Jonas Hellborg

Octave of the Holy Innocents

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Those familiar with the respective musicians discographies might normally expect this affair to be a turbocharged, jazz/fusion set also featuring wacko, prog metal type characteristics. Such is not the case with this production, as these artists opt for the "unplugged" route. On the other hand, there's no lack of excitement here, as this acoustic-based power trio generates quite a bit of momentum in concert with a few ethereally enacted dreamscapes.

On this release, Jonas Hellborg uses a custom made acoustic bass guitar. The electrified and generally dazzling, heavy metal-like inclinations of guitarist Buckethead are tempered into an acoustic format here, as drummer Michael Shrieve lays down a series of torrid backbeats to complement his hard-hitting, polyrhythmic fills. However, most of the album's highlights reside within Hellborg and Buckethead's deft plucking, and uncanny implementations of counter melodies, sparked by reverberating flows.

They explore odd-tunings to coincide with several high-octane movements, as Hellborg even slaps his bass strings on occasion, thus injecting techniques normally used by electric bassists. Yet it's all about the sparkling chemistry that prevails throughout this wonderfully conceived and executed project! (Strongly recommended)

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