Year of the Dragon – Blunt Force Karma (CD)

Year of the Dragon is the latest act by Dirty Walt Kibby from Fishbone, and it shows that even someone as storied as Kibby continue to innovate and blindside fans with intelligent arrangements, impassioned lines, and a hell of a lot of grit and fire. While the introduction gives listeners a little bit of an idea where Year of the Dragon will go with “Blunt Force Karma”, “Ipso Facto” really seems to me to be the band’s definitive track. Scintillating guitars reminiscent of both P.O.D. and eighties power metal (Judas Priest) marry themselves to a Frank Zappa / Serj Tankian style of vocals. “Destroy Your Fear” is a frenetic bit of hard-rock and metal that skillfully brings forth different genres of music, be it the more tribal metal of Sepultura, more smoothed-out acts like Papa Roach and Seether, and even the industrial crunch of acts like Rammstein.

With the disparate sounds, Year of the Dragon is able to come forth and craft an unique sound that sticks with listeners well after the disc finishes up. “Jailbreak” is a track that turns things on its ear, with a groovy line cutting through the intense guitar and drum lines present. A metal breakdown further kicks up the tempo of the track, with the resulting momentum ensuring that listeners are amped for the entirety of the album. “No Tomorrow” is another track that further expands upon the band’s skill set, with a Bone Thugs N Harmony-type of delivery laid on top of a brooding and psychedelic-tinged set of arrangements. “Walking Tall” is the final salvo on “Blunt Force Karma”, and it shows that Year of the Dragon will not go down quietly.

There is no track on this album that is as balls to the wall as “Walking Tall”, but it does not go down as a mindless metal track. There are still hints of funk and soul present in the nuanced and dense instrumental arrangements, ensuring that a number of listens are needed before listeners fully understand where Year of the Dragon was intending to go with the album. “Blunt Force Karma” is a solid album, and piqued my interest enough to check out YotD’s previous effort, “A Time To Love Is A Time To Bleed” . Pick up “Blunt Force Karma” and see exactly what it is that I’m talking about.

Top Tracks: Ipso Facto, Jailbreak

Rating: 8.4/10

Year of the Dragon – Blunt Force Karma / 2010 The ICBT / 11 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/yotd / http://www.yearofthedragonmusic.com

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