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Burning the Hard City

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Album Review

Djam Karet never ceases to amaze with the variety of stylistic veins of sound they mine for gold and gems. Experience guitars clean and relaxing with a cutting edge on "At the Mountains of Madness," then mutate into overdriven madness and on throughout fuzzed jams and a breakdown that pushes the C.O.C. envelope of their Blind days. These guys make feedback and sustain into a perfectly honed art. They continue in a Ministry-meets-Metallica-meets-C.O.C.-meets-Black Sabbath vein in "Province 19: The Visage of War." Flow across the river Styx and the begging boatman carries you to the "Feast of Ashes," and the darkness covers all. Anguished guitar crying of yesterday mellows into a '70s Yes/Wishbone Ash nostalgic moment. Synthesizers, rainsticks, and endless sustained guitars weep over your passing. Another pristine outro of guitar as you accept the end. Weird, so twisted is "Grooming the Psychosis" in its intro. Andy Summers' guitar voicing and tight bass work add much. Lead after lead and on into a whirling dervish of bizarre scales that resolves itself in a Satriani-like "Hordes of Locust" ending. "Topanga Safari" is an early-'70s groove with Allman Brothers and Rick Derringer-esque bite. "Ten Days to the Sand" intros with a wide open Andy Summers feel, then delivers a tempo change and David Gilmour-ish lead break. Later, a fat, delay-driven, reverby, groovin' guitar sets up a sandstorm that blasts you away. Floydian guitars meet Leslie West with Santana for the outro. Title cut "Burning the Hard City" gives a bluesy snarl of weeping guitars bringing you to your knees, as each note is strangled out to its ultimate intensity. A helter-skelter jam erupts as Djam Karet does rock jigs and reels with Buck Dharma flourishes as the last jig is played. A great guitar jamfest. ~ John W. Patterson, Rovi


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Djam Karet was formed in 1984 in Los Angeles, CA, by a group of musicians who wanted to play improvisational rock music: Gayle Ellet (guitar), Mike Henderson (guitar), Chuck Oken Jr. (drums), and Henry Osborne (bass). Although the band never lost interest in instrumental progressive rock, they would later expand and experiment with droning ambient music that was years ahead of the explosion of similar styles in the late '90s. The group returned to their unique brand of atmospheric progressive rock...
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Burning the Hard City, Djam Karet
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