As this site grows and I continue to become acquainted with various artists, I notice common threads amongst musicians who share genres. The one I will focus on today is the mind of the creators and players of instrumental metal. They are prolific, driven, care about their product, and are nice as all get out. The most glaring point of all is that their music is rich with melody, they just choose distortion and heavy riffs as the vehicle for their vision.
Enter: Admiral Browning. Not only is Maryland home to the setting of The Wire, crab cakes and football teams that wear purple, it is the base of operations of a unique trio polishing their own blend of “instru-metal.” Instrumental music is difficult to pull off; the musicians must carry the weight of a missing narrative of lead vocals and add complexity to their songs, all while not losing the audience with laborious “jams.” With Battle Stations, Admiral Browning rides the rail between circuitous and monotonous with extreme precision. Their tracks come off as concise and riff-filled vignettes that tell tiny stories within themselves. The two tracks that trespass over the ten minute mark include enough character changes that they are not recognized as the same song and push the pace for the listener to keep them engaged in the music.
While the meat of the music is roaring guitars, walking bass lines and furious drumming, Admiral Browning injects cultural shifts into their tracks. “The Binary Language of Moisture Vaporators” sneaks a country lick among the heavy chords. You know, because Luke Skywalker was a farm boy. “Interlude” and “Dreams of Hammurabi” nod to sounds of the Far East and invoke images of a violent ancient Babylon with crunching distortion coupled with a sitar-like quality and vocals inspired by the Middle East.
They do all of this while never making the music cumbersome or suffering from wanderlust. The music is loud, heavy and furious – but it is determined, structured and cultivated. As a listener, I can tell that Admiral Browning cares about the art they are creating and that they want to put out the best product for their fans that they possibly can, even if that means tightening up an album and throwing out several songs they would love to share with the world.
Fans of “instru-metal” should lend their ears to the five tracks on Battle Stations. Not only will it be a treat for those ears, but the artwork is a pleasing to the eyes as well. The three act story envisioned and penned by $killit sets three ships in the path of a giant robot. The ships then retaliate against the invader by attacking it with music from their cannons, a feat not seen since the days of “Silverhawks.” The ships then sail away from the smoldering wreck triumphant. I have a feeling this is how the trio feels every time they amaze with one of their live shows. See for yourself at http://admiralbrowning.com/
Admiral Browning – Riff Crisis