Released: 2006, Willoptip Records
There has been a muddying of Yngwie’s patriarchal waters with offspring of an uncertain swashbuckling provenance. Well, sort of. Electro Quarterstaff are an instrumental outfit hailing from the dark, frosty, impaled northern moon forests of…Canada(?) Well, it’s Winnipeg to be exact…and to be fair, there’s nothing remotely black metal about this hyper-tech/prog Manitobian cluster. But seriously, where the hell did GRETZKY come from? I’m recording influences from: Spastic Ink/ Carcass/ Spiral Architect/ Megadeth/ Loincloth/ Gorguts…what an awesome mess!
Aside from the sardonically sensible song titles (“The Right to Arm Bears”, “Eyepatch Romance”, “Something’s Awry in the Hetfield of Dreams”), which bring to mind those shitty ironic t-shirt companies that are so popular with 18-24 year olds, Electro Quarterstaff have created something brilliantly imaginative and surreal. How about the songs? Nine seconds of “Twisted Squid” should silence anyone who still considers CALCULATING INFINITY to be the height of virtuosity. Furthermore, the lead riff in “Charmony” should do wonders for those who think Michael Ammott hasn’t done anything creative since NECROTOCISM. And, of course, “Get Sick” should please any avant-garde death metal fan. In other words, this progressive outfit is for the “eclectic” metal listener.
Electro Quarterstaff worship at the altar of OBSCURA (Gorguts), and play with an unmatched hyper-discordance. Whether a tri-guitar bluegrass scale run over a blast beat…a pinch harmonic arpeggio transformed into a slam riff…or a standard guitar lead harmonized over three guitars (see the majestic riff illustrating “Charmony”)…Electro Quarterstaff frenzy along as if it all makes sense.
Conclusion: If you desire crisp thrasherations mixed with a dazzling array of pinch harmonics, virtuoso scale runs, blast beats, pirate references, and a Mastodonian (think LEVIATHAN) type production, tune into GRETZKY. Otherwise, go listen to Doomsword. Seriously.