Get in here right now and listen to the finest instrumental shred record of 2017.
I’ve heard a handful of great records in the last two weeks, but so far the best surprise of this young year has been The Mantle, the debut album from a trio of the same name. Months back I reported that Max Gorelick, son of world-famous smooth jazz empressario Kenny G, had joined on as a touring guitarist with NYC avant garde black metal band Imperial Triumphant. In the time since, Max has left that band and recorded his own album under the moniker The Mantle.
Comprised of the young Gorelick alongside Jake Miller and Asher Bank, The Mantle is a vessel for Max G. to flex his composition muscles in the world of progressive shred. Their debut album, The Mantle, dropped yesterday and if you’ve ever nerded out over a Joe Satriani record from the 90s, there’s a hell of a good chance you’re gonna dig The Mantle.
The record opens with “Dragons in the Purple Sky”, a triumphant celebration of polyrhythm and wicked guitar shredding that wouldn’t sound out of place as on a pre-shark jumped Dream Theater record or a diabolically difficult Japanese shoot-em-up video game soundtrack. Additional highlights from this album include “The Feeling”, a track that I can only describe as jaunty as fuck, the feel-good #softshred of “Sisu”. Throughout these tracks, Max and company boast an impressive display of mastery of their instruments without devolving into wank for the sake of wank. Every cut on The Mantle serves as a worthwhile composition, ideal for driving with the windows down or roller blading through the park in your finest hot pants.
Aside from occasional moments that embrace modern metal sounds and a few that meander into djent territory (most notably on “A Sense of Scale”, the album’s ambitious and perhaps a bit overextended closer), The Mantle sounds like it could have been released in the 90s alongside the elder Gorelick’s most influential smooth jazz instrumentals, albeit displayed in different sections of the same Sam Goody. The Mantle is an unexpected but undeniably fun record that I plan on jamming extensively throughout the year.
The Mantle is available now on Bandcamp for name-your-own price! Download the record, pick up a CD, and buy a nifty-as-heck t-shirt here. Then, go like The Mantle on Facebook and tell ’em how these sweet shreds make you feel.