IZ

EM (Infinite 7)

Maybe for his next trick, illusionist David Blaine will arrange to have himself sewn up in the rotting carcass of an elephant. He could eat Funyuns, watch TV and beat off in there -- then emerge triumphantly at the next Republican National Convention, weeping messiah-like as red, white and blue confetti showers down with the indifference of acid rain. Similarly dark, sinister and claustrophobic, guitarist Mike Serviolo's new batch of IZ tunes sutures together a monolithic beast with surgical sleight of hand. Assisted by lab partner/drummer Dave Kerman (Thinking Plague, 5uu's, Bob Drake) and bassist/synth wiz Tom Sublet (Uversa), Serviolo grafts minimalist prog metal with fusion, free jazz, atonal noise and splatterpunk. Referencing every six-stringer from Rhys Chatham to Ace Frehley, this inventive trio excites the loins as much as the lobes. Complex time signatures might dominate "Screaming Baby Cyborg" and "Land of the Broken Toys," but it's the album's gut-driven elements that are enough to make Houdini proud.
 
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