CD REVIEW Pigeon Toe

Band : Pigeon Toe
Album title : The First Perception
Label : Lifeforce Records
Distributor : Suburban
Release date : 30/04/2012 (Europe; G/A/S= 27/04/2012; US= 24/04/2012)
Release : CD

The idea to form a new Progressive Rock/ Metal project besides the bands they were already involved in at the time, already came to the minds of Freiburg (South-West of Germany) based brothers Martin Marsn” (singer for Metalcore/ Death Metal act Fear My Thoughts since 2007; also active as guitarist with Indie/ Punk Rock act Backslide and Doom/ Stoner/ death Metal act Android Empire) and Hanson Fischer (of Mangouse and possibly also of Backslide – the necessary info is lacking me to be certain, or even to know other bands he might've been involved with) in 2008.

Following the split of Mongouse they put some more focus on the project, picking Pigeon Toe for a name, and working out some rough ideas with Fear My Thoughts drummer and bandmate Norman Lonhard (who's now a member also of Tryptykon). Shortly after, the trio was joined by good friend and bassist Ben Krahl (from the then still existing Final Kings – if I'm mistaken about their status,  that's only because their last MySpace blog goes back to February 2009, and their previous website having been halted as well). At any rate, PT did its first gigs in 2009 and 2010 as a quartet. Then, following the 2010 split of Fear My Thoughts, the current line-up of the band was completed when Patrick Hagmann joined PT on 3rd guitar and synthesizers. As a quintet, the band did several shows (including a high profile support for Australian Proggies Karnivool) during 2010 and 2011, and then supported Long Distance Calling on their Into The Black Wide Open Tour through Germany and Switzerland.

Meantime, the songs had matured, and worked out into a concept for the debut album...and when you'll listen to the two songs posted at the band's own website, facebook, or MySpace (they're the same songs each time, namely album opener “The First Perception” and the ensuing “The Chase” - still, on the band's own website you'll also find a video for “The Man With The Cat”), you'll immediately hear that the musicians can not only play their instruments quite admirably, but also that they have found a great balance between melody and complexity. Overall, the pace of the music and the clean vocals are of a somewhat calmer mood, but both have their more aggressive moments as well. As far as the vocals are concerned, they excel in aggression in the song “The Man With The Cat”, to the point of including some screams and a couple of passages where one might say one of the brothers (who both sing) emulates the vocal signature of Metallica's James Hetfield. An early review of the album (on zwaremetalen.com) made comparisons to Opeth (check!) and Porcupine Tree (check again). Personally, I'll add Pink Floyd to that, and anyone having listened to the track “Second Try” will have to agree with that! Additionally, I'll also add that, at a first listening, most of the material went by me somewhat furtively...but already during the second session I found out quite a bit of the material had found a nice niche in my memory, and as I gave the album more and more spins in the cd-player, it grew on me like a wildfire in an Australian bush! In other words: this is an album which slowly grows on the listener, but which will probably still be played in 20 years, and considered a classic then!

As far as I'm concerned, Pigeon Toe is a Progressive Rock/ Metal act on the rise, and these Germans certainly deserve to be counted among the better acts in the genre! The label dubs the band as being “For fans of Opeth, Karnivool, and Trail Of Dead”...and I daresay, those people will not be disappointed in having picked up The First Perception. In other words, here's for an inclusion in my 2012 year-lists!!!

98/100

Tony.