Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Levi / Werstler: Avalanche of Worms

Oh god just what the doctor ordered, another instrumental guitar shred fest of an album allowing a couple of supremely talented guitarists to completely indulge themselves in a mind numbing multitude of masturbatory soloing and other guitar pyrotechnics. Not so fast, let's not be so quick to judge this latest effort to come out of the Magna Carta camp because I'll tell you there's definitely a lot more going on here than meets the ear, as the twin guitarists from metal outfit Daath, Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler have unleashed a brilliant and ultimately versatile sounding tour de force with their first disc entitled creepily enough, Avalanche of Worms.

You'd be best advised to prepare yourself in advance for a veritable onslaught of intricately layered guitar passages and some absolutely scorching runs up and down the fretboard as the duo's wild and sometimes exotic excursions are anchored here by the massive rhythm section of bassist Kevin Scott and drummer Sean Reinhert from Cynic.

What really keeps Avalanche of Worms interesting for the full forty minute duration and what ultimately helps set it apart from other instrumental guitar albums is the duo's uncanny ability to constantly change things up. For example the spacey keyboard interlude towards the end of "Obsidian Fissure" gives way to a few bars some clean and crisp soloing before segueing directly into the next track "Plague House". Shorter transitional songs like "Trellis Of Thorns", the atmospheric "Hollow Thorax Of The Gilded Eye" and "Trepanation & Bliss" which is a fifty second track with a short solo from Reinhert overtop some splendid, acoustic flamenco guitar; it's these well timed and perfectly executed variations and different movements that make for a very rewarding listening experience. Sure both Levi and Werstler are technically accomplished players and although they have plenty of opportunities to showcase their chops, there's nothing here that feels like an overabundance of guitar wankery. If I have do have one gripe with Avalanche of Worms though it would be with Maor Appelbaum's mastering of the album, which is just too damned loud overall, but I guess this is pretty much par for the course with how music is produced in today's digital age.

The stunning display of musicianship and the impressive amount of depth within these twelve compositions is reason alone to pick up a copy of Avalanche of Worms. It's a hell of a ride from beginning to end.

Track Listing
1) Noxious Vermin, My Friend
2) Dura Mater
3) Obsidian Fissure
4) Plague House
5) In Amethyst, Through Moldavite
6) Trellis Of Thorns
7) Hollow Thorax Of The Gilded Eye
8) Loathsome Little Fiend
9) Trepanation & Bliss
10) Architectural Necrosis
11) Casting The Molten Sea
12) Chrysalis Wound

Added: May 10th 2010
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Magna Carta Records
Hits: 3411
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Levi / Werstler: Avalanche of Worms
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-05-10 08:35:32
My Score:

The shred guitar duo from the metal band Dth, Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler have teamed up for something familiar and out of the box at the same time. They have recorded an ultra guitar heavy, twin tour de force. I could be wrong, but this is the first time that I have ever come across a side project/solo record where the 2 lead guitarists from a band have stepped out of their band and recorded a record together. What a very cool and interesting concept. Can you imagine if twin lead bands like, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Mercyful Fate had their guitar players make a side album, together? How cool would that have been? What would a record of instrumental songs by Robertson/Gorham or Mustaine/Friedman or the amazing talents of Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt and Fredik Akesson sound like? I for one think that the idea of having two guitar players that work well together within their own band and then taking that chemistry and forging ahead into a musical release where they could explore and expand on their own musical and guitar prowess ideas is spectacular. Enter into the glorious and heavy world of Levi/Werstler.

Avalanche of Worms (Magna Carta Records) is stunning and thoughtful shredfest. And musically dark, heavy and brooding, which is what you would expect from the guys from Dth. But wait a second; this is not the same type of old school '80's shredder's album. Ripping away into oblivion at the speed of sound is NOT what Levi/Werstler offer here. Sure there are plenty of hyper speedy riffage on this record, but that isn't the point here at all. The Progressive/Extreme/Math Metal contained within is just killer and if you ever knew someone that liked this type of Metal but said that the deathy, screaming type of vocals didn't work for them, this is a record that they need to hear. The music holds up so well on it's own, that you honestly forget that there are no vocals. This is music that sounds like it was written with lyrics and vocals in mind, but they just aren't there. Songs like "Plague House" serves up equal parts heavy detuned guitar strangling with gorgeous twin harmonized lead passages. "Dura Mater" just flat out drops the hammer with some tight and crunchy runs that go beat for beat against drummer, Sean Reinert's (of Cynic) ample feet and beware of some serious sweep arpeggios too. Levi/Werstler also show their classical roots and appreciation for other forms of music outside the Metal realm throughout Avalanche of Worms especially with the Flamenco guitar on "Trepanation & Bliss", and articulate runs on "Obsidian Fissure". Their Influenences creeps up all over the record and adds such a rich tapestry to the already complex nature that are these songs. There are even elements of Brian May's (of Queen) type of huge orchestral sounding harmonizing on the record as well as using keyboard and sonic textures for atmosphere. This record is nothing short of brilliant.

Avalanche of Worms is as heavy as it is diverse and intricate. From spatial and eclectic songs like "Casting the Molten Sea" and "Loathsome Little Friend" it is vastly clear that this is a record that will draw your attention in and keep it there the duration of the 12 songs. Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler are both very talented and very accomplished musicians and it is great to see that even though they are amazing guitar players they have chosen not use cram as many notes on this record as humanly possible, which makes this a much more "user friendly" record across the board. If you enjoy heavy music played perfectly and with a purpose, you will enjoy the hell out of this.

I totally love this record and Levi/Werstler have a killer idea here and they do not disappoint at all. Superb musicianship with interesting heavy music that creates a hell of a ride!. I hope that some other guitar duos will follow this lead and record together, the results could be devastating. Pick up Avalanche of Worms, you won't be sorry.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by