creating what many see as their best work.
The fluid guitar riffs contribute immensely to this mysterious dream-like atmosphere. Melodies merge smoothly around each other giving the album a free-floating style. The guitar solos too are more melodic and impressive. The singing is not quite as varied as on the first 2 albums, but the more controlled mellow singing used here is very impressive and fits perfectly with the dreamy music. However, due to his very unique and often high-pitched singing style, the singing could be a bit of an acquired taste for some, even though it is much more ordinary than it was in the early albums.
The lyrics are also simplified a Locust - Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding more but are still much better than most metal lyrics, showing the amazing lyric-writing skill of Buddy Lackey.
As with most Psychotic Waltz, the lyrics have a psychedelic theme. The musicianship, as always with the band, is superb, with all of the members easily able to play the material completely accurately.
Even though it's arguably not quite as strong as the first few albums, anyone new to the band should start here. In a time when there're so many 'wanna-be-prog-bands' around is always soothing to listen to a real progressive metal album. The first track, 'Faded', starts with a great bass line and builds into an almost thrashy riff with atmospheric vocals by Buddy Lackey. Great, great song. It's followed by 'Locust', which is a great tack as well. It sounds as if Roger Waters grew up on metal!
The chorus is amazing, a true work of art. The third track is 'Morbid'. It combines some Pantera-like riffs with great keyboards interludes and fantastic vocal lines.
The lyrics are a little bit weird, but great nevertheless. The fourth and fifth tracks, 'Bleeding' and 'Cold' are nothing special but they work very well within the context of the album. Buddy Lackey's voice is nothing less than wonderful and the music is on par to it.
It has to be heard to be believed. The riffs are quite hard rock-ish, but the whole track is pretty much filled with a LSD kind of vibe. Good, very good. With 'Sleep' we return to heavier grounds. This is quite nu-metal-ish at times, if the nu-metal bands could play with talent. Buddy's voice is more aggresive and the drumming is brilliant. Smith And Wesson Blues - Radio Birdman - Living Eyes is no masturbatory wankery, this is technique working for the Колыбельная - Various - Мы Пойдём С Тобой and not the other way around.
It's a Locust - Psychotic Waltz - Bleeding Jethro Tull kind of ballad with fantastic vocals and lyrics. In a time when mediocrity seems to rule the show, it's a relief to listen to such a track.
In short, 'Bleeding' is an example of what true progressive Father To Son - Queen - Queen II should sound like. Psychotic Waltz are way more daring and progressive than DT ever was.
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