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Spanish castle cream. . .WTF? - 87%

Psychotic Fates, October 19th, 2012

While Into the Everflow didn't wanna die either young or old but still wanted its time to come, Mosquito is a condensed version of its predecessor, with more funk rock experimentation. It could be described as alterna-prog metal. This is a band aware of what's happening around them and desiring success yet hindered or helped (depending on your POV) by their tendencies towards metal and prog and their differing ideals. Clearly they wanted to write shorter, more accessible material but they did not sell out. Their name is Psychotic Waltz, think about that for a moment.

Lovestone Blind is a song that should have been a hit. The lyrics are ridiculous but I'm sure they mean something to Buddy. Speaking of Buddy, he identified more with the grunge bands of the time and the classic rock that inspired them than the '80s metal his bandmates identified more with. This was something that came through in their sound. However, there was some crossover between him and the others. It was actually Buddy that wrote the heaviest track on here in Locked Down and Dan that wrote the completely un-metal Darkness.

All the differing ideals cause this album (like both of its predecessors) to wander around so much but occasionally the guys would go, "Hey wait a minute, we're a metal band, aren't we?" At these times we got highlights in the previously mentioned Locked Down and Dancing in the Ashes. The latter song is the most speed metal thing this band would ever do in their post-Aslan/Burn the Night days. Other highlights are Shattered Sky which is a different kind of heavy with great lyrics. Only Time alternates between psyched out doom metal and Hendrixy space funk. All the Voices has some neat keyboard/flute intricacies and, well, lots of voices from Buddy. Every song on this album is good, with fuzzy riffs and nimble leads of some sort in all of them. Those leads are more subtle here compared to the way they dominated much of the band's earlier material. When these guys wanted to write catchy little tunes they were damn good at it.

The first couple minutes of Mindsong evokes images of an island paradise. The effect is achieved through exotic clean guitars, sequencing and percussion. This paradise is not a happy one though, we're seeing the sun go down through a depressed POV. The ending of both this song and album bothers me. New ideas pop up at the end but fade out, undeveloped. What follows is a couple minutes of silence then we get the scary-as-fuck Darkness instrumental. Other bands have done this too, I think its fucking stupid. Check out Skyclad's The Silent Whales of Lunar Sea for a cool way to do a hidden bonus track.

This time around the metal is more integrated into the background but still present, even if vaguely, on everything but Mindsong. Whereas on Everflow the metal was too often completely absent. Mosquito is easier to digest than its predecessors being that it's simple, at least by Psychotic Waltz standards which is still more technical than the average. This is not as good as Grace or Bleeding but just right for when you're in the mood for something different. Ugly artwork though, WTF?