Gravity Tree, Life or Dessert? Cyberhome: http://www.gravitytree.com/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org The use of the term "promising," always seems like a bit of a back-handed compliment, but it's still a good term to use for Gravity Tree's Life or Dessert album. First off, Gravity Tree are actually a duo comprised of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Linc and drummer/keyboardist/vocalist Alan Nu. You'd be hard-pressed to figure this out from their sound, which can be quite full. Stylistically, they're pretty staunchly in the prog-metal camp, although their sound might be a little closer to hard rock. The album starts out with an appropriately metallic 1-minute instrumental, featuring some impressive guitar work. This seamlessly leads into the first real song, "People Don't Know." Unfortunately, this song is a pretty mediocre hard-rock song with a few slightly progressive touches. Next up is "Forget You," which is a step up, adding more atmospheric sounds (King's X would be a good comparison) and a more memorable vocal melody. Getting better but not great yet. The next track is another one-minuter, which seems to be a rough demo of the intro to the next song, "Everything." Kinda meaningless addition, in my humble opinion. The real song starts, and it's about in the league of "Forget You." "Minnie's Tree" is a step down but in about the same King's X-ish mode, featuring a particularly annoying chorus. But all is not lost - this is where the album starts getting real good. "Falling in 3's" is an intimate acoustic ballad with a yearning, violin-like lead guitar and subtle ambient synth vocals. A good contrasting piece. The next track is really the monster on the album, though. The amusingly-titled "Harmonic Indulgence" is a great Gentle Giant/Yezda Urfa-styled piece, starting out with a quirky vocal canon, but having some of that dark atmosphere that GG only experimented with on In a Glass House. Easily the most interesting and progressive piece on the album! Why didn't they do more of this? With the distorted guitar beginning "Where You Are," one might be afraid of another mediocre hard-rock song. Although it's not as cool as the previous piece, it's good for what it is, showcasing more progressive arrangements and catchier melodies. After this comes YET ANOTHER 1-minute interlude, although it's actually pretty good, bringing Alan Nu's synths nicely to the foreground. It seems like they could have expanded this into a killer piece. But it doesn't matter, because the last real song, the title track is a masterpiece. Although it's somewhat simple in concept, taking one guitar rhythm and continually building on it, it sure works. What sets this piece apart is its large dynamic range, which makes the climax much more satisfying. Closing out the album is, you guessed it - a TWO-minute instrumental. But seriously, the delicate synth-heavy piece works surprisingly well as closer, even with the monster track preceding it. Gravity Tree: You know now what to work on, so get back in the studio and try to make a killer album! ~ served warmly by ~Jon~ Dharma
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