Carol Blaze
"introMonius"

(Self-Released 2002)Carol Blaze - introMonius

Creating music through an alter-ego, a fictional character, is nothing new. David Bowie has a long string of characters and many of today's biggest names reinvent themselves with each album. lowsunday drummer A T Vish creates music through fictional character Carol Blaze. And on Blaze's most recent release, "introMonius," listeners hear music ranging from low thumping rock to Emily Dickinson's poetry put to music.

With a consistent low drone, early tracks like "Drift" and "Carol Blaze (My Mind Is Going)" sound as though Earth might be lurking in the background. But it's the rhythms that "introMonius" implements that keeps it from going over the edge. The initially surprising rhythm paired with almost odd industrial sounds on "Like Water" come together with the jingling rhythm in the background. A thick bass line carries the hook on "Where The Night Is Calling" and presents a more rock feeling than previous tracks while the piano droning and low indistinguishable, distorted and static-y audio of the desolate and interesting sounding "Lone Driver" might not everyone's cup of tea. "Empire" stays in a vein similar to "Lone Night" but adds vocals that are, maybe, too heavy.

"Creeping" marks the album's half way point and, man, is there a redirection. Leaning more towards electronic music and sounding less dark and desolate throughout the second half of the album, Blaze offers the likable electronic thumping of "Find Some Love," could be mistaken as being a different musician. Putting Emily Dickinson's poem of the same name to music, "After Great Pain" is an acoustic song with tambourine and a melody line floating on top. Getting to Blaze's lightest, "One Summer Day," has much lighter guitar riffs and almost airy vocals. The lightness is only momentary as the thumping, low bass returns for "Temp Oral Lobe" and the repetitive rhythm of the attempt at industrial orchestra on "Staring...Not Too Long." "The Dream" closes "introMonius" with chanting and industrial music.

With riffs and rhythms and, usually, indistinguishable vocals driving the album, "introMonius" is a mix of things never exactly becoming straight industrial, electronic or rock. While the Earth inspired droning tunes might not be for everyone, they are definitely worth hearing at least once -- or more if you dig the experimentation that with Blaze never really feels like experimentation.

B+