Schizofrantik – Ripping Heartaches
Opening an album with a thirteen minute instrumental monster with the ominous title ‘Satan And Death Separated By Sin” comprised entirely of dissonant motifs and polyrythmic riffs is either bold and daring – or commercial suicide. Well, probably both. But Munich based Avantgarde Proggers Schizofrantik were never known for playing it safe – or catering to the masses for that matter. The brainchild of guitarist and singer Martin Mayrhofer, the first release dates all the way back to 1998, but the band only gained a little momentum upon their 2011 release “Oddities”, the first on Gentle Art of Music, after Mayrhofer’s departure from Jazz Metal Masters Panzerballett.
Fours years after the oddly titled “The Knight On The Shark”, Mayrhofer returned in October 2017 with an all new line-up, except for longstanding collaborator Andy Lind on drums. And he did so with arguably his most uncompromising work to date – “Ripping Heartaches”, a collection of songs that run the full gamut from the aforementioned opener over more ‘balladesque’ compositions (if you can say so in this context) like ‘A New Day’ and the jazzy ‘Why Is My Mind?’ to a seemingly harmless little acoustic guitar piece entitled ‘Children Stopped Crying In Aleppo’, which ends in an almost unbearable cacophony of voices. And back again.
As mentioned earlier already, Schizofrantik’s music certainly is not for everyone. But then again, I feel like anyone who gives “Ripping Heartaches” a chance, will come away with different favorites from this diverse listening experience. I for one could listen to the arpeggios and harmonic progressions of ‘Personal Hell’ and the closing ‘Infinity’ or the djenty riffs of the Andy Lind composition ‘Hungry Ghosts’ on end, while others might enjoy the vocal dominated songs ‘A New Day’ and ‘Why Is My Mind?’ more. Mayrhofer’s voice and vocal melody choices certainly require an acquired taste to embrace, but then again so does the whole package, so everything is fitting in perfectly.
“Ripping Heartaches” is not for the faint of heart – as the title suggests. An insane roller coaster ride for fans of Zappa-esque music as well as for adventurous Jazz-, Djent- and Avantgarde Metal lovers.
- Satan And Death Separated By Sin
- A New Day
- Personal Hell
- Hungry Ghosts
- Why Is My Mind?
- Children Stopped Crying In Aleppo