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Chrome Hoof: Chrome Black Gold

Rarely have I seen a band play across styles and genres as varied and as wildly as Chrome Hoof does on this new release. From hard breakbeat electronica to fusion, reggae, death metal and more, you will find it here. And in each style, the band excels. This is exciting music, where you never know what is going to be coming next. Opening with "Enter the Drobe" the band begins with a high-energy tune using repeated synthesizer notes over a thumping bass, over which they layer crashing waves of sound. This almost moves toward a kind of brutal prog lite, and would not sound out of place on a Magma disc (though Magma would play it heavier and more rhythmic). "Knopheria" uses sounds similar to Bruford-era Crimson, with a great female vocal lead. Lots of repetitive motifs here. This is like some sort of mutant disco prog, no better way to describe it. You can clearly hear the influences of Guapo members Emmet Elvin and James Sedwards. "When the Lightning Strikes" is hard-core metal, over which there is more female vocals from Shingai Shoniwa (of Noisettes). "Kestral Dawn" is a highlight on the disc, set as minimal electronica and a kind of amended drum and bass, but involving more than drums and bass. While brief, it has crazy forward movement. "Tortured Craft" is reggae, but not like any kind of reggae you have heard before. "Ultimate Sealed Unit" is pure prog but with a deviant spin. "Exo-Spektal" is sort of like Lena Lovich on a great acid trip; it has weird sing-song vocals and lyrics. "Andromeda" is more like an epic symphonic prog, mysterious and helter skelter as it progresses. "Dysnomia" is a piano solo, sort of, quiet and deep, and is a kind of quiet before the beginning of "Varkada Blues." Here comes the death metal grindcore vocals, static rhythm and driving beat. Another highlight in a disc filled with them. "Drobe Out" ends the disc with more electronica.

This is so good. It is on my list of year's best and it is only February (well, nearly March, but still). This continues the run of superb Cuneiform discs that have recently been released. Great music!

Track Listings

  1. Enter the Drobe
  2. Knopheria
  3. When the Lightning Strikes
  4. Kestrel Dawn
  5. Tortured Craft
  6. Ultimate Sealed Unit
  7. Exo-Spektal
  8. Andromeda
  9. Dysnomia
  10. Varkada Blues
  11. Droobe Out

Added: February 26th 2014
Reviewer: Dana Lawrence
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2039
Language: english

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