Thursday, May 14, 2015

Baliset (Greg Massi ex-maudlin of the Well/Kayo Dot's band)
Baliset on Facebook

I wanted to post something about Greg Massi's band Baliset. I have recently become pretty addicted to the podcast Greg's been making Color of Air and so it naturally came to me to check out his main/current band. Greg of course was a member of maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot in the past, and he talks and interviews previously, frequently about those projects.

Although those 2 projects were not music he wrote I guess, but more contributed Guitar parts and primarily? solos. Anyway, so Baliset is largely HIM and his own music/band (although he's not the only member).

Baliset have released 2 albums as linked/posted below. Exordium, their most recent EP from 2013 I guess is sort of a precursor to a concept album that Baliset has been working on for a few years and looks to release in the near future. The exact timing of that is a little up in the air, as Greg has talked about on his podcast, it's a matter of finishing it, including the lyrics/concept part of it.

But as far as Exordium, I enjoy it; the 3 tracks are sort of a mix of atmospheric Folk Rock/Metal with Female and Male vocals. The 1st track starts out like a pop/rock track, but a couple of minutes in, it changes mood. From quiet, transitioning to faster parts. Greg has some vocals along with his guitar parts. Vocally, he almost reminds me of the singer from Sound and Shape.

Some of the dreamy vocal harmonies and clean guitar tones used on this EP standout as much as anything. The blend of acoustic and electric guitars, works quite well, sort of showing different influences simultaneously. A little like Jethro Tull or Psychotic Waltz in a way.

And Shannon Kelly's vocals almost make me think of bands like The Gathering or Aghora I think it was, who were an  atmospheric Metal band with clean female vocals.

I also like the way samples are used. In nature, almost like field recordings samples.

Exordium [EP] (2013)

Exordium cover art

1. Moon And River 6:52
2. Ever A Relentless Tide 4:29
3. Colour 6:48

A Time for Rust, the debut LP includes some very nice atmosphere and blends of styles. The use of acoustic sections into heavy, thrashy guitar leads. A sample from what sounds like Winston Churchill under some uptempo guitar work works pretty well on the opening cut "These Moments Are..."

"Black Light Moon" is a nice ballad that along some of the interlude pieces, is a nice diversion. It's a pretty simple track, that actually would probably do well on radio now, or even in the late 80's.

"Dreamflesh" is one track I am enjoying the more I hear it. It has the electric-guitar driven parts, with a soft, pretty bridge with Shannon's vocals and some acoustic guitar, until going back to some wah-wah pedal guitar echoing.

Maybe my favorite piece on this album is the closing track "The Echo Box" which like some other Baliset tracks, goes from Heavier, electric guitar led, to an acoustic section. But then around the 5:50 mark, goes quiet. A minute or 2 later, some static comes on and leads to this cool upbeat folky part. Which reminds me of some classic rock tune that I'm spacing on, Also it sounds like tablas or djembe or something being used, which I actually think of among others, Kevin Gilbert's Thud work, or even the intro to his cover of Kashmir for some reason, lol.

The guitar solo on "The Echo Box" works really well in tone, mood, mix. It's really a great way to end the album on an upbeat way."So help me disappear, help me disappear...waiting for so long, waiting for so long..All I can do is sit..and pass the time. To pass the time. To pass the tiiiiime."

A Time for Rust (2009)

A Time For Rust cover art

1. These Moments Are... 3:36
2. A Time For Rust 5:11
3. Machinery Listens To Love 1:18
4. Black Light Moon 6:29
5. The Art Of Contrition 2:31
6. Dreamflesh 6:56
7. Winterlude 1:49
8. The Echo Box 15:21