The Brothers Rodler (Leger de Main, Mythologic, RH Factor, Gratto) have a new excursion to light a torch for, the instrumental project Razor Wire Shrine. Uniformly, Brett is the drummer brother (who also arranges) and Chris plays rhythm guitar and bass; for this recording, guitarist Mike Ohm was tapped for solos, and guest bassist Gary Madras (Gratto) appears on one track. Brett's frenetic drumming style impresses instantly with chops and finesse that might make Neil Peart sweat. Indeed, Rush is one of the Rodlers' greatest influences, but even with Leger de Main, that was never a crutch. Going Deaf For A Living figures closer toward the technical metal scheme of things as it's also one of the heaviest items the brothers have turned out.
"Shards" is a track with a hair trigger, exploding into structured chaos with the razor-sharp intricate moves this team has been slicing things up with for over ten years. Breakneck arpeggios compete with manic soloing as Brett's veritably insane drumming threatens to ride over it all like an on-tilt card player employing a reckless check-raise. For such a title, "Crackling Dementia" serves as a faithful maxim to the album's scorched avenues; some of the arachnoid fretwork on the release analogizes Allan Holdsworth and Al Di Meola as much it does Steve Vai, Vinnie Moore, and some guy called Alex. Mike Ohm certainly coaxes the odd sound or two from his axe, such as the "ethereal calliope" tone that springs from his strings on "Architecture For The Tortured Soul." The heat is turned down a few degrees for the soulful, bluesy motion "To Strike A Personal Chord," (one of the two eight minute-plus cuts). This angular vivid piece shifts gears tonally a number of times with many twists, fills and sharply syncopated fragments congealing into a single sonic painting that utilizes virtually every hue on the palette. "Chord" may very will be the best track; for every taste there fits one's fancy. Several other robust, fusion-tinged rockers round out this platter.
Chris and Brett began writing for the second Razor Wire Shrine album before Going Deaf For A Living had even hit the streets; expect more, perhaps even as early as very late in the year, or next year before the tenth anniversary edition of Leger de Main's now-classic debut, The Concept Of Our Reality…let's drink to that!
1. Shards 6:26
2. Crackling Dementia 6:04
3. Architecture For The Tortured Soul 8:28
4. Thought Residue 6:06
5. To Strike A Personal Chord 8:20
6. All Shades Of Bitter 5:57
7. World Of Hurt 4:18
Total time: 45:36