Friday, April 29, 2011

Lo-Pan - Salvador

Small Stone

Imagine if the mighty progressive metal band Tool dropped some of its artier affectations and decided to just blast it out. The men of Columbus, Ohio’s Lo-Pan dreamed the same dream, taking that band’s widescreen ambition and connecting it to unpretentious 70s hard rock and boogie on Salvador, the follow-up to its debut Sasquanaut. That doesn’t mean Lo-Pan is dumbing anything down, mind you – only that the quartet remembers what it’s like to just rock the fuck out. Equally as adept as knotty, head-spinning riffs like the ones that power El Dorado and Spartacus as with the straightforward crushers that heave Bird of Prey and Bleeding Out right in your face, the band keeps tight control over its tower of power, balancing might and melody as well as anyone in recent memory. It doesn’t hurt to have a singer as soaring and charismatic as Jeff Martin or a guitarist as expansive as Brian Fristoe, either. Power, intelligence, passion and finesse make Lo-Pan as far from a dull band as you can get.

- Michael Toland

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