'Separate Realities' is the first of hopefully many releases by Trioscapes, an experimental jazz fusion/progressive rock outfit from Atlanta formed in 2011 and consisting of Dan Briggs on bass (Between The Buried And Me), Walter Fancourt, tenor sax and flute (Casual Curious, Brand New Life) and Matt Lynchon on drums and electronics (Eyris).
Originally intending just to rehearse and perform a reworking of the classic Mahavishnu Orchestra's 'Celestial Terrestrial Commuters' and a few other original pieces for a one off show, but growing into this awesome album.
The album is strongly influenced by the Mahavishnu Orchestra with strong elements of King Crimson and also put me in mind of 'Blackjazz' by Norwegian extreme avant-garde Metal/jazz fusion band Shining. The sound, a blend of freeform jazz mixed with the psychedelic ambience of progressive rock but with a modern aggressive, exciting twist.
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Opening with 'Blastoff', instantly you are hit by the intensity and depth of sound that initiates a sensory overload. An exciting blend of sax, bass and drums with the bass maintaining a sexy groove pretty much throughout the track.
Marathon track of the album at over eleven minutes, 'Separate Realities' is packed with interest from percussion, sax and a few quirky surprises to make you smile. This track naturally segments itself with tempo and direction change.
The bass sets the groove on 'Curse Of The Ninth' and is in places, atmospheric, others psychedelic with chaotic, energetic elements bursting in and out.
A lazy laid back feel from hypnotic drum rhythms and snaking sax begins 'WazzleJazzlebof', then at two thirds of the way through extreme sax squeals break out, the pace picks up with the sound becoming distorted and hypnotic towards the end.
'Celestial Terrestrial Commuters' is twice as long as the original 1973 classic by Mahavishnu Orchestra and sax led rather than guitar led. Having heard both, I like this better. The production is a better quality because it is a modern recording and it has so much more depth and richness to the sound, mainly due to the sax work. The drums and bass, consistently excellent throughout the album, really stand out on this track.
Ending on 'Gemini's Decent', gentle, soothing and ambient with a hypnotic quality, the sound built from exotic percussion layered with electronics and haunting flute, an excellent finale.
This is an excellent album from start to finish. The musicianship is flawless. It's not my usual face ripping selection but it's nice to have a change, particularly one this good and although it may not be face ripping, it is exciting, aggressive and 'out there'.
If you are a fan of King Crimson or the Mahavishnu Orchestra or you just love a bit of mind blowing saxophone you should love this.
Recorded by Jamie King in Winston-Salem, NC, 'Separate Realities' is out now on Metal Blade Records.