Friday, February 22, 2008

Confessor's Steve Shelton: Webbed feet

have you heard Confessor? (gotta credit Tony w/ reawakening me to this awesomeness, though i found 'em first! though i think it was Pat D who originally hipped me...) startlingly, inscrutably strange, strange (strange!) metal band from Raleigh, North Carolina. released an outstanding full-length, Condemned, in '91, broke up soon after and reformed in early aughts. a follow-up, Unraveled, appeared in '05.

i'm much more familiar with Condemned, and i wanted to post the first track:

Confessor - Alone

i guess i should admit--if it wasn't immediately clear from listening--that what gets me about this music is the drumming. intensely complicated prog-doom is one thing; intensely complicated prog-doom with weirdly powerful operatic vocals is another; add astonishingly dextrous, wiry, spacious, SMART drumming--imagine a nerdier, brainer Dale Crover--filled with expertly controlled (and not mindlessly space-filling) double bass and yeah, i'm freakin' sold.

drummer in question is one Steve Shelton, far left above. he's an absolute genius and intensely revered in underground circles. he's also in the extremely kick-ass instrumental math-metal band Loincloth, which also features dudes from Breadwinner, another outstanding, unsung early '90s group. anyway, check out how cool and soft-spoken he is in this demonstration video. he's like, "Oh, hello--i didn't see you there. Oh, you want me to kindly and gently parse out my insanely complex, double-bass-crammed math-doom-prog drum architecture for you? Let me just get a cup of tea and a scrunchy for my ponytail and we'll proceed..."

they talk about Coltrane's sheets of sound? Steve Shelton plays freakin' webs of rhythm--his parts are sticky as hell. they glue the riffs together. large gaps and then sudden clumps and clusters of toms. and those bass drums! i could listen to the tone all day. they sound REAL. just enjoy the architecture of it. if the vocals on the MP3 bug you, tune 'em out, but i've actually come to really dig them.

more about Confessor on their official site and MySpace. also, Loincloth will blow your mind. and Breadwinner (just a fan page) never hurt nobody neither.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more - 'genius' is the only word to describe the guy.

Anonymous said...

Steve is way beyond a metal drummer and that is what makes him so unbelievable.