BLACKWOLFGOAT (Dragonwizardsleeve) CD
This is not the next black metal band from Scandinavia, but guitarist Darryl Shepard, one-time member of bands such as Hackman, Roadaw and Milligram. Obviously, he felt the need to record his first solo album that turned out surprisingly experimental. On centerstage is thereby his electric guitar and one amplifier and nothing else. In the process he has developed his poetic tonal palette which is mostly miles away from traditional blues and rock 'n' roll structures. 'Death of a Lifer' and 'The Goat' uses electric guitar drones in the manner of early Earth, whereas the incredibly hypnotic 'Tinnitus the Night' adds a psychedelic edge to the whole thing. But as effective as his approach is, Earth's style (mainly the early 1990's) has been copied multiple times so that it's almost tiresome to listen to this kind of music.
With the exception of 'Tinnitus the Night', both tracks have nothing new to offer. Thus, one should be a huge fan of Earth 2 to appreciate this tunes. In contrast, 'Risk and Return' and 'Hotel Anhedonia' are considerably more interesting. This is where Shepard proves its vitality as a guitarist. Although both tracks are rather more connected with the blues and rock tradition, he manages to add his own sonic eccentricities to it. Here again, the music has a mesmerizing and repetitive character, based on low-key minimalist patterns.
Nevertheless, both tracks are relatively emotional and generate an almost surreal atmosphere. It would have been nice if Darryl Shepard had recorded more songs like this. I also really like 'Aspirin Forver', because it is by far the most radical "song" on 'Dragonwizardsleeve'. Actually, I expect music like this from a Japanese experimental musicians as, for example, Masayuki Imanishi. In conclusion I would like to emphasise that this album is recommended only with restrictions. On the one hand it is very unimaginative, while on the other it goes into the right direction. I can only hope that BLACKWOLFGOAT will find his own identity in the course of time.