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Album Review: Volto! – Incitare
Label: Concord Music Group
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Run Length: 9 tracks – 53:36:00
For a band content with playing covers in a small jazz club in LA, Volto! is most certainly not your run-of-the-mill trio. Featuring guitarist John Ziegler (Pygmy Love Circus), bassist Lance Morrison (Alanis Morissette and Rod Stewart), drummer Danny Carey (Tool), and constantly changing keyboardist, Volto!’s high profile names already sets them apart from many of the other projects coming out of LA’s thriving fusion jazz scene; however, the respect they have garnered from this scene comes entirely from their rocking music.
Volto! released their debut album Incitare on July 23, 2013 after nearly a decade of touring and playing small venues around California. During the band’s years on the road, they became known for their extended and incredibly precise covers of 70’s hard rock anthems and fusion jazz standards. The album, which was recorded using exclusively live takes, only further highlights the attention to detail that Volto! puts on during their live show. Though one might expect a high degree of technical aptitude from these players, listening to how crisp and synchronized the players are throughout the long, climactic solos and incredibly complex chord progressions is enough to floor most listeners.
The album begins with a heavier tune titled “Grip It”, which is available as a free download on the band’s website. “Grip It” will very likely appeal to fans of Animals as Leaders or even Tool; the heavy main riff and intricate solo work immediately designate “Grip It” as one of the more accessible tracks on the album.
Following the impressive drum work of the next track “Gillz” and the ethereal third song “Whopner”, Volto! starts rocking again on Incitare’s standout track, “Drumbeaux”. Ignoring the hilarious laser gun noises the synth makes in the background can be a little tough on first listen, but the chug of the guitar line and abundance of drum fills give “Drumbeaux” an excellent sense of motion and direction.
Incitare continues with several experimental and fusion based songs, which may be slightly too inaccessible for fans outside of the genre. However, Volto! finishes up the album with two stellar tracks in a row. The first, “Tocino”, goes back into the shredding that Volto! does so well. In addition, the keys lines, supplied by Jeff Babko, help the song to retain that special jazz club feel. “Tocino” is also the only Volto! song to date with an official music video, which can be found on YouTube.
The album concludes with “I’m Calm Now”, which sounds much like a slower, distorted Jimmy Herring piece. Regardless, “I’m Calm Now” is an appropriate way for the album to end.
For fans of Tool, Volto! may only somewhat satiate their desire for new music. However, fans of bands such as Tauk or 7 Walkers, or even heavier jam bands, will be delighted with Volto!’s newest release. Volto! will be touring East Coast cities everyday from August 3 – 10, so be sure to come out and catch a stellar show by an astounding act.