Path to Hocma is a weird album - one that your average listener probably won't appreciate very much. Like many avant-garde albums (for me, at least), Path to Hocma is a one-of-a-kind album that hasn't completely convinced me of its genius. David Pisabarr and his alias as 413 have created some extremely unique and challenging music here, but I just can't find a whole lot of standout material. For a free price tag and an adventurous attitude, this is worth a shot for most everyone, but I can really only see the die-hard avant fans adoring it. Most of all, David Pisabarr has made a brave experiment here and, though it's not entirely successful, it's a remarkable effort that should hopefully expand the fanbase of 413.
The music on Path to Hocma defies most genre tagging, but I'll go with a loose tag of avant-garde metal. There's hints of Disco Volante-era Mr. Bungle and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, though 413 is slightly more metal-oriented than the aforementioned acts. This is just a melting pot for so many different genres of music and, like many other avant-garde metal bands, the result is often mixed. Tracks like "The Town", "The Brigit Mountains" and "The Bindu Sea: Cloudy" impress me, but the vast majority of the album doesn't move me significantly. I guess I'm not in the targeted listening audience for Path to Hocma, though, so you should take that into consideration as well. People who are more into the avant-garde and experimental sides of music than this humble reviewer may find themselves enjoying this release more than myself. The quality is generally high; it's just the music itself that doesn't always appeal to me.
One of the high points of Path to Hocma is the production, which is excellent. The organic sound that has been achieved here is truly remarkable - David's talents as a producer are impeccable.
Path to Hocma is a high-quality avant-garde metal album, but I can't say I've been completely won over. People who enjoy acts like Sleepytime Gorilla Museum should get a kick out of this one even though my own enjoyment is mixed. David Pisabarr has created a truly unique experiment here, and for the generally positive outcome, 3 stars are well-deserved. Fans of more avant-garde and experimental music will definitely want to check this out; especially since 413 has generously offered it for free download from their website.
1. The Town (5:03)
2. The Desert of the Real (4:15)
3. The Rising of the Real Man (5:33)
4. The Bindu Sea: Cloudy (3:05)
5. The Brigit Mountains (6:29)
6. The White Mountains (2:19)
7. The Swamp (4:36)
8. The Hocma Point (3:50)
9. The Ophoist (6:04)
10. The Virus Ophoist/The Yethunter (11:39)