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CD Review: Scott Reeder, Tunnelvision Brilliance

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It’s almost ironic that a musician like Scott Reeder is not considered a “legend” in the music world. Let’s face it – this guy has been a part in the evolution of “doom metal” as it currently is. With The Obsessed, Reeder and company developed the sound as a landscape. He then moved on to Kyuss, and recorded two of the greatest rock records ever to be created. Kyuss has long been considered one of the most highly underrated bands in the history of rock, and Reeder’s involvement played a major part in it. Since he left Kyuss, two of the biggest bands in the entire world have come calling to try him out for their open bass player spots – Metallica and Tool. Let’s just say that people without tremendous skill don’t get calls from these two bands.

Needless to say, when it was announced that Scott Reeder was releasing a solo album, many of us that regard him as an underground hero took notice. Recorded entirely by Reeder over the course of his 18+ year career, Tunnelvision Brilliance is a surprisingly focused, almost Alice In Chains (SAP/Jar Of Flies)-era release that is more relaxing and “cool” than anything he’s done in the past. Songs like the creepy, crawling “When?” may not be fast and furious, but loudly cry out the emotion of the moment from which Reeder was writing from. As a vocalist, he is very much cut from the Layne Staley / Jerry Cantrell cloth. Songs like “For Renee” or “Queen Of Greed” showcast this sound, which is clearly reminiscent of the acoustic AIC or the Mad Season releases.

Instrumentally, Reeder is right on target as well. Known as a master bassist, it’s surprising how well Reeder can play every instrument. On “Queen Of Greed”, he’s either playing an acoustic bass like a guitar or playing a low-strung acoustic bass – but whatever it is, it sounds great. Reeder, who is originally a drummer, plays guitars, drums, bass, some keyboards and probably a lot more than I’m recognizing here on Tunnelvision Brilliance. Through it all, Reeder’s talent and unique way of musical expression shines brightly!

RATING – 4/5 – Initially, I hated this release because of the expectation generated by his past work. A few listens however, and this one struck a chord…hard. Emotional while mellow in nature, Tunnelvision Brilliance is just that – brilliance on disc.

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