Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Last Things-Circles And Butterflies

Arkeyn Steel Records

Florida, St. Petersburg's The Last Things released one full-length studio album,"Circles and Butterflies", in 1993 and then promptly folded. Previous to The Last Things two of the band's three members (lead vocalist/guitarist Richard Elliot IV and bassist Darren McFarland) were in a band called Blackkout that released one full-length studio album in 1989, "Ignorance of Man" and then promptly folded. Not sure what to make of that other than the fact that these guys were two for two. Kind of a shame too as The Last Things (weird name and weird album title) ,while obscure in general, were quite the talented bunch. How to describe them? Well, Blackkout to start with was a technical/progressive metal band and The Last things are also often tagged with the label progressive metal. On the whole though there is a lot more going on here than just that tag. If I were to say that The Last Things were just a progressive metal band then there is a huge possibility that your mind could move towards Fates Warning or Dream Theater. Granted, The Last Things do share a similar mindset as those two bands. If you started with a base made up of Fates Warning and then added on some different layers you could get a general idea of what these guys were all about. There are times when you hear everything from Psychotic Waltz to Atheist to Watchtower. There is even some "simple" thrash that recalls Megadeth. In addition to the typical guitar/bass and drums the band utilizes both artificial sounds (synthesizers) and the natural sounds of instruments you don't typically associated with heavy metal like the flute and bagpipes! As a result the band can go from a heavy thrash/nwobhm style number like "Ghost From the Past" to a number like "The Spirit Lives" (where bands like Jethro Tull and Uriah Heep come to mind!). To add an extra layer to that it is interesting to hear how vocalist Richard Elliot IV can go from sounding like Fish (of the band Marillion) to Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) in the snap of a finger. Unreal. This is without a doubt a phenomenal album made only better with the inclusion on the band's unreleased 1994 demo and a unreleased Blackkout demo from 1990! All of the material has been given a full digital makeover and the album comes with lyrics, unpublished pics and a bio. Don't let that 2011 release date bother you as it was released at the end of the year. Strongly recommended for fans of Psychotic Waltz, Savatage, Secrecy, Jester’s March and more!

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