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Evan Brewer - "Your Itinerary" (CD)

Evan Brewer - "Your Itinerary" CD cover image

"Your Itinerary" track listing:

1. The Adjacent Possible (3:53)
2. Microscopic Scale (3:29)
3. Another World (4:20)
4. This Seems Familiar (6:06)
5. A Little Goes a Long Way (2:31)
6. Cause For Concern (5:10)
7. Home Away From Home (3:20)
8. Full Circle (6:47)

Reviewed by on September 13, 2013

"Devastating technical death metal this most definitely is not, but don’t let that stop you from listening, because Brewer knows how to craft very solid music without hellish growls or blast beats."

Like the solo album from Thomas Giles of Between the Buried and Me, “Your Itinerary” provides a very different musical outlet for The Faceless bassist Evan Brewer. Devastating technical death metal this most definitely is not, but don’t let that stop you from listening, because Brewer knows how to craft very solid music without hellish growls or blast beats. For fans of a proggier, jazzier sound, these eight tracks create an incredibly satisfying excursion to the fringes of metal and beyond.

“Your Itinerary” is entirely instrumental, but that’s probably for the best, as the amalgam of styles would need some truly stellar vocals to match, and frankly, growls and screams wouldn’t fit most of the music. While there are definite metallic trappings, especially in the way the songs are constructed and how the guitars are arranged, on the whole the album probably can’t be a considered a full-on metal release. But at the same time, there’s not really another genre tag that fits it any better, as it’s too inventive to be sullied with titles like “rock” or “pop.” The closest thing would be “metal influenced jazz,” with the emphasis less on the metal.

That being said, much of the disc will appeal to fans of prog metal, or anyone who likes music melodic, unpredictable, and bass heavy. If Brewer as the driving force wasn’t a tip off that the audience is in for a crazy bass experience, just consider that it also features secondary bass from Brandon Giffin of Cynic (and formerly The Faceless). In a way that’s difficult to describe, but amazingly interesting to listen to, the music is frequently technical without being overly heavy, especially on the dizzying “Another World,” so some of that tech-death influence does actually creep in.

The sudden transitions into completely different styles of music bring also bring to mind acts like To-Mera or Suspyre. Running full speed ahead into realms both technical and progressive, the only time the album stumbles is on “A Little Goes A Long Way.” The sort-of interlude track somehow drags at less than three minutes, lacking enough darkness for the melody to be interesting or enough energy to work as an upbeat track.

While a potential listener has to be willing to enjoy styles beyond metal, not to mention music that completely lacks a vocal component, “Your Itinerary” is something any fan of The Faceless should check out, along with any and all prog metal fanatics.

Highs: Fantastic bass lines and a sound that's somehow technical even when it's not heavy.

Lows: "A Little Goes A Long Way" could have been ditched, and much of the album can't really be called "metal."

Bottom line: The Faceless bassist offers up a jazzy, proggy album that's technical, but not precisely heavy metal.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)