THE CLARITY OF CHAOS
Concept album about man’s time on Earth? Check. Final track that clocks in at 19 minutes? Check. Air-tight, exploratory guitar and keyboard solos that traverse the universe? Check.
Newsflash: Pravda is a prog-rock band. If you appreciate these types of technical, creative groups — ranging from Pink Floyd to Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater — you’ll want to hear these six songs.
If you are expecting anything less than expansive, headphones-beckoning music, you may be floored by this sound coming out of the Treasure Valley. Pravda’s fourth release is seriously slick.
It’s more prog-rock than prog-metal, but elements of both coexist. The trio takes a gentle, dream-friendly vocal approach. But when Pravda drifts into wide-open space — 10 minutes into “Second Hand,” for example — guitarist John Redfield occasionally trades David Gilmour coolness for hyper-speed guitar licks closer to, say, Symphony X. The midway point of “Fall Across the Sky” feels like Pink Floyd veering confidently into jam-band territory.
Pravda’s double-clutching, song-within-a-song style may or may not be up your intergalactic alley. It doesn’t change the fact that Pravda is the top prog-rock group in Idaho, and that this album is impressive inside or outside its specialized genre.
Werewolves in Siberia
You’re lounging on your couch at 2:30 a.m. A slasher movie you’ve never heard of just finished on Cinemax.
The music playing while the end credits roll? That’s what “synth-horror” project Werewolves in Siberia sounds like. Both the title track and “Blood Moon” are solid compositions driven by mildly groovy, creepy keyboard lines.
The other tracks on this five-song collection aren’t quite as accessible or appealing — but they’re perfectly useful. After a slow, ominous start, “Destruction” piles on sonic stress to the point of fatigue; it belongs in an intense level of a modernized version of an old-school video game, e.g. “Streets of Rage.” It also highlights what winds up being Werewolves in Siberia’s most memorable quality: repetition.
It’s really quite fitting, considering that repetition is precisely what drives direct-to-video horror franchises. Keep your ears peeled for one of these tracks in, say, “Puppet Master 9.”