Category: Metal / Alternative
Album: Inverted Grasp of Balance
Blurb: Faster and heavier than his past efforts, yet without sacrificing melody or thoughtful songwriting, Monte Pittman’s fourth album presents listeners with some of his strongest material yet.
While he’s lent his skills as a musician and songwriter to many in the world of pop, Monte Pittman makes clear with his solo work that his strongest allegiance is to heavy metal; so much so that he’s performed live with the likes of Spinal Tap, Metallica, and PRONG. With his fourth outing, Inverted Grasp of Balance, Pittman doubles down on his brand of thrashy yet melodic, sludgy yet cleanly produced metal with an in-your-face collection of some of his hardest hitting songs yet.
Firing on all cylinders right out of the gate, “Panic Attack” unleashes an onslaught of blistering riffs and rhythms topped off by some downright infectious melodic hooks, slowing down only in the song’s coda to give the listener just the briefest moment of rest before the rest of the album kicks in. Songs like “Double Edged Sword” with its gritty staccato riffs and thunderous bass, “Pride Comes Before the Fall” with its monstrous atmosphere of spacious and resonant chordal structures and pummeling drums topped off by some rather harmonious vocals, and the instrumental “Obliterated” all unleash on the listener an assault of unrelentingly complex heavy metal. Other songs like “Be Very Afraid” and “Guilty Pleasure” slow the pace down for a more classic, almost doom-laden feel akin to Black Sabbath, Pittman’s voice in the latter track especially taking on a bluesy tone that reminds this writer of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell. Traces of the man’s more pop-oriented songwriting can be heard in “Skeleton Key” with its striking simplicity and catchiness, while one may get the impression that if not for its inherent heaviness, “The Times Are Changing” could have easily crossed the line into power ballad territory. With the lush and somber “Cadabra” and the closing “New Blood Keeps Us Alive,” the listener is treated to some stunning arrangements of clean and acoustic guitars, the final emotive suite building to a vicious crescendo of guitar solos before ending with some trickling arpeggios and raindrops.
As to be expected from an artist with such a wide range of talents and tastes, Inverted Grasp of Balance presents the listener with an aggressive plethora of assorted moods and tones, all driven by Pittman’s uncompromising and thoughtful songwriting. With drummer Richard Christy and renowned bassist Billy Sheehan joining the ranks, with Jay Ruston sitting in the producer’s chair, Monte Pittman’s fourth album presents some of his strongest, noisiest, and most tuneful material yet; if you can withstand the monolithic volume, you will be greatly rewarded.
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Metal Blade Records
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)