And then there were three...
Well, it's not quite Genesis soldiering on following the departure of Peter Gabriel, but there was definitely some interest in whether Jonathan Taylor's departure from lead-vocal duties last year would spell the end of Loki, one of our local hard-rock roster's more enduring acts, with five studio releases to their name over 10-plus years.
Does a win of the 2012 Battle of the Bands at the Skowhegan State Fair mean they haven't skipped a beat? If not, the five-song Audio Alchemy, released this week with a party at Asylum hosted by jackass Bam Margera, is confirmation: There's plenty of life left in Loki.
While Taylor's vocals were full-throated and mostly bellowed, bassist Seth McClellan's are more clipped and get a reverb treatment, lending some '80s and indie vibe, which is complemented by a crisp guitar sound from Jonathan Boyer in the likes of "Inner Me" that might remind of early Van Halen. Boyer's guitar line in "Flipped Right Sideways" is a sweet little tease in, and the way he and McClellan pass the melody back and forth in the instrumental break is indicative of how tight these guys are throughout the record.
Drummer Adam Nichols walks a solid line of chaos and keeping things together, especially in the finish of "Get This Right," and in the heaviest tune here, "Lose Your Nerve," where he provides foundation when Boyer pulls back into a quiet repeating phrase.
A touch proggy, with nice dynamics and organization, this is some of Loki's best work, and proof their continuation of the band was worth the effort.
AUDIO ALCHEMY | Released by Loki | with Hollow Glow | hosted by Bam Margera | at Asylum, in Portland | Nov 9 | lokifever.com
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