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MCM: Ritual Factory

Lion Music has been churning out some gems lately, and this debut from MCM is no exception. Sort of a "shredder supergroup", the project involves guitarist Alex Masi, Randy Coven (Steve Vai/Yngwie Malmsteen/Leslie West) on bass, and drummer John Macaluso (TNT/Riot/Yngwie Malmsteen.) Together, the three virtuosos create highly complex music that fuses hard rock, metal, classical, jazz, prog rock, and funk, into a stormy maelstrom of sounds that surprisingly has lots of groove and melody, regardless of the intricate nature of the individual songs.

Hearing Alex Masi ripping some tasty jazz runs a-la Mike Stern on the scorching title track was a pleasant surprise, and the bands cover of the Weather Report classic "Black Market" is spot on, with Coven really hitting home on the pulsating Jaco Pastorius bass lines. "Red Quantum" is a metal shred fest from hell, featuring scorching solos and molten rhythms, while "The Whole Life" is highlighted by chunky guitar riffs, blinding solos, and acrobatic bass fills. Perhaps one of the most creative tunes here though is "Sadhu's Jewel" , a piece that features Indian rhythms (check out Macaluso's wonderful drum & percussion work), popping bass grooves, and neat sitar-like guitar passages from Masi. Funk-meets-metal on the bluesy "Brozo", while the band goes for a progressive jazz vibe on "Dream of Little Ground Fire."

So if it sounds like this CD surpised the hell out of me, it did. More so than anthing, I was extremely happy to hear Masi get funky and kick up the jazz licks a bit after all the neo-classical stuff he has done the last few years. The one minor complaint I have is the drum sound of Macaluso on some of the songs, as he sounds very tinny in spots, which is something that probably could have been cleaned up in production. Other than that this is a very enjoyable instrumental fusion release, and I'll be looking forward to more from this formidable trio.

Track Listing
1) Ritual Factory
2) The Whole Life
3) Sadhu's Jewel
4) Ghost in My House
5) Dream of Little Ground Fire
6) Brozo
7) Dead Monkey Road
8) Black Market
9) Ray-Gun
10) Landings
11) Red Quantum

Added: May 24th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Lion Music
Hits: 3286
Language: english

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MCM: Ritual Factory
Posted by on 2008-12-15 11:04:16
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