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Trioscapes - 'Separate Realities' (metalblade) 4.5/5

Oooo interesting. Metalblade records have a deserved reputation for being the home of all things good and extreme in metal, but every so often, like all good labels should, they do like to pitch a curve ball, and this album from US jazz/rock fusion outfit Trioscapes is just such a pitch. Featuring bassist Dan Briggs (Between the Buried and Me), saxpert Walter Fancourt (Casual Curious, Brand New Life) and drummist Matt Lynch (Eyris) this lot came together as a one off project to record a cover version of the Mahavishnu Orchestra classic Celestial Terrestrial Commuters. This in turn lead to the idea of a one off gig so more music was penned and as is often the way with such ideas things soon snowballed and soon Trioscapes were born and this their debut album was recorded.

Now my liking for jazz was formed at a very tender age. I grew up in the household of a jazz loving father and I knew the tunes to the likes of Dave Brubecks Take Five before I could sing most nursery rhymes; and although over the years since I have grown to become a bit of a rock and metal nut,  the soft spot for jazz is still there deep down.

There are six cuts on offer here, all very nice chilled out and perfectly performed sweet sax lead jazz workouts that serve equally well as background music and as music for active listening. Now I like jazz but I don't really know the language of the musical form, so I'll leave the technical analysis of this one to the more expert jazz reviewers, but I will say cuts like the chilled out Curse of The Ninth and the epic and driving title track, along with the aforementioned Mahavishnu cover all make for one great listen.

Fans of jazz and jazz rock will love this one up big time and anyone who is a little 'jazz curious' will find this a good place to start their own jazz odyssey.


 For fans of... Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, King Crimson, Colosseum....

Cattle Decapitation - 'Monolith of Imhumanity' (Metalblade) 4.5/5

This is the ninth full length release from politically charged Californian death grind metallers Cattle Decapitation and it's a bit of gem.

Musically this album is about as intense and full on as it can get. Cuts like Forced Gender Reassignment, Gristle Licker and the magnificent Lifestalker explode from the speakers with all the brutal force of a unit of the Animal Liberation Front attacking a fur farm. Drums pound out a relentless tattoo whilst guitars scream thrash and shred like a crazed butcher and the vocals of Travis Ryan growl and snarl in vicious righteous fury. If you think the likes of Cannibal Corpse took it to the max then check these guys out, there is none more brutal and none more driven.

Lyrically this album is very much in line with the bands previous releases; tracks about animal rights intermix with vicious attacks on the decadence of western society and the state of the human condition in a ball of very angry social awareness that sock it to 'The Man' in a way few other outfits can hope to match. And in a world where so many of their musical counterparts are STILL banging out endless tunes about corpse fucking and devil worship its a breath of fresh air. I tip my hat to them for that alone.

Highlights? well the aforementioned Lifestalker with it's epic sounding bridge section, the frenzied thrash and pound of A Living, Breathing Piece Of Defecating Meat and the closing cut Kingdom of Tyrants with its vast and deadly dark soundscapes are to my mind the real stand out cuts on offer, but the whole damn album is pretty impressive over all, and it's rapidly becoming a bit of a favourate of mine.

Highly Recommended

For Fans of..... Cannibal Corpse, Black Dahlia Murder, Jon For A Cowboy, Deicide....

John Taglieri - 'Lucky #9' (Leap Dog Music) 4/5

This is the ninth album from cult US country rocker John Taglieri, and what a little gem this six tracker is. Currently available as digital download only from all your normal online outlets, this mini album is a very sweet and very listenable selection of ear friendly soft rock tracks that blend aspects of Americana, country rock, rock and roll and folky singer songwriter sensibilities into one very engaging whole.

Cuts like the tender and plaintiff Dying Alive, the old school rock and roll work out of Losing Me and the catchy sub pop Make Me Believe as jump out from the speakers and give the listener a big friendly hug that leaves yours ears with a very warm and satisfied glow.

With a voice that has hints of Roy Orbison and a song writing style not unlike the great John Fogerty, Mr Taglieri, who played most of the instruments himself, has with Lucky #9 is one helluva pleasant record that should win him new fans and admirers worldwide and make his existing followers very happy indeed.

Very Good Indeed.

For fans of... John Fogerty, Steel Blue Rose, Grinderswitch, Creedance Clearwater Revival.