I don’t feature a lot of album clips on Gear Gods because we’re more about, well, gear, and also musicianship. So a post that’s like “check out this new face-rippingly brutal track” is best left to the Metal Sucks-es of the world. But we’re music nerds, and while I don’t want to pigeonhole a musicians’ site by featuring only the quintessential “prog” of virtuoso shredders (in fact one of the challenges of working with publicists has been getting them to send me playthroughs from sludge, hardcore, avant, post-blackend darkwave, whatever), sometimes you just have to give props to an icon that only those in the know love.
Take for example, Virgil Donati. The man’s been a hero of the drum clinic scene for decades, and pretty much every metal drummer that’s studied their craft knows his name, but there’s no way in hell that Virgil’s going to wind up on the front cover of Decibel when he releases a solo album. In fact I wasn’t even aware that he put a record out in 2013 until I caught this video of his band in the studio. It was filmed during the tracking sessions for said release, titled In This Life. This is NOT, however, just the album mix synced to video. This performance of “Voice of Reason” is in fact an alternate drum take.
Now I have a confession to make here, people. As impressed as I was by Virgil’s performance, complete meter absurdity and all (I love the way he’s constantly reinterpreting a seemingly static tempo by shifting the feel), what really floored me was the bass work from Anthony Crawford. Never have I seen a more accurate t-shirt stretched across a man’s chest. “I’m the bass player.” Yes, you fucking are.
Virgil is currently two sticks deep in a clinic tour of the U.S. Why not take in a performance if he swings by your way?