PSYCHOTIC WALTZ — Mosquito (review)

PSYCHOTIC WALTZ — Mosquito album cover Album · 1994 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"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.
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