While we wait years and years for the next Tool album, we settle for anything released by any of the band’s members. Thus we get Legend of the Seagullmen and their debut self-titled album, a supergroup of sorts featuring Mastodon’s Brent Hinds on guitar and Tool’s Danny Carey on drums, among others.
Musically these eight songs could be thought of as progressively-tinged epic metal. While the songs are short, they are all bombastic, with guitar solos leaping out at us, orchestral elements rearing up on occasion, and of course excellent drumming, resulting in an album that is more interesting musically than most of Mastodon’s output, and vastly different from Tool.
Looking at the song titles shows that this is a nautical metal album: “We Are The Seagullmen,” “Curse of the Red Tide” and “The Orca” are a few examples. That’s fine, as it’s good to have a thematically unified album, but listening closely to the lyrics reveals the album’s inner silliness, much to its detriment.
“He is black, and he is white,” vocalist David Dreyer bellows in “The Orca,” while “The Curse of the Red Tide” is a seven-minute song about algae bloom: “the fish are dying and the dolphins are crying.” Listening too closely to the words makes the eyes roll, as the band treads dangerously close to Tenacious D territory. “Rise of the Giant” is a song about, you guessed it, a squid. All that’s missing is a song about Skoora the Gentle Shark.
All the lyrical silliness drags down an otherwise spectacular album, as every song here sounds fantastic, with inspired guitar work, and while Carey’s drumming is not as organic and fluid as his Tool performances, but rather more epic and traditional, it’s of course perfect for the music. The Legend of the Seagullmen have released a fun, skillful, musically compelling album: just don’t pay attention to the lyrics.
(released February 9, 2018 on Dine Alone Records)
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Listen To Legend Of The Seagullmen – “Shipswreck”