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A Major Nervy, Jazzy Breach in the System - 90%

bayern, October 5th, 2017

This band was founded by the Hades guitarist Ed Fuhrman as a side-project, but the man persevered with it for the release of three demos which presented his new team as fairly capable musicians with a more characteristic take on the good old progressive power/thrash idea. Hades were on a hiatus at the time, and the man obviously wanted to keep himself active before the major metamorphoses the scene was facing, paying another handsome tribute to the old school.

The delivery on this demo is way more intricate and complex than the one of Hades comprising a blend of power and thrash on a nervy, hectic, shape-shifting base akin to Watchtower and Realm. “STX” is a restless jarring inauguration with hectic, jazzy meandering riffs that jump up and down to a really disorienting effect the not very passionate, matter-of-fact, but convincing clean tirades of the singer creating a nice contrast with the very busy musical background. “High Speed Pursuit” is very misleading since there’s nothing even coming close to high speed here, just surreal abstract rifforamas developing in consistent mid-pace the bass ensuring the bouncy jolts along the way recalling Doug Keyser (Watchtower again). “Tornado” is the next in line shredder which doesn’t quite live up to its title aggression-wise, but otherwise this is a supreme hallucinogenic shredder the super-technical cannonade interrupted by a great serene interlude. “Painted Walls” “paints” more linear pictures of American epic power metal without too many intricate embellishments, but “SA-161” is a most tantalizing psychedelic “excursion” with jazzy and funky deviations alternating with labyrinthine riff-knots which later acts like Zero Hour, Garden Wall and Andromeda would make a legitimate presence on the progressive metal scene.

A multi-layered, very eventful “journey” which would be a challenging listen although it’s merely 20-min long, and will keep the fans on their toes the whole time. There was nothing surprising about its appearance having in mind the more engaging, more ambitious direction the field took in the early-90’s when the US underground was literally teeming with young proficient progressive/technical power/thrash upstarts (Sylence, Premonition, Vision Purple, Elysium, Ministers of Anger, Sedition, Mind Eraser, etc.) most of whom remained unheard of. At least in this particular case Furhman decided to give himself a few more go’s, and recruited the talented singer Sunshine from the fellow thrashers Elysium for the next instalment, the “Sickness and Wealth” demo which was another interesting work of complex progressive metal with a wider range of influences among which thrash didn’t play such a dominant role anymore.

It would be interesting to check how far the guys’ evolution had reached on this last 1994 demo, but so far the ongoing excavation work hasn’t managed to come across it; no hope is lost, and results will be produced by all means, especially when the anticipations are for “a third time’s the charm” occurrence…