PSYCHOTIC WALTZ – A Social Grace (DCD/DLP Reissue 2024)

PSYCHOTIC WALTZ – A Social Grace (DCD/DLP Reissue 2024)
Label(s):
Inside Out Music
Released Year:
2024
Type:
Full-length
Tracklist:
1. LP 1 / CD 1 - …And The Devil Cried (Remaster 2023)2. LP 1 / CD 1 - Halo Of Thorns (Remaster 2023)3. LP 1 / CD 1 - Another Prophet Song (Remaster 2023)4. LP 1 / CD 1 - Successor (Remaster 2023)5. LP 1 / CD 1 - In This Place (Remaster 2023)6. LP 1 / CD 1 - I Remember (Remaster 2023)7. LP 1 / CD 1 - Sleeping Dogs (Remaster 2023)8. LP 2 / CD 1 - I Of The Storm (Remaster 2023)9. LP 2 / CD 1 - A Psychotic Waltz (Remaster 2023)10. LP 2 / CD 1 - Only In A Dream (Remaster 2023)11. LP 2 / CD 1 - Spiral Tower (Remaster 2023)12. LP 2 / CD 1 - Strange (Remaster 2023)13. LP 2 / CD 1 - Nothing (Remaster 2023)14. CD 2 Bonus - …And The Devil Cried (Demo 1989)15. CD 2 Bonus - Successor (Demo 1989)16. CD 2 Bonus - Halo Of Thorns (Demo 1989)17. CD 2 Bonus - I Of The Storm (Demo 1989)18. CD 2 Bonus - Burn The Night (Rehearsal 1988)19. CD 2 Bonus - I Of The Storm (Rehearsal 1988)20. CD 2 Bonus - Halo Of Thorns (Rehearsal 1988)21. CD 2 Bonus - Another Prophet Song (Rehearsal 1988)22. CD 2 Bonus - Successor (Rehearsal 1988)23. CD 2 Bonus - The Keeper (Rehearsal 1988)24. CD 2 Bonus - Hanging On A String (Rehearsal 1988)25. CD 2 Bonus - Back Again (Rehearsal 1988)26. CD 2 Bonus - ...And The Devil Cried (Instrumental Rehearsal 1988)27. CD 2 Bonus - Only In A Dream (Instrumental Rehearsal 1988)28. CD 2 Bonus - I Remember (Rehearsal 1988)

Very few bands can boast to have such an impact on the progressive metal history as PSYCHOTIC WALTZ had.

I think everyone understands that in the field of the progressive music the standards are already set high; everyone expects the element of surprise. But the good thing about prog is just that. There are NO limits, you are ALWAYS looking for something new, something innovative, something pioneering. No boundaries. No limits. Total freedom of musical expression.

Did PSYCHOTIC WALTZ really manage to make the difference in such diverse scene? Well, that question needs no answer since they have already earned a place in the pantheon of prog metal groups, side by side with FATES WARNING, QUEENSRYCHE, DREAM THEATER, SYMPHONY X, WATCHTOWER, CONCEPTION, VOIVOD, SIEGES EVEN, SHADOW GALLERY, MEKONG DELTA and SPIRAL ARCHITECT, just to mention a few famous, emblematic bands of the ’80s and ’90s era when PSYCHOTIC WALTZ also emerged.

And yes, there’s a word that perfectly describes each and every one of the above groups – they are all UNIQUE!

So, before focusing on this particular reissue of PSYCHOTIC WALTZ’s debut album, let’s recall what kind of album we’re dealing with; “A Social Grace”, released in 1990, stands definitely as a monumental milestone in the progressive metal genre. This opus is not just an exhibition of technical prowess but a bold and innovative statement that has carved its niche in the annals of metal history. The album’s ability to blend complexity with melodic richness is nothing short of extraordinary.

From the opening track, “…And the Devil Cried”, it is evident that PSYCHOTIC WALTZ are not content with conventionality. The intricate guitar work by Dan Rock and Brian McAlpin, paired with the ethereal and powerful vocals of Devon Graves (then known as Buddy Lackey), set a high bar for technicality and inspiration. The band’s willingness to push the boundaries is palpable, creating a soundscape that is both challenging and rewarding for the listener.

The album’s exploration of diverse musical territories is a testament to the band’s audacious spirit. Songs like “Halo of Thorns” and “I Remember” showcase their ability to seamlessly transition from heavy, riff-driven sections to passages of haunting beauty. The intricate time signatures and dynamic arrangements are navigated with a finesse that belies the complexity of the compositions.

One of the most commendable aspects of “A Social Grace” is its ability to balance technical proficiency with emotional depth. Tracks like “A Psychotic Waltz” and “Another Prophet Song” are not just technical marvels but also resonate with a profound sense of artistic expression. The lyrics delve into themes of existentialism, introspection, and societal critique, adding layers of meaning to the musical brilliance.

Creating progressive music is a Herculean task, demanding not only exceptional skill but also a visionary approach to stand out in a genre defined by its very propensity for innovation. PSYCHOTIC WALTZ rises to this challenge with “A Social Grace” crafting an album that is as pioneering as it is timeless. The band’s fearless exploration and masterful execution really make this debut a benchmark for progressive metal.

“A Social Grace” is more than just an album; it is a triumph of technicality, inspiration and bold exploration, setting a precedent for what progressive metal can achieve. It is a declaration of artistic intent and remains a touchstone for fans and musicians alike, exemplifying the heights that can be reached when a band dares to dream beyond the conventional.

Well, after 34 whole years and only a handful of other reissues in the past, this mostly distinctive album will finally be released again, in newly remastered editions. Double-CD digipaks will come out with tons of rare or previously unreleased bonus material as well as expanded layouts, while only 1000 double LPs will be released worldwide, in limited, gatefold, coloured editions on 180g vinyl, making this re-issue campaign an exciting and indispensable project for both longtime enthusiasts of the band as well as more recent fans and new-generation members of the ever-growing progressive music community.

Rehearsal recordings and demos of 1988, 15 songs in total, consist the tracklist of the bonus CD of the double digipack edition, remastered by Patrick W. Engel in his Temple Of Disharmony Studio. The sound is AMAZING; the work that has been done in remastering the original tracks is top-notch while the retouching of the older recordings offers pure audio pleasure! Capturing the moments of the band’s early rehearsals and bringing them out to the fans in such quality is like giving them the opportunity to witness history in the making.

So, is this the “definitive reissue” of PSYCHOTIC WALTZ’s phenomenal debut album, as advertised?

Well, if it’s not this, then I wonder who it could ever be!

“A Social Grace” will be re-issued by Inside Out on May 31st, on DCD and DLP.


Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.


You can pre order both DCD and limited DLP here.

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