Incitare, the debut set from Volto!, is a high-energy instrumental album
Some days you need something on the mellow side to soothe your jangled nerves.
Some days you don’t.
Some days you need something that will rattle around in your head and spit fire like the cannon ball Matthew McConaughey and Steven Zahn put through the windshield of Lennie James’ helicopter in Sahara.
If you’re looking for a record like that, allow me to point you in the direction of Incitare.
Incitare is the debut set from Volto!, an L.A. power trio comprised of three players with serious credentials who like to fuse prog rock, metal and jazz into a muscular mix that is not for the faint of heart.
The people behind this mix are Tool drummer Danny Carey, ace session bassist Lance Morrison and guitarist John Ziegler.
Carey and Ziegler, as some of you may know, are both alumni of Pygmy Love Circus, which achieved something akin to cult status in Hollywood and environs through the 1980s and ‘90s but never quite became a household name anywhere else in the country.
Volto! likely won’t become a household name either, but I really like what they offer up here.
Could I describe in a little more detail just what that is, you ask.
In a large mixing bowl add one part Blow By Blow-era Jeff Beck, one part Discipline- era King Crimson, one part Return to Forever, circa Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, plus a smidgeon of Emerson, Lake & Palmer a pinch of Weather Report, a hint of Frank Zappa and a dash of Liquid Tension Experiment.
There are monster grooves on this set.
Think huge bass runs, wave after wave of searing guitar, incredible drumming and some absolutely wicked keyboard playing, the latter courtesy of another ace session player, Jeff Babko, who leads the house band on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
There is tremendous chemistry in this band and that is apparent from the very first track, a real railsplitter called Grip It.
That chemistry is due, in part, to the fact that they’ve been playing together for about a dozen years, getting together whenever time and schedules would allow for it, playing mostly in and around L.A.
Incitare is a high-energy package but Volto! do slow things down from time to time.
But even then it’s a growler.
Everybody in this unit has serious chops and everybody gets the chance to show it.
It should be noted that there are no vocals on the album so if instrumental music isn’t your thing you may want to pass on this one.
But if you do you’ll miss out on some brilliant playing.
Volto! was recorded in Carey’s home studio with the help of recording engineer Joe Baressi, whose long list of credits as a producer/engineer include work with Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, Bad Religion and The Melvins.
Choice offerings on this set include Grip It, Gillz, Quirk, Tocino, Meltdown and I’m Calm Now.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars.
Doug Gallant, a reporter with The Guardian, writes his music review column for The Guardian every week. He welcomes comments from readers at email@example.com
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