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Cosmosquad: The Morbid Tango

The L.A. based supernatural group of musicians that collectively call themselves, Cosmosquad, have yet again defied the laws of virtuosic musicianship, songwriting and all other sorts of tomfoolery with this their fourth studio release (fifth total..they also have a KILLER live album) The Morbid Tango and their first new album since 2007's Acid Test. This 11 track album of riffy goodness is easily a front runner for the best Instrumental release of 2017!

As a long time fan boy of "should be" Guitar Legend, Jeff Kollman, Cosmosquad once again does not disappoint on The Morbid Tango. The collective forces that have been Cosmosquad, Kollman ( Solo, Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats, Glenn Hughes, Mogg/Way, Edwin Dare) and drummer freak and all around great Canadian, Shane Gaalaas (Diesel Machine, B'z, MSG & Uli Roth) have now brought their long time friend into the 'Squad fold, bass player, Kevin Chown (Paul Gilbert, Artension, Tarja, Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats). The Morbid Tango is a musical concept of the story of the circle and meaning of life itself, from birth through the journeys of youth, love and loss, wisdom and how we all ascend through death's door. Musically this is a complete tour de force filled with odd metered time signatures and multi-faceted musical performance that range from Jazz-Fusion to raucous Metal themed stylings.

The band is sheer killer. Jeff Kollman has long been the guitar player's guitar player and he Be Bop's with the best of 'em on the first half of "Sangfroid" and then drops the hammer and overdrive pedal and turns this tune inside out with a ferocity that is just smokin'. The title track, "The Morbid Tango" invokes imagery (as you might expect) of a Moroccan Tango, complete with an elegant Flamenco guitar intro and then all hell breaks loose. Kollman also infuses his "patented" Kollman Tuning (that's what I call it anyway!) of CGDGBE, that is seriously evil, mysterious and down right genius. NO ONE creates a tone like Kollman does and that's just his tuning! For guitar players out there, Jeff Kollman coaxes more glorious tone out an old Marshall/Strat (insert whatever other guitar he used on this record) combo than most other guitar players on the planet. JK's tone is to die for on The Morbid Tango and to be honest, his tone has ALWAYS been to die for! His tone has always been impeccable.

The trio of Cosmosquad (with a little help from their friends) are firing on all cylinders all through out The Morbid Tango, but especially on the funky romp "The Ballad of Rick James", with its nasty little shuffle and octave pedal tweaks. It will make your toes tap, head bop and have you playing air drums, air bass air and guitar all at the same time. "Recollection Epilogue" has one of the dirtiest, detuned riffs that I've ever heard and then breaks down into a clean and funky section that Kollman just tears up and then trails into a sweet overdriven cadence that is simply jaw dropping.

The overall musical statement that is The Morbid Tango was well worth the awful 10 year wait and has upped the ante for others of the genre. These guys play their asses off and Jeff Kollman once again shows why is one of the most important guitar players that you SHOULD BE listening to! He never ceases to amaze, as does the human cannonball that is drum god Shane Gaalaas and newcomer and uber talented bass player, Kevin Chown. Cosmosquad are such an amazing and unique band that almost defies categorization, but what you want to call them, they are killer! Part Fusion, Part Metal, Part Funk, Cosmosquad are all awesome. Pick up The Morbid Tango and you will not be disappointed.

Cosmosquad are:
Jeff Kollman / guitars
Shane Gaalaas / drums
Kevin Chown / bass

Jeff Babko / keyboards
David Collier / percussion
Jono Brown / strings

Track Listing
1. Morbid Tango
2. Cyclops
3. The Ballad of Rick James
4. Anatomy of A Beatdown
5. Recollection Epilogue
6. Always Remember the Love
7. The Crosses
8. Still Life
9. Sangfroid
10. Beyond Death's Door
11. Beyond Death's Door Reprise

Added: March 25th 2017
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 3654
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Cosmosquad: The Morbid Tango
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-03-25 07:48:57
My Score:

My colleague Butch Jones basically says it all very eloquently above...this is one hell of a wild ride, an instrumental album of epic proportions. Call it what you will; metal, prog, jazz-fusion, funk, or whatever, in the end, it's just highly skilled, innovative, and ultimately sick music that is a must hear for any serious music lover. Jeff Kollman has always been a monster guitarist, but this underrated 'hero-in-waiting' really comes into his own here on The Morbid Tango, unleashing a never ending torrent of brutal riffs and jaw dropping solo explosions. Just listen to his mind melting work on the crushing "Cyclops" or his funk-metal phrasing on the fun "The Ballad of Rick James" for just a small sampling of his genius. His partners in crime Shane Gaalaas (drums) and Kevin Chown (bass), both also veterans of the scene with serious resumes, also impress mightily throughout the album.

The short of it is, The Morbid Tango is an easy recommendation, so what are you waiting for, go out and get yourself a copy and experience the madness that is Cosmosquad!

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