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Deaf Symphony
Black Garden

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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Deaf Symphony Black Garden

CD Label: Matt Cerbin Music


  Matt Cerbin is the ultimate D.Y.I. indie kind of guy on his new album Black Garden. He calls his "band" Deaf Symphony. He plays guitar, keyboards, sings, and produces the entire album. He does get some help from Larry Cox, who plays drums and helps him to turn the knobs in the studio.

I love the name of the band, Deaf Symphony. Actually, you would have to be stone deaf not to hear the symphony of metal put together on this album. Although it took me a few listens for it to agree with me, Cerbin sounds like a Rob Halford clone and that is ok because it does suit the music very well. Its interesting how he closes the album with an nice acoustic number after all the doom and gloom in the previous tracks. He sounds like an entirely different vocalist on that track, not even close to the metal Halford sound. It is obvious the man has a load of talent when you consider everything he did to make this recording happen. I mean what the hell-he brings in a drummer and that is all he needs? That is truly exceptional.

On the title track "Black Garden," he plays a nifty little acoustic intro that has you wondering what is going on after burnin' down the house with "Scary Love Song" and "Vision." Not to worry though, he kicks it into high gear very quickly on that track and puts you back into the hard rockin' mood that started things off. Its Cerbin's way of saying, hey, I can play the acoustic guitar and be tasteful as well while still holding my ground to rock my ass off all at the same time, so listen up! I did pay attention and certainly appreciated what he did. "Dark Angel" is full of repetition, which annoyed me, and it does not put the singer in a good light at all. That was the only track on the album I did not care for. The meat and potatoes of the album come hammerin' home with tracks 6-8. In those tracks, "Phantom," "Evening Mist," and "Passage," you hear the core sound of the entire album. I heard the chops of Tony Iommi during his Black Sabbath days more than once during those heavy-duty songs. For me that was a total turn on. I revered Sabbath in the 70s; their music was so hard and dark, much like what you will hear on this album.

This music is meant to be played loud it is not for the faint of heart to say the least. If you loved Sabbath and Judas Priest this will be your ticket to get on that hell bound train once again. Let's roll!



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