Sunday, December 07, 2008

Review: Heavy Water Experiments - s/t

Label: Intrepid Sound Recordings (or at CD Baby)

Released: July 8, 2008

Prog is a genre not particularly known for being understated. Restraint is a quality seldom found among its purveyors. Heavy Water Experiments is not quite a traditional prog band, but clearly wear their prog influences for all to see. However, they manage to do it without the esoteric musical exercises and unabashed bombast that seem to be the norm.

Heavy Water Experiments feel heavy without being heavy. They deal more in ambient soundscapes than big guitar and keyboard flourishes, making for psychedelic trips that get well inside your gray matter before you can be consciously aware of what's happening. If the album has a weakness, it may be that it is, at time sat least, too understated. "Dementia" even seems a bit light. However, they more that make up for these moments where they've held back a bit too much with the maddening pyschedelic energy of "Otherland" and the wild, trippy, early Floyd-esque textures of "Book Colored Blue."

For an album that never gets really heavy, this album sure is heavy. It's not typical space rock, but wild psychedelic soundscapes hidden in loosely structured songs. And it taps into some of the best qualities of progressive rock. When it's on, it's quite a trip.

Satriani: 7/10
Zappa: 8/10
Dylan: 6/10
Aretha: 7/10
Overall: 7/10


If you're curious about my rating categories, read the description.

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