Jason Richardson "I"

The brainchild of all our favorite Born Of Osiris licks and Chelsea Grin dynamics has unleashed himself from the shackles of any brand and emerged as a magician on the axe. I presents some lengthy tracks that let Richardson air out all of his flare, and bring along collaborations that are truly best in class and shine alongside spectacular songwriting.
     While not entirely instrumental, the majority of the album is Richardson wailing alongside his electric drummer. Whether or not he's actually got a real person playing most of this remains speculative, as most of the sounds are so out of this world that it would literally have to be twelve legged monsters performing them. A wide range is constantly pushed to the boundaries and are explored with everything from technical proggy noodling to ho-down saloon type swings in "Hos Down." This track is particularly intriguing and takes us through different galaxies in a gnarly concept of a track. Flutes, pianos, strings, keyboards and an endless collection of instruments come in and out of the earbuds and it's hard to imagine how many people it would actually take to perform this stuff live.
      There are other moments of pure eeriness and carnival-esque quirkiness that move the record along well despite its ruthless guitar sorcery. Each track really demands our attention, and it's obvious Richardson isn't just a one trick pony. At times he djents it comfortably, such as "Tonga," but this is a comfortable escape from the closing moments of "Mirrors," so the mindlessness is relevant. All in all, the dude has a serious vision and knows what he's doing. If not, he's at least doing everything he can to get as close as possible to complete artistic expression.
     Album epic "Thot 2.0" dominates the release with its mammoth 9:12 run time, touching just about every element that any of his band's have explored throughout their decade long career. The fact that Richardson executes this by himself without the brains of BOO or Chelsea Grin beside him supports the claim that the entire scene may just have been two people all along. Jason Richardson and Michael Keene.
     The tracking spaces out the songs well as to not overwhelm us with too much of one element, and it seems like the first half dozen tracks fly by rather quickly, with only one of them featuring vocals from Periphery's Spencer Sotelo. The other cameos vary from other guitar prodigies and another from Veil Of Maya's latest frontman Lukas Magyar, who shines on his few minutes on the album more so than his rustic contributions to their latest release.
     While Richardson may have decided to opt out of the digital space and not stream his release, he'll essentially be missing out in outreach and sharing his masterpiece with a limited audience, since not everyone will be cozy paying the $5-$10 for the digital copy from a guy who doesn't seem to get along with the scenes best acts. In the end however, the album is truly worth whatever he's charging for it, and let's just hope he plays along with the politics of the road if he plans on taking a band outside to perform these tracks for people. If not, I will forever be one of the best solo albums of modern time, showcasing what's possible and just how far this sound has come since Sumerian unleashed their first batch of releases.

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