It’s been more than a decade since legendary prog-Metal band TOOL released their last album. It’s been 20(!) years since they released their landmark album AEnima. Nevertheless, the next generation has embraced the sound of this and other Grunge and nu-metal bands, looking to create a sound of their own.
Which brings us to Source, a band clearly contending to fill the gap TOOL has left. The Colorado band is off to a great start! The band’s debut album, Return to Nothing, should not be dismissed as derivative of TOOL, but rather as the first step in what could be a remarkable musical journey.
Source opened Progtoberfest in Chicago. The power of their sound — featuring detuned guitars played by Ben Gleason (who also sings), thundering bass from Riley Selleck, and the hyper-kinetic drums of Justin Mirarck — has me wondering why they weren’t playing in a more prominent spot. Sometimes that power doesn’t completely translate from the stage to the studio. That is not the case with this album.
Source’s music is tight and focused, featuring brooding and mysterious lyrics that could have been sung by Maynard James Keenan or Eddie Vedder and heavy, lengthy instrumental passages featuring great use of alternate time signatures and multiple polyrhythms. The band sounds like they’re playing for the sheer joy of it, and their songs end when they end, with no concern for their length.
Highlights include “Forgiveness,” “Memories of Yesterday,” the title track, and “Complaisance,” all of which put band’s touch and chops on display. “The Serpent” could have had Maynard singing, and it would have worked just as well. There is the occasional growl from Gleason, which has never been my particular cup of tea, but it’s a small price to pay for such fine musicianship.
Source is a band worthy of attention, if only because Return to Nothing offers up more than a small taste of what this band is capable of, and leaves the listener wondering what the future holds.
And they almost make us forget about TOOL’s absence.
Return to Nothing was released in September 2016 through Pavement Music. Buy Source’s debut album, Return to Nothing, here.