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Psychotic Waltz is a progressive metal band formed in El Cajon, California in 1988.


The first incarnation of the band was under the name Aslan, after a character in the novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. With money earned from local shows and T-shirt sales, they recorded a self-titled demo tape in 1986. After discovering another band with the same name, they changed theirs to Psychotic Waltz and recorded a new four-song demo in 1988. In 1990, they debuted with their independently financed debut A Social Grace, which was released in Europe via a licensing deal with the German label Rising Sun Productions. The album was very well received in Europe, being named album of the month in some European magazines. The situation in US was more difficult, as the album was released under the band's own Sub Sonic Records label. With practically no
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Social Grace / MosquitoSocial Grace / Mosquito
Sony Uk 2004
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Into the Everflow / BleedingInto the Everflow / Bleeding
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Live & Archive by Psychotic Waltz (1998-10-12)Live & Archive by Psychotic Waltz (1998-10-12)
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Dark Millenium by Psychotic WaltzDark Millenium by Psychotic Waltz
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A Social GraceA Social Grace
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PSYCHOTIC WALTZ albums / top albums

PSYCHOTIC WALTZ A Social Grace album cover 3.94 | 33 ratings
A Social Grace
Progressive Metal 1990
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ Into The Everflow album cover 3.94 | 27 ratings
Into The Everflow
Progressive Metal 1992
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ Mosquito album cover 3.48 | 13 ratings
Progressive Metal 1994
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ Bleeding album cover 3.92 | 12 ratings
Progressive Metal 1996



PSYCHOTIC WALTZ demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

PSYCHOTIC WALTZ Psychotic Waltz album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Psychotic Waltz
Progressive Metal 1988

PSYCHOTIC WALTZ re-issues & compilations

PSYCHOTIC WALTZ Live And Archives album cover 2.94 | 4 ratings
Live And Archives
Progressive Metal 1998
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ Dark Millenium album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Dark Millenium
Progressive Metal 1999
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ A Social Grace / Mosquito album cover 4.39 | 5 ratings
A Social Grace / Mosquito
Progressive Metal 2004
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ Bleeding / Into The Everflow album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
Bleeding / Into The Everflow
Progressive Metal 2004
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ The Architects Arise: The First Ten Years album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Architects Arise: The First Ten Years
Progressive Metal 2011


.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
I Remember / Only In A Dream
Progressive Metal 1990

PSYCHOTIC WALTZ movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)



Album · 1996 · Progressive Metal
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"Bleeding" is the 4th and last album in the original run of US, San Diego based progressive metal act Psychotic Waltz. The album was released through Bullet Proof Records in July 1996. It´s the successor to "Mosquito" from 1994 and features one lineup change as original bassist Ward Evans left Psychotic Waltz shortly after the completion of "Mosquito (1994)" and has been replaced here by Phil Cuttino. Although "Bleeding" was a successful release for the band (...underground successful), it was unfortunately the beginning of the end for the band. During the shooting of the promotional video for the track "Faded", an actress who appeared in the video said she was exposed to a light which caused partial blindness, and she subsequently sued the band. During the lengthy legal battle which ensued the band folded. The legal battle was probably the trigger for the split-up of the band, but creative differences had also begun to appear.

But that´s getting ahead of history, as things were still good around the time of writing and recording "Bleeding". Stylistically "Bleeding" continues the more regular vers/chorus formula songwriting approach of "Mosquito (1994)", but it´s ultimately still a very different sounding release to its direct predecessor. While "Mosquito (1994)" was dark and heavy, "Bleeding" is more melodic and bright release (although still mostly featuring a melancholic atmosphere), loaded with memorable soaring vocal melodies. Keyboards were used on all three predecessors to varying degrees, but here they are more dominantly present in the soundscape. Not as a lead instrument, but as an atmosphere enhancer. There´s still an occasional psychadelic touch to the band´s music, but to my ears that element is not as strong as it has previously been, although a track like "Northern Lights", featuring lyrics about smoking weed in Amsterdam and walking around town, of course still point in that direction (as does many of the lyrics on the album).

