Taking a break from Nevermore in 2005 has given guitar player Jeff Loomis a chance for artistic freedom, but while he can and has created instrumental works that can stand by themselves, he continuously chooses to work with vocalists. The result is, his recent releases are all about this really cool balance between his role as a shredder and as a riff-writer; and when those two are equal in strength, you get a really heavy thing going on. I’m talking of course about Jeff’s most recent EP released on April 16th, “Requiem For The Living“.
So, let’s talk about the music. The title track on this short release was actually featured on Loomis’ previous album – why? I have no idea. It’s a classic heavy metal\shred piece, but the real beatdown begins with track 2 “A Liar’s Chain“. Moving in an even more new-school direction than before, this song is such groove metal attack! you’d think Lamb of God are playing(including the snarling vocals) if it weren’t for those later melodies and solo section.
“Speak of Nothing” continues in a similar but sped-up fashion, more than bordering on melodic death metal with those aggressive drum patterns and the super-melodic chorus! It can only be described as riff-tastic hybrid, combining the straightforward attitude of a killer metal band with Jeff’s recognizable guitar tone and intelligent composing style. Oh and it’s catchy as hell..
The last track on “Requiem For The Living” seems to just go all out melodic DM, it’s brilliant. Not sure if this was intentional, maybe Jeff just wanted to write a heavy song? But the whole thing just crawls with a sick vibe reminiscent of Carcass‘ “Heartwork”, especially due to Jue Nurre’s work on vocals(and guitars). Such a splendid track, here is “Glass Roots“:
This short EP is packed with great heavy and melodic music by some super talented folks, making me wish it was a longer, full album! Jeff Loomis‘ collaborations with other musicians always deliver, and as usual I will be following up on any future releases by him. This killer EP gets a definite score of 9/10 from me! And hey, if you like what you hear, you can get it on iTunes at such a low price it’s ridiculous.