The power trio known as douBt return with the second release for Moonjune Records, titled Mercy, Pity, Peace & Love. Their previous album, Never Pet a Burning Dog, was a bit of a hit in the underground prog/jazz/avant-garde scene, and this latest tries to take that premise one step further. Recorded late 2011 in Belgium, Mercy, Pity, Peace & Love sees Alex Maguire (keyboards), Michel Delville (guitars, Roland GR09, samples), and Tony Bianco (drums, sequencers) once again looking to stretch the boundaries of instrumental music, and they've done a fine job.
It's hard to describe the music of douBt; it's not really jazz, not really prog, not really heavy rock or avant-garde, but yet it's all of those genres and more. Just listen to "Jalal", which has some bouncy, almost jazz-fusion styled keyboards from Maguire surrounding some ferocious lead guitar work from Delville that wouldn't sound out of place on either a classic King Crimson or Mahavishnu Orchestra album. "No More Quarrel With the Devil" is like a wild meeting of In Rock era Deep Purple and the Tony Williams Lifetime, and "Rising Upon Clouds" is a sure fire bet to please any fan of Pink Floyd's early experimental, psychedelic albums. If all that doesn't sound enticing, then perhaps the notion of the band launching into a quasi-metal/free-jazz rendition of the Jimi Hendrix classic "Purple Haze", complete with scorching, distorted wah-wah guitar licks and tripped-out organ will grab your attention? It's something that needs to be heard to be believed folks.
Elsewhere, there's the lush, jazzy "The Invitation", a great vehicle for Delville's melodic guitar playing, the ominous 12-minute title track (talk about a tension builder!), metallic fusion on "Tears Before Bedtime", the dark, haunting sounds of "The Human Abstract", the jazzy, groove laden "Mercury" (like a leftover from one of Miles Davis' late '60s-early '70s sessions), and the bleak, nightmarish closer "Goodbye My Fellow Soldier" which features some great drumming from Bianco. Mercy, Pity, Peace & Love is a fascinating listen from start to finish, certainly not for the faint of heart or those who crave picture-perfect arrangements and tons of melody. This is adventurous, bold, risk-taking music from a trio that knows no boundaries and are not opposed to travel into previously uncharted waters. If you are not afraid to be challenged, then this will be a listening experience that you won't soon forget.
1. There Is A War Going On
3. No More Quarrel With The Devil
4. Rising Upon Clouds
5. Purple Haze
6. The Invitation
7. Mercy, Pity, Peace & Love
8. There Is A War Going On (reprise)
9. Tears Before Bedtime
10. The Human Abstract
11. No More Quarrel With The Devil (reprise)
13. Goodbye My Fellow Soldier