Mermaid opens up Altered Reality, and provides listeners with a brief introduction for where the band will ultimately go over the course of the album. While the driving instrumentation hurtles listeners quickly to the track’s conclusion, I feel that there is a very meaty and fulfilling sound that is whipped up here. Black Bones is a track that takes on hints of alternative, goth, and psychedelic rock. The interaction between the guitars and drums makes for further complexity, ensuring that listeners will continue to enjoy Altered Reality through a number of listens. Parallel Lies is an absolutely brutal track in the vein of Monster Magnet and Gwar, linking together British heavy metal, thrash, and even more tribal (think Sepultura) heaviness into a two-minute blast. Ghost immediately follows up Parallel Lies, bringing A Hundred Years into a distinctly different sound; Ghost keeps the passion even as the band establishes a jazz / heavy rock fusion with this track. Where Art Thou Men? brings listeners to the conclusion of the first half of Altered Reality, providing simultaneously an end (to the first half) and a beginning (to the second half). Kong is an effort that is as looming and intimidating as the titular ape. The production of Altered Reality is close and tight, imbuing each of the album’s cuts with a very raw and fiery spirit.
Cockroach Mambo is a late-album inclusion that keeps the momentum high, ensuring that listeners are able to stick with Altered Reality through the memorable short-epic dynamic of the album’s final two tracks, Grunge and Born to Loose. The tracks provide a final bit of evidence that A Hundred Years is an act that can continually shift styles and approaches in the creation of some of the best music that we have heard this year. Listeners will never know what to expect from A Hundred Years beyond tremendously musicianship and dedication to creating some impressive rock.
Top Tracks: Parallel Lies, Where Art Thou Men?
A Hundred Years Altered Reality CD Review / 2013 Self / 13 Tracks / http://www.a-hundredyears.com /