Showing posts with label Blue Aside. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blue Aside. Show all posts

Dec 28, 2010

Blue Aside - The Orange Tree

Blue Aside's "The Orange Tree" with what looks like a red tree on the cover or maybe I am color-blind is an album that is immediately interesting from the very spin because of the way their influences are blended into a seamless package all of their own. While mixing psychedelic space rock with doom metal is nothing new, the band have a sound that suggests they are carving out their own little niche in the scene. Blue Aside is a trio including ex-members of Palace in Thunderland who later turned into the great Black Pyramid but you would never know they are just a trio judging by the sound they create on this EP. But it is just not the sounds, it is also the concepts that set this band apart from other bands. They are a self-described "concept band" and the concept behind "The Orange Tree" is described as "a tale of loss and woe, but also of hope and redemption." The story told in the lyrics is about Earth's working population being forced to live underground while the rich stay protected from the Sun's deadly radiation by the orange tree above ground. Maybe this is the bands look into the future for this slowly rotting planet or maybe it is an allegory on the current state of rich versus poor in our society. Whatever take you have on the lyrics, it is a well thought-out piece and it is great to hear a band taking on the concept album approach which by the way is well over 30 minutes long so it is closer to a full-length album than a EP.

The opening "The Traveler of Time and Space" kicks off with a psychedelic doom-riff but before you get into a familiar state of a doom-metal vibe, the track quickly zig-zags in different directions from death-metal elements to space-rock to traditional doom. Layered guitar sounds and contrasting vocal styles make the band sound way bigger than just a three-piece and at times it sounds like Sons Of Otis jamming with Pink Floyd so musically this is about as diverse as you can get within this kind of musical genre. There is much swirling psychedelia coming from the guitars but there is also heavy doses of bottom-end that push the song sonically. When the first track melts its way into the second track, "Otis Sun" you are on a cosmic journey with a soundtrack unlike anything I have heard in the past few years. "Otis Sun" which is obviously a nod to Sons Of Otis perfectly sums up what Blue Aside are all about and that is the seamless mixing of styles. This track which blends influences of Saint Vitus, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Sons Of Otis and even Hendrix flies in the face of what the traditional music fan thinks can be done, if you think you can't blend all these styles and make them work, then you better listen to "Blue Aside." "Otis Sun" has everything from sludge-filled riffing to wild, drugged out psychedelic guitar passages and the vocals again range from death-growls to smooth harmonies without it sounding out-of-place. Guitarist Adam Abrams shines throughout the EP with impressive solo work and killer riffs, the drumming of Matt Netto is total perfection proving he can play anything with ease and the bass playing of Joe Twomey is solid and full of bottom-ended goodness.

"Orange Eyes" is the most conventional track on the EP as for the most part it is pretty straight-forward doom-stoner groove but at over 9 minutes long, there is still twists along the way to make it different from any other band. The musical depth they display by adding acoustic guitar to run along-side the electric Sabbathian riffing shows how advanced they are as composers as well as players. The soloing is again a feature within the song and the mix of an infectious chorus with haunting melodies is excellent. Next track up is "Black Rays" and it takes a turn into a much darker place musically speaking. It combines pummeling metallic crunch with some tasty psychedelic doom chugging and it stands out as one of the highlights of the EP. The intriguing part of this tune is the strange time signatures they use and get away with so effortlessly, most of other bands would make a "pigs-breakfast" of such a situation but Blue Aside seem to have no problem with these diverse ideas. The last track, "The Inevitable Journey" is another lengthy track merging psychedelic doom with a slight grunge-rock vibe especially in the later part of the song. Starting off very heavy, like all their songs it twists and turns with impressive guitar work, mesmerizing vocal harmonies and a vibe that reminded me of Yob at their best. When this is all over and done with, it is a captivating experience that is totally diverse. Think of bands like Sleep, Yob, Sons Of Otis, Saint Vitus and put them in the same room as Captain Beyond, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind and Rush and you have a unique collection of sounds and that is what you get with "The Orange Tree." I would have gladly given this a "10" rating if it wasn't just for one problem and that is the production, it just isn't too great. Music of this magnitude cries out for a massive production job but this sounds a little flat, it is a bummer but even turned up loud though Bose Headphones, the weaknesses are there. However the songs rule and musically, songwriting wise and in concept, this album is one of the best albums I have heard all year. Pity I didn't listen to it more before doing my top album list for 2010, this album would have been there, no question.

Highly progressive, psychedelic and still very heavy, this album has it all and I highly recommend you do yourself a favor and pick this one up, it is a monumental release.................9/10
Blue Aside Myspace

Oct 18, 2009

Blue Aside - Demo

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Blue Aside have a two track demo available for free download so you have no excuse's to check this one out. The band plays a brand of Psychedelic Doom meets Progressive Stoner Rock and they have more than enough musical ability to stand out amongst other bands in the field of this heavy music. The original element of the band is in the vocals that have a other-worldly quality that can only be described as trippy. "The Traveller Of Time And Space" sounds like a fuzz rock version of "Hawkwind" in many ways but with enough originality in the sound to make it sound unique. The production is a bit on the lo-fi end of the spectrum but this just adds to the cosmic feel of the songs. "Otis Sun" starts off with a heavy riff before moving into a 70's Space Rock style of playing. Very Pink Floydish in the way its executed, melodic with a dramatic feel. In terms of Doom, they have a "Sons Of Otis" way of riffing but once again played with a 70's feel. The guitar soars over the top of the sound with some "David Gilmour" inspired bluesy lead work, in fact "Otis Sun" reminds me a little of the "Pink Floyd" track "Echoes" in the way it builds and builds. This is a great demo but only two tracks long so it just leaves you wanting to hear a lot more. This is 70's Classic Rock, Stoner Rock with elements of Doom all rolled into one nifty little package. I cant wait to see where the band goes from here, there has been a trend building recently of bands like "Ancestors" that combine Doom/Stoner groove with a 70's Rock feel and i think "Blue Aside" could be another one that will make waves very soon. Head to their site for the free download of the demo, a bit short to fully judge the band but well worth a listen. 9/10
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