Album Review: TRIOSCAPES Digital Dream Sequence
Let's get right down to business here: Digital Dream Sequence is exactly what would have happened if Frank Zappa played for Between the Buried and Me and forced them not to be metal any more. I'm sure there are plenty of other analogies and comparisons that can be drawn between this album and other artists' styles and works, but I'll be damned if that isn't the most accurate.
Digital Dream Sequence kicks off with a batshit insane title track and basically doesn't stop. While the album contains a lot of frantic jazz and blistering solos that would make most musicians feel like they need to go woodshed their respective instrument right away, it's not all just shred and 32nd notes left and right. Songs like "Hysteria" break down into stomping, jagged grooves that bang off the walls with reckless abandon and "From the Earth to the Moon" even contains some really interesting, well-written building, ambient sections that culminate into well-placed musical explosions. Digital Dream Sequence is a planned attack on your ears, meticulously written to encompass all the violent, destructive natures of metal, but wrapped up in a jazzy package.
The closer "The Jungle" is an interesting beast all its own considering it clocks in at 15-minutes, but damn is it an excellent closer. The song takes everything you've heard up to this point from the album – the screeching woodwinds, the insane bass playing, and seemingly infinitely-limbed drumming – and throws that shit right out the window. "The Jungle" is a composition that, on paper, would look like it would take an entire orchestra to pull off, but instead you've just got three dudes jamming it out with every effect they've got on full blast going nuts for the entire time in a controlled environment. Essentially, it's the perfect closer to a record.
Then there's the playing on the record… oh man, is there the playing on the record. The combination of bassist Dan Briggs and drummer Matt Lynch is enough to make you need to listen to the record alone, though it's difficult to definitely say the two are the "rhythm section." It's more or less that they're top-notch players who provide just as much flavor to the music, but happen to be playing the instruments associated with the term. Briggs and Lynch solo like madmen, dance around grooves without any sort of difficulty, but above all know exactly when to shut the hell up and let phenomenal wind player Walter Fancourt take center stage.
Don't get me wrong here. Digital Dream Sequence is a demanding listen that doesn't fuck around. The music is fast-paced, hardly repeats itself and even delves into some ridiculously long passages that are easy to miss if you start thinking about literally anything else, but it's worth it. The album is only five songs and each one plays like a jazz masterpiece written over the course of several years by seasoned pros, and then hashed out by three excited dudes in a room who love what they're doing.