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Review: The Gabriel Construct, Interior City

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Lately, I’ve been in the mood for more experimental, predominantly instrumental, sometimes confusing, kind-of-psychotic, catchy-in-a-psychedelic-way, metal-that’s-not really-metal-but-is music. Interior City, the debut release from The Gabriel Construct, fulfills almost all those criteria — while Gabriel Lucas Riccio does contribute vocals, they’re so elegant that I don’t mind.

It’s a diverse album, too: I’ve read a lot of reviews that claim whatever band mixes every kind of music imaginable, but  perhaps with the exception of Sigh, I’ve rarely found that to be true.  But you could definitely say as much about Interior City. “Arrival in a Distant Land” has a  jarring and rather unsettling sound that, oddly enough, will neither jar nor unsettle you, kind of like when you take a giant gulp from your glass of water and it turns out it’s someone else’s glass of straight gin; “Ranting Prophet” begins sweetly enough, but then lives up to its name as Riccio bellows like an operatic version of the homeless guy on your corner, and the crashing drums paired with the gorgeous violin soloing wildly out of control make this a crazy trashcan barbecue you have to attend; “Fear of Humanity” is a slow, plodding number that channels Mr. Bungle; “My Alien Father” is as fittingly spacey as its title would suggest, like “Major Tom” with a classical back-up band a chorus of chanting prog rockers; “Retreat Underground” perfectly balances the racing drums and guitars with almost doom-metal-esque vocals; “Subway Dwellers” sounds like it could be a friendly radio pop song, and “Languishing in the Chakras,” is an eleven-minute epic of dissonant sounds and silence.

With Travis Orbin (Darkest Hour, ex-Periphery, Of Legends) on drums, Thomas Murphy (ex-Periphery) on bass, David Stivelman (ex-Debbie Does Dallas) on guitar, Soren Larson on saxophone, and Sophia Uddin on violin, Interior City is a soaring, melodic creation that makes me want to turn it up and drown out everyone else. Unless they shut up and listen quietly.

The Gabriel Construct’s Interior City is out now. Stream and buy it here.

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