Local releases: Pravda, Werewolves in Siberia

TheClarityofChaos

THE CLARITY OF CHAOS
Pravda

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.

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THE RISING
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.”

Michael Deeds is the Idaho Statesman’s entertainment columnist and Scene magazine editor. His column runs Fridays and Sundays. He appears on the 6 p.m. broadcast of "Today's 6 News" on Thursdays and hosts a music show, "The Other Studio," from 9-10 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.

Posted in Words & Deeds