Scott Burns who produced "Mosquito (1994)" was tapped to engineer "Bleeding", but guitarist Dan Rock is credited for mixing and producing the album (with Woody Barber). As a result the sound production is what I´d characterize as a bit up and down in quality. The drums don´t feature the most pleasent sound and the guitars are sometimes a bit too high in the mix (and the flute solo on "My Grave" is placed too low in the mix)), but overall the album still sounds relatively good.

The material on "Bleeding" are generally well written and catchy, but to my ears the album is frontloaded with the best tracks, while the latter part of the album features most of the less remarkable songs. Highlights are "Faded", "Locust", "Morbid", the title track, and "Northern Lights", the first four of which happen to open the album. The acoustic based power ballad "My Grave", which includes flute playing courtesy of lead vocalist Buddy Lackey, should also be mentioned among the standout tracks on the album, although it´s a bit of a rehash of the ideas used on "I Remember" from "A Social Grace (1990)". Psychotic Waltz are as well playing as ever and Lackey´s voice and vocal style provide the band with a touch of originality. "Bleeding" is not a flawless album and it´s not the band´s strongest album either, but it´s still an original sounding high quality progressive metal album and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.


Album · 1994 · Progressive Metal
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"Mosquito" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, San Diego based progressive metal act Psychotic Waltz. The album was released through Bullet Proof Records in July 1994. It´s the successor to "Into The Everflow" from 1992. "Mosquito" does not feature any lineup changes since the precessor, but bassist Ward Evans would leave Psychotic Waltz shortly after the completion of the album. The band picked Scott Burns to produce "Mosquito", which was considered an odd choice at the time, as Burns was mostly known for his work with death- and thrash metal acts like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Obituary, Sepultura, and Demolition Hammer...

...and "Mosquito" indeed features a very different sounding production compared to the sound productions on the two predecessors. "Mosquito" features a bottom heavy dark sound, but it´s a sound which suits the new direction of the material well. Because if the different sounding production job was a big change for some fans, the songwriting on "Mosquito" could also prove to be a bit of a challenge.

Both "A Social Grace (1990)" and "Into The Everflow (1992)" featured nonlinear and structurally challenging compositions, although both were also melodic and catchy. "Mosquito" is a very different beast, as most tracks on the album follow a relatively normal vers/chorus formula, and the progressive structures and techncial playing of the two predecessors have been considerably toned down. Some tracks like the album opening title track (nice toying around with time signatures on this one), "Cold", and especially the off-beat rhythm 10 minutes long (don´t get fooled by the length though as there are a couple of minutes of silence before a short hidden track ends the track) closing track "Mindsong", still feature sections which are quite progressive in nature, while tracks like "Dancing In The Ashes" and "Locked Down" are basically pretty regular vers/chorus based heavy metal tracks, with very little in common with what most people would perceive as progressive metal. The band´s trademark lead guitar harmonies have also been decreased. They are still there, but typically used more sparsely and for atmosphere enhancement.

Psychotic Waltz are still an exceptionally well playing band and although their musical direction and overall sound have changed quite a bit on "Mosquito", the music on the album is still unmistakably the sound of Psychotic Waltz. The psychadelic edge, the technical finésse, and Buddy Lackey´s distinct sounding, strong and paatos filled vocals, give that away immediately. Psychotic Waltz were on a ever changing musical journey in their original run, and all four albums from that era are very different sounding. The first two are the most progressive and original, but "Mosquito" is still a strong and original sounding progressive metal album and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.


Album · 1990 · Progressive Metal
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siLLy puPPy
After a brief period under the moniker Aslan which the band had to jettison because the name was already taken PSYCHOTIC WALTZ released their first demo in 1988 and then took a couple years to craft their full length debut release A SOCIAL GRACE. They released the album independently by coughing up their own dough and started their very own Sub Sonic Records. In Europe they scored a licensing deal with Rising Sun Productions and despite not finding an instant connection with a larger audience still managed to receive heaps of praise from the magazine reviews of the day. Metal Hammer and Rock Hard praised A SOCIAL GRACE as one of the best albums in a long time for its bold originality of combining Watchtower type technical precision and ferocity with U.S. power metal influences bringing early Queensrÿche to mind in the melodic vocal deliveries, Iron Maiden gallops and dynamics in their playing style and all coated in progressive thrash touches and one of the biggest surprises, the abnormal for metal Ian Anderson tribute in Buddy Lackey’s singing style and occasional addition of flute. As a result of all these styles melded together, A SOCIAL GRACE is one of the most unique sounding progressive metal albums ever to emerge from ANY era much less the year 1990 when it was released. PSYCHOTIC WALTZ nailed it and delivered all the goods on this debut unlike other traditional metal acts treading down similar paths of increasing progressive and inventive elements. First and foremost all the musicians on board here were masters of their retrospective instruments complementing the greater band sound in perfect unison.

