The Weekly Riff: “Dreamsnake” by Seizures

Here’s what’s great about Seizures…. no, the band. They’re from Los Angeles. Anyway, it seems like any band labeled with the term “progressive” nowadays comes in one of three flavors.
1) “The Angular Downer” – Meshuggah meets Oceansize moody downer space monolith music in the vein of Tesseract.
2) “The Modern Dream Theater” – spazzy time signatures and flashy fretwork under bombastic tenor pop melodies like Periphery.
3) “The Studio Shredfest” – an instrumental showcase of one or two songwriters/soloists paired with a couple hired guns, comprising an ensemble who have probably never performed the material together as a unit until some one-off festival appearance they rehearsed for after the record was completed, for example Conquering Dystopia.

All of this is well and good, and I have nothing against any of these bands, but they already exist (and no, I’m not claiming any of those three mentioned above are the innovators of the sound, just three popular examples off the top of my head) and when some new band’s record shows up in my inbox, and said record fits neatly into one of those categories, it’s a little depressing. That’s not “progressive metal,” it’s “safe genre label metal albeit played by very talented musicians.”

The above is a roundabout way of saying that I dig this Seizures record, The Sanity Universal. It was originally self-released on CD last year but Melotov Records is giving it the deluxe remixed, remastered, double LP vinyl treatment, with a release scheduled for October 7th. Metallic hardcore (which is not metalcore but “evil hardcore” in the vein of Rorschach, Deadguy, Bloodlet, etc) merged with experimental rock is a sound that isn’t played nearly enough. Seriously, do yourself a favor and head over to Seizures’ bandcamp page to stream some music from great record.

So with that said, let’s take a look at a riff from the track “Dreamscape,” as played by guitarist Albert Navarro.

 

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.