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Doubt

Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love

Review by Gary Hill

With some real rock and almost metal on display at times, this is hard-edged progressive rock. There are hints of groove music, elements of ELP, King Crimson and more. RIO is in effect on at least a couple tunes. The overall take on this set is that it’s a strong modern progressive rock release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
There Is a War Going On

With a soundbite of a political rant going on in the background, these guys create a jam that seems like part Booker T. and the MGs and part ELP. All in all, it’s quite a weird, but very cool tune.

Jalal
The bass line that drives this has a cool groove. There’s similar music to the first cut, with a lot of keyboard soloing in this beast. It works out into some rather jazzy territory, at times getting a little dissonant. There is also some killer guitar soloing later in the piece. This is rubbery and rather off-kilter, but still manages to groove.
No More Quarrel with the Devil

This powers in hard rocking and almost metallic. It’s really heavy. There’s a lot of metal and a lot of King Crimson. Then, just before the one minute mark it drops to some exploratory music that’s playful and has some world music in it. Then we get some more high energy jamming coming in from there. That King Crimson label is particularly prevalent later as some of the melodic under-currents even call to mind “21st Century Schizoid Man” quite a bit. Still, the jamming over the top is crazed and original and very cool.

Rising Upon Clouds

Jazz and dissonance combine for a definite RIO-like experience as this starts and builds outward. This thing is very freeform and a bit strange for my tastes. If you are into that thing, though, it’s certainly going to be cool.

Purple Haze

Now, this is crazy cool as progressive rock, jazz and symphonic elements are all swirled about in this instrumental take on the Jimi Hendrix tune. It might not be for everyone, but it’s just too cool for words.

The Invitation

Mellow, slow moving and quite melodic, this is a cool piece of music and a nice change of pace from some of the crazy stuff we’ve heard to this point.

Mercy, Pity, Peace & Love

At over twelve minutes in length, the title track is epic in size and scope. It has some symphonic elements early and then turns toward noisy psychedelia meets jazz. This thing is quite freeform and very much a jazz piece as it continues. It gets into some crazed freeform rock jamming later in the number, too.

There Is a War Going On (Reprise)

The musical motifs of the opening cut return here, without the rant. It’s really very much like ELP, but this cut is pretty short.

Tears Before Bedtime

There is melodic music here, but also some seriously shredding guitar. Overall this is a tune that combines that RIO element with something a bit more mainstream – but just a bit.

The Human Abstract

Weird and dissonant, this is a bit unsettling. It works through several changes in a pretty freeform RIO style and has some almost surf music bits. The bass line later is clearly very much in a jazz motif as spacey weirdness swirls overhead.

No More Quarrel with the Devil (Reprise)

Another return to previous elements, this is just a short, noisy guitar fest.  

Mercury

This is pretty much pure jazz and it’s quite cool. While it gets a bit dissonant at times, that never inhibits the effectiveness of the piece.

Goodbye My Fellow Soldier
Coming in freeform and tentative, this is another that calls to mind King Crimson quite a bit, but older KC. While this is overall a mellow piece of music, you wouldn’t know that from the drums which solo all over the background. Overall this is quite atmospheric and slow moving, though.
 
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