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February 2, 2023

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Synchronised (The Music Cartel)

By: Vinnie Apicella

How much influence doe the seventies' have on a resurging Rock music? How bout going all the way back to 1970 for starters. How much influence does Black Sabbath have on Heavy music? Go all the way back to 1995, or somewhere thereabouts, to when a Canadian foursome going by s-HEAVY, pronounced just how it's spelled, decides, well we're not just going to borrow from the best, we're going to BE the best. And that's BE as in literally! Okay, okay, so the Sabbath comparisons, and specifically singer Hennessey's remarkable burglary of the original madman's beer soaked prime, have been done to death over and again and so what of it if it gets you noticed? The one friend in Sheavy's corner, besides being able to craft catchy Rock tunes and revise Radio Birdman retro-ism's, is that for all the droves of distortion pedal dopeheads running the bong water dry, they don't sound like any of them! And personally I'd rather be scoffed at while being compared to Sabbath than I would to hear I sound like every other stone-faced denim clad rusty zippered rip off of a fume-sucking era. I gave these guys major airplay on my old college radio show and that would've been for their "Electric Sleep" record, an easy riding classic that's still a step above the many others for Orange Goblin who was doing some intense, if not insane things of their own, though not one could probably remember what they were if you asked 'em. Sheavy might be a bit more coherent but they're not wacky enough to disassociate from that which they've descended from. That said, let's welcome aboard famed Sab producer, Mike Butcher, formerly having final stamped such works as "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and "Sabotage." Now here's the irony...this record doesn't sound nearly as much like Sabbath as their first couple. It's true, Hennessey's Ozzy incarnate, but musically, we're stretching boundaries while maintaining tightness of focus that was "The Electric Sleep." "Celestial Hi-Fi" came out a couple after that one and sought refuge in the stars, granting the listener the necessary psychedelic road trip from dust to dawn; and now down again we come for their catchiest disc so far. Beginning with the farthest reaching tune, "Invasion of the Micronauts," it's got a cool uptempo vibe that in another life would scream "hit-single" to Rock radio stations that gave two shits, but here, it'll go down as a Pearl Jam styled feather weight amidst the dynamic density of the surrounding. "Firebird 350" jets out the space dock with a two and half minute rumble that throws early indications this stands to be the most exciting Sheavy album. "Last Of The V8 Interceptors" continues with a vintage opening riff that segues into a quickened verse and catchy groove that stands among the album's best. The title track employs a slight but useful synthesized effect over another non-stop riff, a real standout quality of Sheavy's music and sonic step above this go round...Dan Moore's really working the fretboard and the Butcher's pulled every ounce for a striking rhythm set up that's like an STP boost in a sandy tank. The choruses achieve a quick chokehold rather than the occasionally long-winded doze offs from the prior. Overall, we're making great strides musically, incorporating more percussive elements...the six minute "Ultraglide" comes away as a near epic styled portrait of echo and fade amongst a mournful discourse. "AFX-- Thrown For A Loop" then, does just that afterwards, having effectively slowed your senses to a near dull, then grinding your organic gears into high and off you go rubbing your eyes, focusing on the ensuing blur in front of you, headed for the highway, hell, or just somewhere you aren't ready for. "Synchronized" is the most complete Sheavy record yet; Their fourth, they've stepped away from precept, accepted the welcoming hand of the "Hard Rock" alliance and returned to earth more dominant and distinguishable than ever before.
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