ARTIST:

CHARLIE GRIFFITHS

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

TIKTAALIKA

(2022)
LABEL:

INSIDEOUT MUSIC

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
80's, Growl, Jazzy, Old School, Technical
"Mixing the many influences of the Haken guitarist, "Tiktaalika" is a masterful and devilishly formidable first album."
DARIALYS (17.06.2022)  
5/5
(0) opinions from our readers (1) comment(s)

Lately, Haken's musicians have been happily doing solo albums. Richard Henshall, the guitarist, was the first of them, with "The Cocoon" mixing Haken's progressive influences with more atmospheric accents. Ross Jennings imitated him in 2021 with "A Shadow Of My Future Self", putting forward his more folk and pop influences for a highly successful result. Then came the turn of the second guitarist, Charlie Griffiths, who released in June his first solo album, "Tiktaalika".

Like his companions, the musician brings relatively foreign influences to Haken's sound, namely 80's thrash metal, 90's technical metal and death metal. Finally, the few aspects that can remind the universe of Haken are limited to the use of rhythmic signatures often twisted, some passages marked by a certain madness, and of course, the guitar sound, of course!

To give birth to his first release, Charlie Griffiths knew how to surround himself with a five-star cast. Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Tommy Rogers (Between The Buried And Me), Daniel De Jongh (Textures), Darby Todd (Devin Townsend) and many others make up the prestigious guest list. 

Often, solo albums allow artists to distance themselves from the band that made them famous and to experiment with new sounds. In this sense, "Tiktaalika" is indeed the laboratory of Griffiths who does not limit himself to the guitar since we also find him on the bass, on the keyboards, but also on the lead vocals on one of the tracks for the first time in his career! The opportunity for the virtuoso to come back to the six-string guitar, after having totally abandoned this instrument for the eight-string with Haken.

And the content, in all this? Well, this album is simply a real slap in the face (and by the way, much better than the last Haken album!). Throughout the 52 minutes that compose the album, the artist likes to diversify the ambiences. The mysterious 'Luminous Beings' and the intriguing and no less excellent 'Digging Deeper' contrast with a majority of very powerful tracks ('Crawl Walk Run'), even overpowered ('Dead In The Water'). This alternation of soundscapes is for sure one of the great satisfactions of this album. This does not prevent the whole from being of a real coherence, with numerous tracks which follow one another with an exemplary fluidity.

And in spite of their length (three tracks exceeding 8 minutes on the counter), the tracks of the album have a disconcerting feeling. Whether the sections are aerial or very technical, Charlie Griffiths stands out by his imperial qualities of composition. 'Dead In The Water', 'Arctic Cemetary', 'Crawl Walk Run', 'In Alluvium', are little gems to name a few. It is important to underline this talent of songwriter which seems to be more and more rare these days in many progressive formations.

"Tiktaalika" can be considered as one of the best progressive metal albums of the year, without any problem. We are now waiting for volume 2 with impatience!


More informations on https://www.facebook.com/charlie.griffiths.guitarist



SIMILAR BANDS:
DEVIN TOWNSEND, HAKEN


TRACK LISTING:
01. Prehistoric Prelude
02. Arctic Cemetery
03. Luminous Beings
04. In Alluvium
05. Dead in the Water
06. Digging Deeper
07. Tiktaalika
08. Crawl Walk Run
09. Under Polaris

LINEUP:
Charlie Griffiths: Guitares
Danïel De Jongh: Chant / Invité
Darby Todd: Batterie / Invité
Jordan Rudess: Claviers / Invité
Neil Purdy: Chant / Invité
Rob Townsend: Invité / Saxophone
Tommy Rogers: Chant / Invité
Vladimir Lalic: Chant / Invité
   
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NEWF
17/06/2022
  0
"Tiktaalika" est un bon album, mais il est pour moi trop inspiré de Devin Townsend pour être réellement incontournable ... Charlie Griffiths est loin d'égaler le géant canadien, mais au moins il prend le risque de s'éloigner de l'univers de Haken, c'est surtout ça qui rend cet opus intéressant.
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