Review Summary: Blue-collar primate aural mindfuck.
If Eddie Van Halen's wasn't suffering from a constant state of cerebral hypoxia as a result of disgustingly tight pants, he'd be admittedly warranted in feeling confused to hear his own fusionease licks amplified in a modern tech-metal context in this new millennia. Furthermore, I'm sure Eddie would be even more surprised to see it mixed with a lush undercurrent of film influenced ambient passages. Well lucky the 80s are over, and Eddie isn't here to ruin the vibe, because Paul Oritz' Chimp Spanner sure as hell has set a vibe to be soaked up.
Instrumental and technical in nature, Chimp Spanner's sound both follows current metallic trends, set by the obvious darlings of this site, while combining with fusion, ambient and a heavy-rock into an amalgamation of ambitiously unpredictable music. Most surprisingly however, Chimp Spanner is one man, and all these influences come from his solo self. More surprisingly, it doesn't sound like shit.
Clocking in a 61 minutes and change, it's a journey of an album, and can realistically only be listened to in one sitting because it's lacking vocals (see how I avoided the word epic there). Instead of fatiguing of the constantly changing dynamics, as with comparable albums, At The Dream's Edge
ebbs with an undertone of tension that alters in intensity, colour and texture, dependent on your place within the album. Often this happens rather quickly; Track 5 - Bad Code is the standout in this.
The album's thirteen tracks are all self-contained units which work wonderfully on their own; grabbing you, tossing you round like a shirt on the clothes line in a storm, taking you whereever Paul wants you to go; but they're still cohesive and ordered well. Obvious example being the three-parts of Terminus destroying you at every shift of dynamics.
The highest compliment that I, as a review and listener, can give Paul is this; I am jealous of his composure abilities. This is hugely ambitious music, that is executed with surgical precision and has soul baby.