If you are a fan of super-technical metal (Cynic, Aghora, Spiral Architect), this is where it all started. These guys only have two albums out (the first, "Energetic Disassembly", long out of print- if you're lucky, you can track down a copy of it on the internet, or pick up "Demonstrations in Chaos", available through Amazon; which are demo versions of material from their mid-80's independent label release), but they are among the most mind-numbingly complex pieces of work you've ever heard. Say what you will about this sort of music being too cold, technical, heartless. What it might lack in passion it more than makes up for in finesse.
Basically, take 2 parts old-school Rush and one part frustrated jazz profs on crack. Add a splash of Steve Vai and a pinch of thrash on acid, and you might begin to start getting a picture of what these guys are about. Everyone in this group overplays. Let's get that straight from the get-go. The drums (Rick Colaluca) are completely over-the-top, the bass parts (Doug Keyser) sound like they're taken right out of jazz fusion 101, and the guitars (Ron Jarzombek) are pulled straight from the Allan Holdsworth school of legato phrasing. Top it off with Alan Tecchio's unbelievable vocals, an octave above where most mere mortals can hear, and you've got a collection of start-stop, turn on a dime, time changes, whirl-wind guitar solos, and jazz fusion combo arrangements that's enough to make the profs at GIT sit up and take notice. And, don't get me wrong, this album rocks! It's not just a flurry of scales and technical artistry. This is definitely one of the best Metal albums ever.
I've been a fan of these guys since the mid-eighties and keep this C.D. in rotation almost constantly. If you're into what I call "musician's music", you owe it to yourself to buy this disc. It's unbelievable. Also check out Ron Jarzombek's solo projects (available only on his website: [...]