The album begins with the fast and furious duo thrash guitar assault of Brian McAlpin and Dan Rock delivering some of the most intense metal riffs that were rooted in keeping the overall sound melodic but they were also masters of syncopated effects that offered technical tricks and trinkets without steering the band’s sound into abstract Watchtower territory. Through these superbly constructed tracks all performers shine in every arena. Buddy Lackey was indubitably in the same league with Queensrÿche’s Geoff Tate and Crimson Glory’s Midnight. His vocal range is actually more impressive IMHO as he not only wails in the upper registers but has serious control that can tackle several styles in sequence.

Jeff Lords’ virtuosic bass playing skills are noteworthy especially noticeable as the driving force behind the instantly addictive frenzy of “Spiral Tower” which provides a super strong backbone that allows the band to spiral off in various directions around him like a tornado filled with razor blades and nails. Dana Burnell is yet another master of his craft providing some of the most impressive drum abuse skills of the era not only keeping up with the relentless assault of changing rhythms and song structure meanderings but provides creative fills and brilliant orgies of percussion where the snares, toms and cymbals collude to add yet another intoxicating layer of the musical style on board. While the main focus of A SOCIAL GRACE is heavy rockin’ metal segments that infuse an instantly melodic hooked that is laced with progressive touches to steer the listener into WTF territory, there are a few surprises that seem like they dropped in from another universe.

The first surprise is the “ballad” of the album “I Remember.” This is a melodic little number that takes too many liberties channeling Ian Anderson from 1969. While it’s obvious from the very first track that Buddy Lackey’s vocal phrasings are right out of the Jethro Tull playbook, they somehow work well as he adapts them to the heavy metal styles on board. This track is where he leaves the realms of “influence” and enters the unfortunate situation of plagiarism. I dare anyone to listen to this song back to back with “We Used To Know” from Jethro Tull’s 1969 album “Stand Up” and tell me this isn’t the exact same song at least in the main melodic development of the vocals. This little faux pas is the one blemish for me on an otherwise perfect album. It’s not that it’s not performed impeccably, because the song is quite a beautiful interpretation and if credit was given as a JT song then i’d be cool but unfortunately Lackey claims it as his own. Luckily the Tull interplay remains within the realms of “influence” throughout the rest of the album where it works quite well. Another strange anomaly is the following “Sleeping Dogs” which is a strange electronic swirling of synthesized sounds. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be an outro or an intro or just a strange little head scratcher but also reminds me how future bands like Unexpect would incorporate these kinds of things into their sound.

Overall this is an excellent progressive metal album that flows perfectly from beginning to end, crosses all the t’s and dots all the i’s for a totally satisfying experience. The metal aspects take the best of what the 80s had to offer by mixing melodies with technical prowess while delivering thoughtful lyrics, excellent band interactions and total control of tempo changes, time signature developments and even dynamics pacing. If it weren’t for “I Remember” which is too much of a Jethro Tull ripoff despite sounding really well done, i would give this 5 stars, but because this is a prominent peccadillo in my world i can’t award it with a perfect rating, however this is a highly recommended album release that will please any adventurous metal heads who like a lot of nice twists and turns in their music without sacrificing the melodic aspects that made 80s metal so pleasing in the first place.


Demo · 1988 · Progressive Metal
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siLLy puPPy
After the Aslan demo and name change to PSYCHOTIC WALTZ, the band released their first demo under the new moniker, which came from a friend describing some of the music as a type of “PSYCHOTIC WALTZ”. As the band was already proficient in their new progressive rock sound from the very start, what we get here are four tracks that are already developed for prime time and the fact is that all four tracks would appear on the band’s debut album “A Social Grace” which would grace progressive metal lovers the following year.

