PSYCHOTIC WALTZ — Into The Everflow (review)

PSYCHOTIC WALTZ — Into The Everflow album cover Album · 1992 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
"Into the Everflow" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, California based progressive metal act Psychotic Waltz. The album was released in the US through Dream Circle in November 1992. It wasn´t until March 1993 that the album was released in Europe. "Into the Everflow" was re-released by Metal Blade Records in 2004 with a different cover artwork and a bonus disc featuring the "Into the Everflow" demo and the Aslan (the band´s original name) demo.

While "Into the Everflow" is generally highly regarded by fans of progressive metal, Psychotic Waltz never really broke through commercially. But to a few diehard fans, they will always stand as the ultimative experience in weird, tripped out progressive metal. Especially this their second album "Into the Everflow" is generally regarded amongst fans as the band´s masterpiece.

The music on the album is a mix of heavy/power/thrash metal and progressive rock. The instrumentation, which does include some synth, but not a permanent keyboard player are strongly guitar driven. The quite frankly brilliant guitar team work, by the two guitarists Dan Rock and Brian McAlpin, are simply outstanding. They compliment each other perfectly. The rythm section which consists of bassist Ward Evans and drummer Norm Leggio also play a great part in creating the unique sound on the album. To top it off there´s of course also Buddy Lackey on lead vocals. A distinct sounding and strong vocalist who is able to put great variation and passion into his vocal performance throughout the album.

"Into the Everflow" opens with the track "Ashes" which is a beautiful synth heavy piece. The track closes with one of the signature McAlpin/Rock dual sweeps that can be heard on several other tracks on the album. "Ashes" segue into the next track "Out of Mind", which is the most fast almost thrashy track on the album. Some odd breaks, some really interesting vocal melodies and a challenging singing style are some of the notable attractions in that track. "Tiny Streams" is a great heavy track with weird tripped out lyrics (Which is common for every tracks on this album). But it is with the fourth track, the title track, that things really come together. It´s a rather slow track which clocks in at about 9 minutes. It´s the kind of song that builds and builds (Say, like "Stairway to Heaven") until it reaches it´s climax with the dual guitar solo, which is just astonishing. It´s a magic McAlpin/ Rock moment. McAlpin and Rock make it their life mission to make their contribution to the solo a personal one. In one section of the solo one of the axemen bends the notes and the other uses the vibrato arm. Small things, that just makes this solo so special. In another section one of the guitarists breaks out from the solo to play longer melodic notes while the other sweeps underneath. A moment of pure bliss.

"Little People" is the next track, and a great one that is. Buddy Lackey´s vocal delivery is pretty aggressive on this track with lyric lines like: ""Little People, Little Houses", "Happy living little lives", "when they wake up with perfect make-up it makes me sick"". An ode to weirdness and a kick in the balls to conformity. This is exactly what Psychotic Waltz have always been about. The ballad type track of the album "Hanging on a string" is the next track. It´s the most simple tracks here and a beautiful breather between the more technically challenging tracks that generally populate the album. "Freakshow" is another crazy technical progressive metal track, just listen to the main riff, it´s quite challeging. The whole track is actually quite challeging with multible sections, dynamics and moods. The closing track "Butterfly" is quite an epic not unlike the title track. There are multible sections in this track, but one stands out clearly from the rest. The mid section of the song is dominated by percussion and a wah wah guitar part that is powerful and distinct sounding. If you´ve seen Psychotic Waltz live, you´ll know that both Buddy Lackey and Dan Rock play percussion on the track, while Brian McAlpin plays the wah wah guitar part. Well... Brian McAlpin didn´t exactly use the wah wah pedal himself as he is paralyzed from the waist down, so a technician in the back helped out. "Butterfly" is the perfect close to a perfect album.

The production might be a minor issue to some people as it might not live up to the standards of modern sound productions but to me it´s what makes this album so charming. It´s got a unique sound, that makes it stand out.

There are many other standout progressive metal albums out there but "Into the Everflow" is maybe the most original and unique one of them all. A truly progressive album that sounds vastly different from the "norm". I find it highly recommendable if you´re interested in a psychadelic and weird take on progressive metal. This is probably the most deserved 5 star (100%) rating I´ve ever given.
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