At War with Self — Acts of God
(Sluggo's Goon Music, 2007, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-01-01Guitarist Glenn Snelwar's second release under the At War with Self moniker is a curious turn in direction. By pushing the project in a more personalized course the possibilities for subsequent live performance may also present themselves as well. Michael Manring has been replaced by bassist Damon Trotta, making the effort a collaboration between like-minded friends rather than proficient fusion practitioners. Emphasis on acoustic instrumentation (particularly mandolin) is one of the key points of the success of the technical metal thrust of Snelwar and Trotta's enhanced vision. The light acoustic guitar and mandolin strumming sets a tone akin to Led Zeppelin’s III before the bass drum accents introduce a Jurassic Park like doom. The additional four cell framed video on the website for "911" represents a strong visual aspect of man-made destruction while unison riffs wail away. The link between Indianapolis based hard rock act Von Garcia and Vehicle marks another clue for the new project's enthusiasm. Vocally, Mark Sunshine invokes the late Layne Staley's (Alice in Chains) delivery on four tracks that surprisingly work well on "Threads" and "Ursa Minor." The former piece swings into jazz/funk territory with Snelwar's snaky leads put to good use. The latter song relies on a tremolo driven spacey motif for Sunshine's fitting vocal line. The album closer "Refugees" sounds like it could have been a grungy bluesy outtake from Jar of Flies. In summary Snelwar's new muse embraces hard rock thus sidestepping the successful technical metal trappings of the band's debut.
Related artist(s): At War with Self
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more