Lightning, it’s said, never strikes the same place twice. But for Metal Blade Records, that old adage couldn’t be more wrong. Metal Blade–pure metal’s flagship label–has already released one of the year’s best records with OSI’s fourth full length release, “Fire Make Thunder.” Now, on May 8th, the label is set to release another of the year’s finest albums in the debut album from a band called Trioscapes.
Trioscapes was founded by bassist Dan Briggs (Between The Buried and Me). He joined up with saxphonist/flutist Walter Fancourt and drummer Matt Lynch last year to work up a rendition of the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “Celestial Terrestrial Commuters.” The trio came up with some other original songs along with the way, intending to use the material for a one time only show. Now those ideas have led to what is one of the best records of 2012 in its debut record, ‘”Separate Realities.” The album is an amazing mix of progressive rock and jazz/fusion. It mixes the experimental sounds of Liquid Tension Experiment and Attention Deficit with that of the legendary jazz/fusion group, Yellowjackets to make for an opus that defies all classification. North Carolina fans will appreciate that “Separate Realities” was recorded and produced at the Basement Recording Studios in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
“Separate Realities” opens fittingly with the up-tempo, ‘Blast Off.’ The song’s title is perfectly fitting in that the music invokes images of an explosion of musical energy. It “blasts” listeners with its seemingly improv style. Drummer Matt Lynch shows his skill with ease playing constant polyrythmic patterns that would make even Mike Potnoy and Terry Bozzio proud. Walter Fancourt’s sax playing is simply amazing. His musicianship conjures up thoughts of the late E. Street Band saxophonist, Clarence Clemons. The dynamic control of all three musicians makes listeners feel as if they’ve been taken up with rapid fire energy and allowed to float in some ethereal musical stratosphere before being shot straight back to earth with just as much energy. It’s the perfect opener for this release.
The band gives listeners just enough time to catch their breath after ‘Blast Off’ with the equally impressive title track to the album. ‘Separate Realities’ has something of a Middle Eastern feel. As with the album’s opener the band showcases its musicianship yet again with this piece. As disjointed as it begins to feel at one point, that disjointedness is really controlled chaos. The band eases its way through the whole thing without missing a beat.
Perhaps one of the best examples of this trio’s originality and ability is a song that’s equally bizarre both in its sound and its title, ‘Wazzlejazzleboff.’ That’s really the song’s title. And as bizarre as this song is, it’s one of those pieces that demands the listener’s full attention. Every note and every rhythm in this piece has its own life. It all comes together for what is easily one of the album’s best songs. Of course, it isn’t the only great song on the album. Every one of the songs on “Separate Realities” collectively make a debut release that’s as solid as any of the metal that has made Metal Blade famous.
The band already has a pair of live shows set to celebrate the album’s release. North Carolina fans will be happy to know they’ll be among the first to see the band live as it will perform May 4th at The Broach Theater in Greensboro. The band will share the stage with the Bronzed Chorus and Drag Sounds. Fans can get an idea of what to expect from Trioscapes thanks to absolutepunk.net. ‘Wazzlejazzlebof’ can be streamed there now. For more information on Trioscapes, check out the band on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes.