Saturday, April 6, 2019

Full Length Review: PAK Bestial (Nefarious Industries) by Dave Wolff

Band: PAK
Location: New York
Country of origin: USA
Genre: Experimental progressive rock
Full Length: Bestial
Label: Nefarious Industries (Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Release date: April 5, 2019
PAK is the brainchild of Ron Anderson, a self-educated musician and experimental composer born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1959. In the 1980s Anderson was active in Philadelphia, New York, California and Switzerland before returning to New York in 1989. Having recorded and performed with hundreds of musicians the last forty years, Anderson formed his current band/project PAK in 2000 and released five full length albums. While discussing his work, Time Out New York stated it would be difficult to pinpoint where his musical ability comes from. Is if the genius of a madman or the genius moment of an unschooled dilettante? Others have compared his music to jazz, progressive rock, ambient, avant garde metal, math metal, experimental and improvisational. Whatever you consider it, PAK’s new full length Bestial is undeniably new, uncommon and unique. The creation of an artist and like-minded partners (Steve Blanco of Imperial Triumphant, Larry Kwartowitz of Cleric) who recognize no boundaries between genres worlds apart and seemingly impossible to liquece and cement at the core. All those genres mentioned earlier with doom metal, dissonant black metal, electronica, some early grunge and the time signatures of Rush, Yes and King Crimson. I wouldn’t know firsthand, but I can guess this multi-layered collection of instrumentals (there is one song with vocals) is the closest equivalent to the most intense LSD trip you would take in your lifetime. Or at the least, the journey into infinity depicted in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Its boundless unpredictability is what makes it accessible to anyone willing to travel the deepest unfathomed depths of songwriting. The transitions in mood from ethereal to hypnotic to somber to aggressive, in which it’s uncertain what comes next, may seem disjointed and harrowing to you during the first couple of tracks. By the time the epic track “Prophesies of the Sybil” is underway a method to the madness is revealed, you start to realize how carefully crafted the album is and you understand the reasoning behind the radical mood changes. You wouldn’t believe the album was recorded in just two days considering the extensive preparation that went into writing and arranging the songs. But it was, right here in Queens, New York. Just the location the material needed to remain firmly grounded while it continues exploring new territory. -Dave Wolff

Ron Anderson: Guitar, vocals
Steve Blanco: Bass, synthesizer, vocals
Larry Kwartowitz: Drums

Track list:
1. Attrition
2. Repent Recoil
3. Prophesies Of The Sybil
4. Chiaroscuro
5. Sub Specie Aeternitatis
6. Reflection Consumer
7. Triskaidekaphobia

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