Posts Tagged ‘Into the Everflow’

I was watching a documentary on the making of the first Doors album recently. Perry Farrell was talking about how it’s one of the albums he’ll hand to his kids to listen to. That got me thinking about what I would want the two smallest Muffins to be exposed to. The criteria for me is really “What albums touched me or made me appreciate music differently?” This is not a “Best Of” or “The Top Albums to…” list. This is very personal, and as I see it there are no wrong answers. So here we go…

The Beatles-Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band: Too obvious? Whatever. It’s a great album with great songs and it stands as a hallmark to what musicians can do without radio-friendly constraints. The older Muffin already owns The Beatles 1 CD and loves it. The younger muffin is digging it too.

Led Zeppelin-Led Zeppelin IV: Yes another obvious one. I don’t think I can properly explain what this album did to my 6th grade brain when I first listened to the whole thing. Amazing highs and great mellow bits. Great musicianship all around. And did I mention iconic?

Psychotic Waltz-Into The Everflow: A little known, but almost huge, progressive metal band out of San Diego, CA. I believe this is there strongest and most well structured album. The guitar alone is worth it, but there are soaring vocals and complicated drum beats melded well with a solid bass sound.

Metallica-Master Of Puppets: Another seminal album. Metallica has done a lot of good, but none shine like this bad boy. Plus it’s the last album with Cliff Burton, who will always be the best metal bass player ever. Ever.

Teenage Fanclub-Bandwagonesque: I didn’t get hip to this one till quite a few years after it came out. It is a perfect album from start to finish and shows what great songwriting should be. The tonal structures of the guitar parts are awe inspiring.

Ben Folds-Ben Folds Live: This is our man on his own pounding the keys and singing his heart out. The best part? Hearing the harmonies Ben gets out of his audience. And the lyrics to his songs are some of the best you could ever hope to emmulate.

The Streets-Original Pirate Material: Not familiar with Grime? UK hip hop. This is one of those that changed me when I first heard it. The beats, the loops, the very personal lyrics, and placement in a specific time and location are just brilliant.

Well, I think that’s good for now. But this is definitely a list I will revisit. Look for future entries.

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Or even heard of, until this post. Psychotic Waltz was one of the best progressive metal bands of the 80s and 90s. The band formed in San Diego in 1986. Originally they had gone under the name of Aslan, yes that Aslan, but had to change their name as there was already an Aslan, and that Aslan was punk. Hmmm, punk….Aslan, hmmmm. The name Psychotic Waltz came from a song of theirs by the same name which features a wonderful rant from a band members crazy relative. The rumor is they actually went to visit him at a mental health facility and asked him to expound on the term psychotic waltz. Anyway, Psychotic Waltz had an amazing sound. They were not afraid to push the limits, at least not in the beginning, but more on that later.

The original lineup Was as follows: Buddy Lackey-vocals; Dan Rock-guitar; Brian McAlpin-guitar; Norm Leggio-drums; Ward Evans-Bass. This was, in my opinion the best and only real PW lineup. Leggio and Evans had a wonderful rhythm section interplay were sometimes they were synchronized and sometimes offset. The guitar team of McAlpin and Rock was unbelievable. Amazing, intricate rhythms and soaring, blistering, emotional harmonized leads.

PW’s debut album A Social Grace is a wonderful mix of everything the band had to offer. You get the Ballad I Remember and the creepy sounding Spiral Tower. Lyrically Lackey has always worn his influences on his sleeve. From the name of the album (nod to Jethro Tull) to track 3 Another Prophet Song (Nod to Queen).Psychotic Waltz peaked rather early artistically and it is my opinion that their second effort, 1992’s Into the Everflow is the best PW album. The opening is ethereal and engaging and fades right on into a full blown mental and emotional experience that carries the listener on through to the last track Butterfly in which Lackey gives lyrical nods to almost everyone whoever influenced him musically.

The following two albums, Mosquito and Bleeding, are solid efforts and would be impressive from any other progressive metal or rock band. As follow ups to Into the Everflow, however, they fall a little flat. By the time of Mosquito Psychotic Waltz had seen their chance for major success come and go and slightly watered down their approach to be more accessible and yes, they were kind of selling out. Even with this Mosquito and Bleeding are enjoyable and PW does stretch itself a little with the psychedelic regae number Mindsong.

Ward Evans left the band prior to Mosquito and Brian McAlpin had to leave prior to the tour in support of Bleeding. PW also faced legal matters due to a blinded crew member on the video shoot for Faded. Pile all of this on top of increasingly disparate musical tastes and you get the end of Psychotic Waltz by 1996. Buddy Lackey had released a solo album around the time of Into the Everflow and continues to make music to this day, though now under the moniker of Devon Graves with his band Dead Soul Tribe, a rock/metal act and lives in Austria (Yes PW WAS huge in Germany). Dan Rock had the band Darkstar for awhile which served up progressive instrumental rock. Norm Leggio appears to be in the heavy metal band Cage, but I was unable to find more info on Ward Evans or Brian McAlpin. Whatever they are doing now, for a short time, the members of Psychotic Waltz made some of the best progressive metal around and inspired me personally to push myself musically.

I was lucky enough to see Psychotic Waltz live many times and even briefly took vocal lessons from Buddy Lackey. You can actually find them and the various side and post projects on Amazon.com. I highly recommend them for any metal, progressive, or rock fans.

Video for Faded





Psychotic Waltz (Demo) (1988)
1. …And the Dev
il Cried
2. Sucessor
3. Halo of Thorns
4. I of the Storm






A Social Grace (1990)
1. …And the Devil Cried
2. Halo of Thorns
3. Another Prophet’s Song
4. Sucessor
5. In this Place
6. I Remember
7. Sleeping Dogs
8. I of the Storm
9. A Psychotic Waltz
10. Only in a Dream
11. Spiral Tower
12. Strange
13. Nothing





Into the Everflow (1992)
1. Ashes
2. Out of Mind
3. Tiny Streams
4. Into the Everflow
5. Little People
6. Hanging on a String
7. Freakshow
8. Butterfly
9. Disturbing the Priest (Bonus Track)





Mosquito (1994)
1. Mosquito
2. Lovestone Blind
3. Haze One
4. Shattered Sky
5. Cold
6. All the Voices
7. Dancing in the Ashes
8. Only Time
9. Locked Down
10. Mindsong
(Hidden Track: Darkness)






Bleeding (1996)
1. Faded
2. Locust
3. Morbid
4. Bleeding
5. Need
6. Drift
7. Northern Lights
8. Sleep
9. My Grave
10. Skeleton
11. Freedom?

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