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Dub Trio: IV (ROIR)

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Progressive hard rock/heavy metal has come a long way from its mind-expanding origins. When classic '70s bands like Rainbow, Rush and King Crimson broke boundaries with serious sci-fi/fantasy lyrics and atom-splitting guitar techniques, they made (eternally awesome, sure) '60s psych-rock masters Cream and Hendrix sound comparatively tame.

Today, on the cusp of 2012, innovations don't seem to occur as readily, because, well, everything's been done. But somebody forgot to mention this to Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Dub Trio, as this powerhouse instrumental band—Stu Brooks (bass), D.P. Holmes (guitar) and Joe Tomino (drums)—has delivered a massive dub-metal monster.

Dub Trio completely jettisons its earlier punk/hard-core leanings in favor of an industrial metal attack flavored with plenty of dub effects like echo, reverb and delay. To be clear: There are few, if any, actual reggae touches on this disc, yet techniques pioneered by Jamaican studio wizards King Tubby and Lee "Scratch" Perry are everywhere to be found, especially on the hypnotically lurching, bass-throbbing "Ends Justify the Means." More often, Dub Trio simply flattens listeners with righteously apocalyptic firing-range riffs and concussion-grenade rhythms. "Words" has none, yet it's an unforgettable eight-minute journey to the outer reaches of heavy music, with vast stretches of post-rock/shoegaze terrain that'll take your breath away.

It's not all epic and lumbering; check out "Patient Zero" as it zeros in on your upper vertebrae with a series of head-bang-inducing moments in just more than three minutes. Fans of aggro-prog acts as varied as Tool, Converge and Mastodon will dig this.

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