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Chimp Spanner - All Roads Lead Here review


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Band: Chimp Spanner
Album: All Roads Lead Here
Style: Djent, Instrumental, Progressive metal
Release date: February 2012

01. Dark Age Of Technology
02. Engrams
03. Mӧbius Pt I
04. Mӧbius Pt II
05. Mӧbius Pt III
06. Cloud City
07. Supererogation [Chuter Remix] [vinyl edition bonus]
08. Supererogation [TimfyJames Remix] [vinyl edition bonus]
09. Supererogation [The Algorithm Remix] [vinyl edition bonus]
10. Supererogation [Tanuki Remix] [vinyl edition bonus]

Chimp Spanner are damn cool. Chimp Spanner is prog for those that hate prog, djent for those that despise djent (or at least the new wave classification of "djent"). Oh wait, that's pretty much me. Chimp Spanner must be pretty good then.

Hailing from the glorious and glitzy land of Essex, Paul Ortiz, the sole proprietor and producer of the instrumental abstraction that is Chimp Spanner, impressed me greatly last year with the 2009 monster that was At The Dream's Edge, and along with French texturists Uneven Structure, demonstrated to me that djent need not be a thoughtless clone of Meshuggah. All Roads Lead Here can only be described as another feather in his cap. It should be noted for those unfamiliar to Chimp Spanner that Ortiz also makes music for video games and while it isn't as obvious here as it was on the previous full-length unless my imagination was running away with me I could have sworn it felt like I was playing Gunstar Heroes at times.

In simple terms (as detailed terms would likely be a pointless and lengthy exercise) All Roads Lead Here is a construct of progressive, virtuoso technical leads on a djenty bed of Meshuggary grooves contained on a sea of ambient and keyboard soundscaping. The inclination at this point would be to start name dropping the variety of techniques displayed here but my technical knowledge is abysmal. More importantly however is that to do so would be irrelevant and ill-fitting. It doesn't come across as a masturbatory exercise designed to impress the listener with technical skill, rather it's the ability to blend talent with ideas that strikes home. You can expect a tour de force of soaring melody and harmony, structural variation, even subtle motifs in the EP's "Möbius" trilogy, but for me it's the air of floaty, digitalised atmospherics which catalyse with what would otherwise be sterile musicianship that makes this such a great listen.

All in all it isn't as epically satisfying as At The Dream's Edge, but, when considering just how good the sophomore is, that hardly comes across as a major criticism. It just doesn't travel as vertically as the full-length does, rather expands itself horizontally through a middle ground exploration of similarly themed and felt tracks. For that reason this is a fantastically consistent effort, the compositions build on each other with layers of ambience and dazzling, if cleverly subtle, technical showmanship in all departments.

Written by !J.O.O.E.! | 16.03.2012


Comments: 9   Visited by: 177 users
16.03.2012 - 13:29
Rating: 9
Great review, almost read my mind
16.03.2012 - 17:49
Rating: 7
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Kk, gonna add it to my list.
loves 小巫
16.03.2012 - 19:47
Rating: 8
This sounds right up my alley. Definitely gonna check it out.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.

My Instagram
17.03.2012 - 18:11
So checking this out!
18.03.2012 - 08:34
Chimp spanner is so good, id say this is my favorite album of 2012 thus far! at least until new meshuggah comes out later this month lol
19.03.2012 - 15:00
Anyone who hasn't checked this one out DO IT!!! Mӧbius Pt I and Cloud City are some kick ass heavy tunes with great atmosphere and lots of cool textures... this also has a pretty high replay value... easy to put it on repeat and get lost in it...
Keep it Brutal!!!
22.04.2012 - 20:02
The mix of heavy rhythm guitar and electronic ambiance makes this EP worth anyone's time.
This is the style of prog/djent I have been searching for. Eat your heart out, Periphery/Tesseract
22.04.2012 - 23:26
I never really liked Meshuggah or the many "djent" bands but this seems pretty cool.
22.12.2012 - 04:13
"It doesn't come across as a masturbatory exercise designed to impress the listener with technical skill, rather it's the ability to blend talent with ideas that strikes home."

Ding ding ding!! I agree with much of the review but with this statement most of all.

If I'm allowed to include EPs, this will definitely be among my top 10 albums of this year.
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs

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