Overall Score: 7/10 Progness: 7/10 Uniqueness: 9/10 Musicianship: 7/10 Pros: Very different (in a good way) Cons: No stand out track that could help push the album
This review has been slipping through the cracks a little recently so it is high time it finally saw the light of day. Blue Gillespie are a prog rock/metal collective aiming to join the rather large collection of successful rock and metal bands emerging from Wales in the last few years, and their debut full length album Synesthesia is their first crack at hitting the big time. What do we think? Read on…..
Blue Gillespie count Tool, Down and Mastodon among their influences and it is easy to pick up tones of all 3 in amongst their work. A lot of the vocal work is reminiscent of one Phil Anselmo but in places they also manage to sound like Gojira, both in riffs and the vocal work of Joe Duplantier. Opener Beat Oven has riffs that have a Mastodon or High On Fire feel to them, while Sugarglass instantly makes one think of Tool with the guitar sound and also some of the irregular timings that are often present in Tool or Gojira.
As much as their influences are evident, Blue Gillespie are far from a copycat band without any of their own ideas. Skinned is an excellent piece of progressive metal, with a faster tempo which in my opinion suits the band more than some of the slower numbers. They are also very capable of providing good variety, with Wiff almost containing a bluesy feel to it, especially in the slower parts of the song but without sounding too much like Down. Growsome provides a menacing riff and pounding beat woven together with some darker vocal work while Tripout features an awesome guitar solo highlighting that the band have all the right ingredients to be a successful progressive metal band.
The other standout track on the album in my opinion is Fingered, with great performances all round, with some really good guitar work in particular, while Paradox is a really nice instrumental piece that could have easily closed off the album.
Blue Gillespie are a band that are still finding their identity in the world of progressive metal, but their first full length offering shows much promise and it will be very interesting to see how the band develop from here on out. If they capitalise on the promise this album shows, they will go far. I also think some of these songs would go down a storm live, it would be very interesting to see them open for one of their peers, particularly Tool or Gojira. One of the best debuts I have heard this year.
For Fans Of: Tool, Mastodon, Down, High On Fire, Gojira, BigElf