Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Dan Weiss Starebaby - Natural Selection

Dan Weiss has long been one of my favorite musicians in metal. His vision that fueled his last offering in the Starebaby project (An album entitled Starebaby) was too bring together some of the worlds best jazz musicians and have them play heavier music. After receiving critical acclaim he is back accompanied by such heavy hitters as Trevor Dunn of Mr Bungle fame and Ben Monger who played on David Bowie's ultimate album - Blackstar. The end result is Natural Selection an appropriate title for a record that is not quite metal, and not quite jazz but somewhere in between. 

There is a very strange magic to what is being conjured up here. The band are all clearly guys very well versed in the most unorthodox ministrations of modern jazz, but who can also play their faces off. Though the records heaviest moments rarely go harder than say... a particularly rocking Victor Wooten track, the influence of acts like Meshuggah is still very evident. The production on this record is also gorgeous. It shines through on tracks like 'Bridge Of Trust,' really serving to take the potency of Natural Selectoin to the next level. This is a record that revels in subverting expectations, the more you embrace its inherent weirdness the more you'll fall in love. 

One thing that really strikes me about Natural Selection is how LONG it is. This thing weighs in at just over 80 minutes. Yet somehow Dan Weiss and his merry men are somehow able to find a way to make it work - to make you eager for the fact that this is nearly an hour and a half of cerebral, thoughtful ad powerful music.While it may have been better served as two records, Natural Selection is good enough that you can listen too it from front to back and still find the damn thing to be wholly exciting and wonderfully promising of what's to come. 

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