Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Number Of Good Things

ANDREW DUGAN – “MMXII” CD ’09 (Private, US) – You know what really gets my shorts in a bind? Somebody puts out a solo album and it sounds exactly like their band. I mean, what the fuck is that, right? What’s the point? “MMXII” is a solo album by ANDREW DUGAN, the vocalist for Baltimore band FORETOLD. If you’ll recall, I wrote about their excellent debut of modern metal (“Just The Tip”) several weeks back. So the question is, could I have foretold (ouch!) “MMXII’s” sound by listening to that crusher? Happy to say, no. ANDREW DUGAN has taken full advantage of his own private time to make a record that stands completely apart from that of his band. “MMXII,” you see, is a conceptual piece. It’s a short (20:12) but potent exploration of the last 6 hours of the world as we know it, and while I’m not going to give away the story, let’s just say that the earth itself fares better than mankind. Musically, ANDREW invokes a tremendous panorama of all the less-is-more philosophies out there. While FORETOLD does a killer job of bringing their own vibe into a modern metal scene dominated by the likes of Tool & Mudvane, etc., “MMXII” sees DUGAN tapping into the stark power of riveting acoustics. Often reminiscent of the chilling post-apocalyptic sounds of Roger Waters in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” ANDREW uses the stripped down tones of acoustic guitar and emotive mid-range vox to tell his sobering tale. Before you get the idea that this is 20 minutes of flat and sans variety, think again. Listen to Marlayna Green’s haunting piano in “0800, 0900 and 1100” or Angi Gulino’s plaintive cello in the latter, not to mention DUGAN’s own deft painting with mandolin. It would also be a mistake to think that the story ends in a completely negative way. The last track, “1100” (subtitled “The First New Day”) has a most uplifting feel that makes this disc a powerful listen every time. Surely, ANDREW DUGAN has issued a thought-provoking and unique piece of listening here with “MMXII” and it’s one that’s getting a lot of playing time around here lately. The only thing that has my shorts in a bind is that more people don’t know about it. Change that. Apocalyptic Acoustic Café


M said...

Ray ever thought about putting in a divshare so we could hear these bands?

In the sharity blogs there seems to be some kind of thrash revival thing going down. I found a Wiconsin band from 1988 called Morbid Saint that does a perfect Reign in blood meets Pleasure to kill Kreator thing.

Things go in cycles..

Mik from SWE

raysrealm said...

I hear ya, Mik. I guess, even in the internet age, I'm still showing my old-school tendencies. Like when I used to read about stuff in mags and then have to go search it out. For me, it made finally getting to hear it that much sweeter. Most of the bands I review, I include online sites/contact info. Yes, there's definitely been some good thrash stuff lately like FUELED BY FIRE, GUILLOTINE, etc.