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Album Review

Reuter / Motzer / Grohowski: Shapeshifters

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Reuter / Motzer / Grohowski: Shapeshifters
These highly respected artists turn in an impressionable assault on progressive rock, extended with avant-garde tendencies and gobs of mind-bending improv via these four instantaneous compositions as they launch the cosmic proceedings with the 22- minute oeuvre, "Dark Sparks." Here, touch guitarist Markus Reuter (Stick Men, Mark Wingfield) and guitarist Tim Motzer (David Sylvian, Bandit 65) enact brooding and sanctified themes with menacing lines and existential EFX treatments, supported by drummer Kenny Grohowski's (Simulacrum, Dapp Theory) dexterous brushwork.

As time marches forward, the trio adds layers and silvery colors, segueing to a doomsday panorama, where thoughts of gravitational pull become too much to bear. But the guitarists' slippery, and slinky fretwork generates liquifying sub-motifs amid devastating climaxes along with some crazy episodes that are apt to spaghettify your mind. Yet from an improvisational standpoint, the musicians refresh and renew, pumped up by the drummer's pounding backbeats and shifting cymbal swashes.

"Cyphers" is another extended work devised with the guitarists' howling notes and wily use of pedals and other tools of the trade, abetted with mystical choruses and revving motifs; although, they wind it back down with an assortment of shadings and sound-shaping processes toward closeout. Add some grungy death metal parts, crushing lower-register tirades, unusual chord voicings and bombastic breakouts, and you're dealing with a sense of shapeshifting that transcends into a metamorphosis of sorts. Essentially, the musicians cast stirring imagery of marching through a forbidden forest with heavy artillery in tow, ready to do battle with anyone or anything that crosses their path.

Track Listing

Dark Sparks; Transmutation; Cyphers; Burn to Aether.

Personnel

Markus Reuter: guitar, electric; Tim Motzer: guitar; Kenny Grahowski: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Markus Reuter: touch guitar, electronics; Tim Motzer: guitars, bass, electronics.

Album information

Title: Shapeshifters | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: MoonJune Records


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