Author Topic: My review of "Shamanic Trance Dance" CD by Byron Metcalf  (Read 1672 times)


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My review of "Shamanic Trance Dance" CD by Byron Metcalf
« on: August 03, 2016, 10:23:43 AM »

Byron Metcalf "Shamanic Trance Dance" CD

Although almost one and a half years have passed since my visit of Byron Metcalf's “The Lair” studio in Prescott Valley, Arizona, the magic of this unique space still deeply resonates and all the great memories when experiencing extraordinaire musicianship of the shamanic powerhouse are alive. Excerpts from the upcoming album invade The Lair along with Byron's info about finding his new home with some big, at that time still secretly untitled label. August 1st 2015 reveals a bit of the mystery, when Byron Metcalf joins his forces with Sandra Ingerman, who is a world-renowned teacher of shamanism with 30 years of experience. "The Spirit Of Healing" CD is released, a shamanic journey music enhanced with Field Effect Audio Technology (FEAT), developed by Byron Metcalf to enter beyond the realms of ordinary reality. Released on Sounds True, a Colorado based label and multimedia publishing company. The next chapter released by Sounds True is "Shamanic Trance Dance", the first solo album by Byron Metcalf on this label. Released on May 1st 2016, two longtime kindred souls join this sonic adventure: Dashmesh Khalsa and Mark Seelig with their broadly fruitful contributions and several other guests deliver their creative insignias too. Packaged in a really gorgeous 6-panel CD wallet (cover image credit goes to "agsandrew"/Shutterstock) featuring extensive liner notes by Mitchell Clute, the producer at Sounds True, as well as by Byron Metcalf. Let's fire up the dance!!!

Nearly 11 and a half minutes long "True Ground" reveals with a chant by Peruvian medicine man Fred Clarke Alvarez aka Pacha Paqariy, while Dashmesh Khalsa ignites his didgeridoo drone wizardry. But Byron Metcalf's volcanic tribal drumming and mesmerizingly immersing rattles quickly move to the center stage and fuel this truly mind-transporting listening experience. Mark Seelig's overtone voice magic inconspicuously sneaks in as well, hovers above, juxtaposes and amalgamates with medicine chants. A par excellence performance of every participant, bravo to all of you!!! No matter if connecting to these magnificently authentic shamanic worlds with your headphones on or through your speakers, the sound quality is a truly jaw-dropping, crystalline clear!!! What a journey!!! Sounds True is a "True Ground" for Byron Metcalf!!! The next track, "Portals Of Power", is again propelled by unmistakably passionate signatures by its main protagonist, while distant didge drones glide above. But around the second quarter Dashmesh adds his lively didge passage. Expansive atmospheric mindscapes emerge, slowly pinnacle, dissolve and then re-awake again, these might be created by Australian astralscaper Don Peyote. This is another exquisitely profound coalescence of primordial-driven singular heartbeats, cyber-trance-induced fragrances and gracefully intangible horizons. A massively intense aural meditation!!! "Remember To Breathe" incorporates slightly more moderate drumming, insistent didge barks, hypnotic breath tapestries and eternally helixing and buzzing electro grooves sculpted by another Arizonian Will Merkle. This time delving into more monochromatic depths, yet perpetually energizing your spirit!!! "Spirits Of The Roadman", with 9-plus minutes, the shortest piece on "Shamanic Trance Dance", shifts into cyber-organic terrains meticulously commingling hyper-active dreamtime traceries with blazing synthetic tempestuousness. Riveting display of drums and rattles with spellbindingly growling drone pipe and ephemeral ceremonial utters, all filled with infinitely high-spirited, infectiously tantalizing and strikingly galvanizing power! Don Peyote gets another credit on this composition for his atmospheric zones. 11-minute "Serpent Weaver" employs more tranquilizing tempo highlighted by tangibly relaxed, yet calmly crescendoing drums, opiating shakers, droning didgeridoo, enigmatic vocal glossolalias and ocarina glimpses. Then Mark Seelig fully unfolds his mastery showcasing the depth of the human voice, its multi-dimensional phenomenon with staggeringly transcendental magnitudes. Wow!!! This is another magnum opus, where all performing tribesmen deliver the very finest and quintessentially recognized musicianship. The gates to primordial trance drone Eden are unlocked!!! "Breaking Through" with 16 minutes the longest track reveals with buzzing didge drone enhanced by medicine chant by Chris O'Brien, who utilizes also ambiguously serpentine synths and transient ocarina terra vistas on this piece. But it's Byron's vibrantly heavy, tribal drum magic that quickly steps in and grabs this breathtakingly engulfing parade along with Mark's eerie overtone rituals. Sonic curanderos strike once more! Feel their passion, feel their energy!!! Although all previous compositions are absolutely triumphant, "Breaking Through" must be a crème de la crème of "Shamanic Trance Dance"! Yes, definitely!!!

No doubts here, the almost 71-minute "Shamanic Trance Dance" is a truly phenomenal work by Byron Metcalf, wealthily infused by 5 decades of his prolific music career covering an expansive diversity of styles and exquisitely supported by stunningly exuberant guest performances by longtime kindred spirits Dashmesh Khalsa and Mark Seelig and with the addition of other like-minded wizards. I am a really proud owner of this album. It's a milestone and obviously one of the pinnacles of 2016!!! Byron Metcalf is a genius of shamanic tribal-ambient soundforging!!! So I hope the connection between Sounds True and Byron Metcalf will bring in the future many more aural jewels like this one!!! And by the way, don't miss another brilliant recording by Byron Metcalf, a collaborative album with Norwegian ambient guitar ace Erik Wøllo, it's entitled "Earth Luminous" and it's out on Projekt since the end of April 2016. These are genuine gifts, thank you, Maestro!!!

Richard Gürtler (Aug 02, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)