Most contemporary prog-rock seems to go in one of two directions: the avant-metal direction (Animals As Leaders, Dream Theater) or the skronky jazz direction (TrioVD, Lye By Mistake, Storm And Stress). The basic formula has to come back to the rock and roll home base, like a lost child playing a summer game. Excursions into heavy ride cymbal territory mixed with double bass drum or free form noise are encouraged, but these dalliances are quickly reigned in. You gotta’ go back to home base.
The success of Trioscapes’ drum, bass and saxophone second full length Digital Dream Sequence, is at the intersection of this prog-rock conundrum. It’s obvious they know their way around the best metal records as well as the jazzier ones (the band initially came together to do a version of Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “Celestial Terrestrial Commuters”), but they never stay in one place for too long.
Thrown into the mix are flutes on “Stab Wounds” saxophone effects on “Hysteria”, and a few “studio touches” splashed here and there. Digital Dream Sequence isn’t a metal based prog record or a jazz one either, it’s an everything prog record that is both energetic and colourful. The trio sounds much larger than just its basic parts.
Holding all of this together is Dan Briggs, who pulls double-duty in the powerhouse prog metal band Between the Buried and Me. If anything, it’s the bass playing that tie this all over the place and painfully innovative record together.