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Enter the mind of Paul Chain - 99%

Doooom, June 22nd, 2009

Paul Chain has stood as a pillar in the Italian metal scene for over three decades, launching his cult career with the infamous Death S.S. Everything the man has touched is gold. Some of the best releases ever, doom or otherwise, have come from this man. Yet somehow he has remained under the radar and still to this day is relatively unknown amongst metal fans.

The album, overall, has a very jazzy and laid back feeling to it. That, however, is not all that is thrown into this mixing pot. There are so many influences on this record, some far more dominant than others. Chain draws influences from nearly everything. Influence ranging from classic rock, industrial, stoner rock, blues, folk, Italy, lasagna, awesome, great, who-knows-what, progressive rock, and even kraut rock can be heard. Every now and again the clear doom riff can heard amongst the mix of influences, but those moments are quite few and far in-between. Each of the tracks features a different blend of soundscapes and influences. Some tracks are far longer than others, but never does this one hour and forty minute epic get boring.

Violet Art Of Improvisation stands as the man’s most experimental release. This long passage through the (deranged) mind of Paul Chain starts with the monstrously long “Tetri Teschi In Luce Viola”, or when translated into English “Sad Skulls in Violet Light”. As one would expect from the title, there is a large amount of psychedelic influence in that particular track. It centers solely around the same rhythm that is repeated on guitar and drum every five seconds. Being a thirty one minute track, this must be excruciatingly boring, right? Not at all. Plenty of keyboards, synthesizers, electronic sounds, and lively guitar riffs sprinkle this half hour experimentation. It takes away focus from the rhythm. The rest of the album is very much the same way, with different styles thrown in.

As always with Mr. Chain, the strangest part of the music is the vocals. As has been mentioned over 9000 times on countless sites, Paul Chain’s language is a phonetic one. One doesn’t realize exactly how weird it is until they listen to it firsthand. The vocals are often mellow and in the background, most times resembling indecipherable English. On other releases by Paul Chain they are used as any vocalist would use their vocals. However, on Violet Art Of Improvisation, they are used purely for an ethereal effect to expand on the soundscapes.

Violet Art Of Improvisation is one of the weirdest pieces of art, let alone music, that has ever been made. It is pulled off exceptionally well, to an extent that it can be considered one of the greatest achievements in experimental/psychedelic rock. Imagine being on a boat floating endlessly to nowhere on soundscapes of pure psychedelia. This alternate reality created by Paul Chain is his best experimental piece of music. Violet Art Of Improvisation is not a release for everyone. There are very few traces of metal are to be found, and it must be approached from a completely different angle than most releases. This is something that is not easily absorb, one must just immerse themselves in the deranged mind of the musical genius that is Paul Chain.