From the first brewing sound on All Roads Lead Here, the new EP from Chimp Spanner completely takes over and enthrals the senses, permeating deeply to inspire and instigate thoughts, imagery and most of all emotions. The release is striking and an eager imaginative collection of compositions that continue the band’s accomplished and irresistible diversity of sounds and ideas to combine in a haven for melodic ingenuity and technical expertise and inventiveness.
Chimp Spanner is the instrumental progressive metal project of multi-instrumentalist Paul Antonio Ortiz, a man who has impressed and left more and more awestruck with his stunning sounds and musical imagination. Also known for his work with Blessed Inertia and Monuments, Ortiz first released Imperium Vorago in 2004 as Chimp Spanner to be followed by At the Dream’s Edge in 2009, both self released. The latter drew great attention its way and the following year saw the second album find a wider release from a deal signed between Chimp Spanner with Basick Records.
All Roads Lead Here, again released in conjunction with Basick, was recorded, mixed and self produced in Ortiz’s home studio as with his previous releases. The EP continues where At the Dream’s Edge left us in bringing a staggering blend of evocative and emotive ambience with polyrhythmic insurgent rhythms and provocative progressive melodic creativity. The release penetrates far and wide with its dual djent inspired riffage and emotion spilling harmonics alongside warm excitable melodies. Simply it is irrepressibly inventive and enjoyable, a feast and formidable delight of strong and inventive imagination and sound.
The pulsating and muscular ‘Dark Age Of Technology ‘ opens up the EP fusing crystalline melodies and sweltering atmospherics to a metallic djent like spine. The track’s progressive flow and vibrant expanse is a spiralling fallout from the initial explosion in the ear the track gives, radiating warmth and stirring up emotions. The heavy and soaring elements of the song come together in a inspirational union and it is impossible not to be swept up in the track’s graceful intent.
The whole release really plays as one movement but can be broken down into different and distinct pieces as well, though the release’s three part glory of ‘Moebius’ is a defined piece that has to come as a whole to fully experience and enjoy its journey. Between the e opening track and the first part of ‘Moebius’ the brief and haunting ‘Engrams’ forms a slightly spaced out link. The guitars are like magical caresses but beneath them there is a subdued but distressed sound bringing an ominous feel alongside the beauty.
‘Moebius Pt I’ from an initial mystical flow erupts into pulse racing insurgency before intermittently switching seamlessly between the two, bringing them together fully as the track evolves. The track explores the senses absorbing them into its vast expanse of infectious melodies and welcoming rhythms. At times the guitars are verging on caustic but completely mesmeric however they venture through the ear. There is so much going on that every visit comes with new adventure and though it is an mass of creativity it never becomes messy or confused something that applies to the whole release.
‘Moebius Pt II’ is a more angular and intense piece without neglecting further flowing sounds from the keys and touches of distorted harmonised guitar. It exudes a wonderful mellower tone as it progresses with still the metallic spikiness of rhythms and guitar strong as it flows right into ‘Moebius Pt III’. This piece in some ways feels like a summing up paragraph to the previous duo of parts though the intrusive scathing riffs later breaking out open up more stunning avenues. Its progressive ventures are as riveting as they are consuming, inspiring the most focused fascination possible and confirming the impressive originality of the release.
Ending on the expressive sonic skies of ‘Cloud City’, the sublime All Roads Lead Here EP is nothing short of a triumph and places Chimp Spanner to the fore of progressive metal music. You all really do need to hear this. Oh and for additional information there will be a strictly limited edition clear transparent vinyl version available with the exclusive addition of the Supereroremix EP which is equally impressive.
Pete RingMaster 29/01/2012