Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 20 years, the names of identical twins Jasun & Troy Tipton will be quite familiar to you from their groundbreaking work in bands such as Zero Hour, Cynthesis, and Abnormal Thought Patterns. Sadly, an incurable wrist ailment has caused Troy to have to give up the bass, probably for good, forcing him instead to turn to his songwriting and vocal skills only for this latest band with his guitar virtuoso brother Jasun, A Dying Planet. Titled Facing the Incurable, this of course is Troy's telling of his story and the struggles to accept what he cannot change, and throughout this debut album the tone is fairly dark & bleak, the brilliant music on display there to assist this heartbreaking tale of a musician whose injury has cut short his musical dream. Alongside the duo are drummer Marco Bicca and bassist Brian Hart, as well as guest appearances from vocalists Paul Villarreal, Erik Rosvold, Luda Arno, and keyboards courtesy of Bill Jenkins
Many of the elements we've come to expect from the Tipton's are here on Facing the Incurable, and while it's sad that we might never get to hear the glorious, unison guitar/bass lines from these two again, this is a magically constructed, painfully emotional, and musically brilliant album. Whether it's Troy or the other guests adding in their parts, the vocals are outstanding, Arno especially coming across wonderfully with her gorgeous passages alongside Troy on the brooding title cut, and Villarreal sounding not unlike vintage Steve Perry on the metallic opener "Resist". "Human Obsolescence" will just tug at your heart, Troy's yearning vocals over Jasun's crystalline guitar chords and gentle piano are a thing of beauty, while the compact riffing and bubbling electronics of "Poisoning the Well" take the listener straight into progressive metal bliss. You'll be reminded of David Bowie's classic "Space Odyssey" on the emotional "Missing", and the album closes with the bombast of "Separation Anxiety", Hart's popping bass saddling up next to Jasun's shimmering chords and metal thunder, Bicca intricately bubbling underneath with his gymnastic drums.
While there are some moments here that you might have hoped the band would have turned it up a notch, it's easy to understand the restraint given the lyrical content. Overall though, a stunning album of gorgeous soundscapes, heart tugging sadness, and heavy metal fury. Any new recording from the Tipton brothers is reason to celebrate, so let's welcome A Dying Planet with open arms.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1. Resist 14:07
2. Facing the Incurable 10:23
3. Human Obsolescence 07:43
4. Poisoning the Well 08:09
5. Missing 08:59
6. Separation Anxiety 03:24