Summary: Killer instrumental album driven by excellent guitar work that spans progressive and extreme metal.
Genre: Instrumental / Fusion
Release Date: 6/28/2011
Out on Sumerian Records June 28, Francesco Artusato (ALL SHALL PERISH) brings you his solo project’s first album, “Chaos and the Primordial.” Unlike the recent Evan Brewer album we reviewed, this isn’t solo in the sense that it’s just one man playing away on his instrument of choice (though Evan does do that exceptionally well!), this is a true band effort, merely lacking vocals. And that’s okay with me; the instrumentals on this album are so dynamic that there’s simply no need for a voice to come in and muddy up the works.
Upon first flirting with this disc, it was my intention to make light of the constantly flying fingers of Francesco Artusato, to come up with silly phrases like “You’ve just received an arpeggiotomy!” But this disc is worthy of multiple listens. Multiple thousands of listens. The most notable strength is that — even though this album almost never fears out of genre (which is basically extreme mixed with progressive metal) — the diversity of the lead and rhythm guitars, the deadly accurate drums and bass…all these pieces create an ever shifting whole, and keep the songs fresh and unique. There’s pretty much nothing on here if you’re looking for ballads or long acoustic sections. Pour L’egyptienne is as close as you’ll get, a creepy jazzy affair solely on guitar that really is just a segue between songs with crushing riffage all over the place.
The earlier tracks tend to stay a little more on the melodic progressive side, though certainly filled with their thrashy extreme rhythms. Quantum Tunneling, particularly, showcases a more upbeat side, an heir apparent to the happier-sounding riffs from “Crazy Train” but with an edge of heavier progressive metal bands like THRESHOLD and ANDROMEDA. The heavy parts are heavy, to be sure, but Francesco and his Team Project tend to be going more for speed or complementary tones.
Ceased Time starts a tradition of blending more aggressive pieces with doomy atmosphere, feeling more at home with ALL SHALL PERISH fans, as well as folks who dig the jackhammer sounds of NEVERMORE and the like. There’s a lot more play with open notes and less of the FEAR FACTORY-style stop-start drums that simply follow the rhythm guitar exactly. There are more jazzy parts, but there are also sections that sound like MESHUGGAH (see The Metamorphosis for some of that badassery!).
Overall, this is a solid album filled with skilled playing all around. There might be a few points where the drummer could have gone a little crazier on the fills, but his work is otherwise stellar. Like all guitarist’s solo albums, the bass is pretty much as buried as it can be in the mix…or, as METALLICA would say, “It just follows the guitars so well that you can’t hear it.” Yeah, okay. Either way, with those being the only things that come even close to sniffing the word “flaw,” I’m going to have to give this a hearty recommendation.
And watch out for all those arpeggiotomies flying around!
- Chaos and the Primordial
- Quantum Tunneling
- Gardens of Yama
- Ceased Time
- The Metamorphosis
- Pour L’egyptienne
- Aktion T4
- The Madness of…
- Layers of Corrosion – The Last Particle
For more information:
- The Francesco Artusato Project on Facebook
- Listen to Chaos and the Primordial right here: