Metal group’s latest album oozes creativity, brilliance
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 03:10
The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza released their latest album, "Danza IIII: The Alpha – The Omega," via Black Market Activities Oct. 11.
Friends, never judge a book by its cover, and never judge a band by its name – these Tennessee natives with the whimsical name are here to crush you.
The band unabashedly takes the boisterous, low-tuned groaning riff sensibilities of their more simplistic deathcore cousins and combines them with dissonance and disorienting song structures absolutely not intended for the faint of heart.
The band produces a sound that is so unique that it immediately catapults them past other bands in the genre in terms of artistic merit. This is not a band searching for the latest greatest breakdown formula; this is a band with real creativity.
A tradeoff is often made when a band sacrifices simplicity for experimentation in this way, much of the impact of the emotion is lost in translation. This is not the case on "Danza IIII: The Alpha – The Omega."
Even though it screams at you in a foreign way, the anger is polarizing.
"Danza IIII" is likely the most casual-listener-unfriendly album outside of black metal or death metal to drop all year. Of course, that means it will thoroughly please die-hards, who have seen the more accessible aspects of metal hawked by the mainstream over the years.
The mainstream will not touch this style of music.
The fabled "it" quality metal fans search for in repeat-worthy albums is readily apparent from the get-go.
"Behind Those Eyes" is the first track, and it already has a spot as one of the best groove riffs of the year locked down.
The band has truly created a masterpiece of cacophony on this release. But, this cacophony would be much less effective if the boys of Danza hadn’t managed to subtly drape a layer of sweet melody over most of the album. They accomplish this through the use of keys, atmospheric strings and smooth lead work.
Contrasted with the speedy, high-end experimentation and constantly churning de-tuned low end, the two styles create a sound that is almost primal and surprisingly satisfying to the ear.
Tracks like "Death Eater," "Canadian Bacon" and "This is Forever" caustically exemplify this.
"Hold the Line" begins with a spoken segment, which issues a thank you to U.S. troops overseas, though I have yet to decipher whether the lyrics are supposed to be some kind of ironic jab at the troops or a genuine offering of support. If the latter is the case, then the segment is a nice display of ideological diversity from a genre often stereotyped as "anti-government" or just "anti-everything."
Also interspersed through the album are moments of quietude, but they are few and far between.
It stands to reason that the band was intending for the album to be as abrasive as possible without turning people off.
The only real drawback is – relative to the content of the album – it is a bit on the long side to sit down for a full listen if you want to use your ears or brain the rest of the day.