Torman Maxt is a band from Florida (USA) formed by Massaro brothers: Vincent (drums), Dominic (bass), y Tony (guitars, vocals). After working a lot and after releasing a first CD - "Just talking about the Universe... so far"- the band introduces us a second album based on the Book of Job.
The band defines its music as progressive metal, and I think they are wrong. If you are looking for "American" progressive metal a la Dream Theater, this is not your CD; and if you are looking for "European" "progressive" metal a la Rhapsody, this is not your CD either. Although Torman Maxt´s music is guitar oriented and we can notice a high influence from "hard" music, "The foolishness of God" is a CD closer to Rush´s second stage, in which the Canadian band blended progressive hard rock with the Zeppelinesque influences of the first CDs. That´s the "progressive metal" I find in this album.
The CD is divided in four parts. The first one ("From the inside (part 1)") consists of the straight "Vanity Explored" (4:55) with incredible guitar arpeggio's and vocal harmonies and a powerful refrain; and the mysterious and Arabic"Ghost Town" (3:15), with a fat bass line and a very hypnotic feeling. The whispering vocals and constant arpeggio's create a great atmosphere. The second part ("External Perspectives") opens with "City of man" (5:15), very hard track in the first minutes and a 70´s sound in the vein of Black Sabbath´s "Technical Ecstasy" in the main part, ending with a wonderful acoustic guitar sound and the sound chaos of the very first minutes. It is not a bad track but it is not the best one. Next song, "The Stage" (3:24), is an acoustic track with a guitar treatment that reminds me to Alex Lifeson in songs such as "Entre Nous" or "Closer to the heart". The band keeps the same atmosphere in "Space and time" (5:06)... great vocal melodies and acoustic sounds, with a powerful refrain... close to Nirvana!, and instrumental intermezzos with high energy and 70´s taste. Although you think it is a bizarre blend, it is very interesting. The ambient and atmospheric instrumental "Off this planet" (2:12) precedes "The China song" (6:49), a wonderful song with some "Hemispheres" reminiscences I´m sure will be loved by Rush´s fans, and a Floydian speech in the middle of the track. The third part ("From the inside (part 2)") begins with "40 Days" (3:59). A martial drumming, a round bass, and Arab guitars bring us oriental aromas in another hypnotic song. "Life Sketches III: Sin" (1:43) has a sound close to pre-Dream Theater progressive metal bands such as Queensrÿche. The song is followed by "Silence isn´t golden" (3:34), - a tribute to The Tremeloes?-, another hard song a la Rush with Geddy Lee-esque backing vocals. The last part ("Foolishness") contains another short and ambient track ("Life Sketches IV: Eternity" (2:45)) and a wonderful song with almost eleven minutes ("The foolishness of God"). I´ve got no words... I think I´ve never listened to a progressive song beginning with "one, two, three, four...". Great changes of rhythm, great intensity... power, melody, speeches, echoes from 2112, from Pavlov´s Dog, from Trillion. A wonder.
I have not listened neither Torman Maxt´s first CD nor "Graffiti 61", the electronic and ambient Dominic´s solo project -I´m sorry but I´m not interested in this kind of music anyway- but "The foolishness of God" is one of those jewels that can be ignored nowadays but it will be a treasure in the future. This CD will be listed in my "2001 Top Ten" list, and I hope they won´t be as patients as Job and they will release the third CD quickly. If you want more information about the band and listen to the music, you can find it at www.tormanmaxt.com
A great excuse if you want to spend your first euros (if you´re Europeans, of course).