Review: Canvas

““Lost in Rock””
(Metal Blade)

Want something different?  Want to confuse yourself?  Then this is your album.  I’m completely confused.  The technical ability displayed on ‘Lost in Rock’, Canvas’s final album, is beyond reproach.  The press release says it’s “a huge album that defies description or comparison.”  Well, then that makes my job, writing about the fucking thing, pretty damn difficult.  At times Canvas recalls Zorn’s Naked City through the heavy metal filter of Death Row’s very excellent ‘Deception Ignored’ album.  That reference probably lost everyone.  Let’s try again.  The vocals on Lost in Rock seem to be deliberately lugubrious and droning as to not distract from the musical wizardry and numerous stop on a dime time changes.  Timothy Leary, the drug culture guru, once said something along the lines that taking hallucinogenic mushrooms was like eating flowers and dropping acid was like swallowing an IBM computer.  Canvas is more like swallowing an IBM computer than acid.  Does that help you get a clue?  As the album plays on it envelops the listener into the landscape of the music.  The time changes and complex riffing don’t toss the listener out of the music, but rather draws the mind fully into it.  It has to do this or you simply can’t keep up with everything that’s going on.  I should ladle a bit of gravy onto the drummer for Canvas as well.  He’s like a big bad inexorable machine.  A regular juggernaut, baby.