The music on this demo showed the band going in a heavier direction with less acoustic guitar passages and hardly any electronic freakout frenzies. As went the heaviness, so did the progressiveness with challenging time sigs, tempos, double tracking and head banging construction. This demo caught the attention of German magazines and ultimately led to the band releasing their independently financed debut album with a licensing deal from the German label Rising Sun Productions.

Unlike the Aslan demo, i find this demo to be a tad underwhelming simply because the production is still of substandard quality and none of these tracks are rare and interesting prototypes of the band. A nice little demo and all but so unimportant it is that even the band found no need to release them as bonus tracks on any of the reissues of their four classic albums however you can find them on the “Live & Archives” compilation.


Album · 1990 · Progressive Metal
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"A Social Grace" is the debut full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Psychotic Waltz. The album was released through Rising Sun Productions in November 1990. "A Social Grace" was initally released on both CD, vinyl and picture vinyl. The CD release features 3 bonus tracks, not featured on the vinyl editions. Metal Blade Records picked the album up for a CD re-release in 2004 packed with the band´s third full-length studio album "Mosquito (1994)".

Psychotic Waltz started out under the Aslan monicker in 1985, but changed their name in 1986. The band were initially active in the period 1986-1997 and released four studio albums between 1990 and 1996. They didn´t achive any noteworthy commercial success in their initial run, but gained a strong cult following, that among other things enabled them to tour Europe several times. Psychotic Waltz reunited in 2010.

The music on "A Social Grace" is a guitar- and vocal driven type of progressive metal with US power- and thrash metal leanings. Psychotic Waltz also incorporate psychadelic rock influences in their music, which is quite a unique feature. Keyboards/piano are also used, but they are not dominant on the album, and are typically used in dreamlike futuristic/psychadelic sections or to emphasize an epic atmosphere. It´s the dual guitar attack (the two guitarists very seldom play the same notes, but constantly compliment each other´s lines with harmonies, leads/themes, solos, and other features), the strong and adventurous rhythm section, and lead vocalist Buddy Lackey´s (aka Devon Graves) commanding, challenging and powerful vocals that are the center of attention though. While acts like Queensrÿche, Fates Warning and technical thrash metal acts like Realm and Toxik are to some extent valid enough references, Psychotic Waltz are ultimately a very unique sounding act, with a personal sound.

The material on the album are very well written and quite intriguing. Tracks like the opening trio of tracks "...And The Devil Cried", "Halo Of Thorns", "Another Prophet Song", the power ballad "I Remember" (which features a Jethro Tull influenced flute solo courtesy of Buddy Lackey), the almost futuristic sounding "Successor" (which incomprehensibly is not included on the vinyl version), the heavy "I Of The Storm" and the beautiful "A Psychotic Waltz", are among the highlights on "A Social Grace". The few tracks I haven´t mentioned are also high quality progressive metal tracks, but maybe don´t stand out as much as the first mentioned.

The album features a pretty raw and unpolished sound production (the reverb on the vocals isn´t always that pleasant to listen to, the cymbals are a bit too high in the mix and the guitars a bit thin sounding, just to mention a couple of the minor issues with the sound production), but somehow the sound works well with the music. Maybe because of the adventurous and unconventional nature of the material, but there´s something undeniably charming about how "A Social Grace" sounds despite a few issues with the mix.

"A Social Grace" are one of those albums that you´ll recognise instantly when it comes on. That´s how unique sounding it is. It´s also one of the rare examples of psychadelic tinged progressive metal, which to my knowledge is not a sub genre of progressive metal that many artists play. Just because of that it´s an interesting release, but features like outstanding and inventive musicianship and adventurous songwriting are also great assets that help "A Social Grace" be the seminal progressive metal album from the early 90s that it is. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.


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more than 2 years ago
A SOCIAL GRACE is a total masterpiece !
Psydye wrote:
more than 2 years ago
AWESOME fricking' band!! =D


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