Metallic Taste Of Blood ‘Metallic Taste Of Blood’ – album review

Metallic Taste Of Blood ”˜Metallic Taste Of Blood’ (Rare Noise Records)
CD/DL
Released 4th June 2012

How can you ignore an album by a band calling itself Metallic Taste Of Blood? Factor in that the band members have in the past variously played alongside such heavyweights as Merzbow, Porcupine Tree, Harold Budd and Thomas Fehlmann, then consider that it’s been released on the uber cool Rare Noise Records, who were responsible for the Obake self titled album (LTW review)last year that made a heavy dent in the LTW Top 50 releases of 2011, with all that realised I knew I was in for something a little bit special.

”˜Metallic Taste Of Blood’ is an instrumental album crafted by the collective genius of Eraldo Bernocchi (Winter Garden ft. Budd and Guthrie, Obake with Pandi) on guitars, pianist Jamie Saft (of New Zion Trio, Zorn’s electric Masada, Cuong Vu, Marc Ribot and others), bass-player Colin Edwin (of Porcupine Tree and Ex-Wise Heads) and drummer Balazs Pandi (of Venetian Snares, Bong Ra, Obake, Merzbow and Otto Von Schirach).

As could be guessed, the music they have created is beyond simple genre categorisation and draws influence from their respective fields, as such we get some exquisite neo-classical piano, jazz tinged drum patterns, all under pinned with a warm dub heavy bass which then leaves space for at times almost industrial power chords; the sort of shards of noise that Geordie releases for Killing Joke, add to this a vast array of additional instrumentation and the range of noises you hear is mind-blowing, the tempo of the compositions shifts effortlessly often during each respective track.

”˜Sectile’ opens the album, beginning with piano and distorted guitar overlaying a loping bass and gentle percussive beat which fades to a single note before the tempo lifts, the drum becomes a little more frantic and then the piano comes to the fore; initially warm and engaging before transforming itself into a chaotic maelstrom of perfect sound. The track continues, switching between these two styles keeping you guessing yet also retaining your attention.
”˜Schizopolis’ continues in this unsettling vein, a painfully extended barely audible run in before a basic back beat is pushed aside by some very peculiar keyboards, the whole thing suddenly shifts focus and assumes a much more ominous tone, before once again dropping away to allow all manner of musical improvisation.
”˜Glass Chewer’ could be described as warped chill out, a short burst of piano, before a cavernous bass fights for domination over sheets of metallic and yet restrained guitar.

Metallic Taste Of Blood

What this album does is both allow its composers the freedom to experiment, whilst understanding the need to engage with an audience ”“ many experimental releases fail in that the only people who can follow the music are those involved in its composition.

Metallic Taste Of Blood have not recorded songs in the traditional sense; they have crafted soundscapes, each track taking them and you on a journey of exploration, presenting you with sonic challenges, commanding that you open yourself to the possibilities that the bands members experienced at the point of composition; as mentioned this is an instrumental album, from what I can gather the recording does not contain any vocalisation at all, no harmonics, no accompaniment and yet nothing is missing.

Consider ”˜Crystals And Wounds’ – built around a bass line that Jah Wobble would be envious of, with a drum pattern Sly Dunbar would readily appropriate which acquiesces to ambient piano low down in the mix that is carried with mountainous guitar – a spellbinding synthesis of styles and taste.

There is so much going on within each track; this sort of composition often falls short as the component parts are not allowed the space they require ”“ it is the sheer depth of musicality from the composers that carries this release to such a celebratory conclusion; no single musician or instrument is allowed to dominate, as I hinted its almost tidal, the movement of the music across each piece, each entity as vital as the other.

Metallic Taste Of Blood will challenge the listener, but will also warmly embrace those prepared to be confronted; allow yourself to be immersed in this rich tapestry of sound.

Whilst this album was conceived within a studio Metallic Taste Of Blood do not describe themselves as a studio band, there are plans for selected live dates to tour the album in the near future – these would be special and very welcome events.

Tracklisting:

1 Sectile
2 Schizopolis
3 Glass Chewer
4 Bipolar
5 Maladaptive
6 King Cockroach
7 Crystals And Wounds
8 Fist Full Of Flies
9 Twitch
10 Transverse

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