Experimental metal artists have been chipping away at the fringes of convention for sometime now: altering both mood and momentum in a millisecond to create awe-inspiring epics of bewildering intricacy. On the face of things, Lazer/Wulf and their album The Beast Of Left And Right feel like welcome additions to a well stocked scene, but scratch beneath the surface and we find one of the more dynamic guitar works of 2014.
Bryan Aiken’s lead is as playful and exhilarating as it is complex. There is plenty of noodling self-absorption on display, but his playing carries with it a sense of glee and abandon that imbues each new odyssey with vivacity and life. That’s a really rather long-winded way of saying that a track like “Largato” is an absolute riot. Lazer/Wulf avoid the fate of their more portentous peers; their music is not a museum piece to be viewed behind glass boxes and spoken of in reverent tones. Instead they offer a bruising, muscular onslaught that is to be experienced and enjoyed rather than merely appreciated.
The skittish dementia of “The Triple Trap” is proof that complexity is not a byword for tedium. Bryan Aiken and Lazer/Wulf are successfully reminding the world that there is joy (and plenty of ache) to be found in even the most obtuse structures – now if only they’d write some decent hooks to go along with those mind melting instrumentals.
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