Art of Anarchy – Let There Be Anarchy Review

With their first new album since 2017, this band doesn’t skip a beat. With a new singer on board, the great Jeff Scott Soto, they’re picking up right where...

Pavement Entertainment

16 February 2024

 

Line Up:

Jon Votta: Guitarist
Vince Votta: Drummer
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Guitarist
Jeff Scott Soto: Vocalist
Tony Dickinson: Bassist

 

Tracklist:

“Die Hard”
“Echo Your Madness”
“Vilified”
“Bridge of Tomorrow”
“Writing on the Wall”
“Rivals”
“Blind Man’s Victory”
“Dying Days”
“The Good, the Bad, and the Insane”
“Disarray

 

With their first new album since 2017, this band doesn’t skip a beat. With a new singer on board, the great Jeff Scott Soto, they’re picking up right where they left off, albeit a little heavier and darker toned with the content of the album. The album is a response to modern society, and you can easily hear that in every song.

The album starts off with “Die Hard,” coming in at 7:30, the longest song on the album. It’s a banger. It starts off with a classical cello, which has an eerie vibe to it. However, this doesn’t last long as the rest of the song is in-your-face rock. It has an easy-to-follow 4/4 time, but even with that, the rhythm changes throughout the song and really enhance the delivery. The guitar solos are quite enjoyable. Overall, Bumblefoot and Jon Votta kill it on the guitar work throughout the album. The last minute or so of the song concludes with piano work that has a similar vibe to the song. I like the ending a lot. The vibe of the song stays as true as it started.

“Echo Your Madness” starts with a really neat sounding guitar effect. I also think the vocal line in this song is great. The song has somewhat of a Shinedown feel – and that’s not a bad thing. Overall, the song feels sort of like an anthem. It hits hard and stays hard.

“Vilified” has some absolutely beautiful guitar work at the beginning. The PSA at the beginning has a specific reference to the Joker movie. Interestingly, per the description on YouTube, “Guitarist Jon Votta was stricken with a mysterious illness, leading to a slow death. After many months, doctors found the diagnosis and a long treatment period began. During this time, the one thing that kept his mind off his mortality was watching the Joker movie on repeat, with guitar in hand, playing along like he was scoring the movie. This is how the song ‘Vilified’ was written, and the ‘Let There Be Anarchy’ album began.”

This song really has a lot of texture, musicality, and message to it. I found myself really digging heavily into this song.

Another ode to the guitar work is “Bridge Of Tomorrow.” The song has a noticeable ’90s alt-rock vibe. Any fan of that genre will most definitely get into this song. This is by far one of my favorite tracks on the album. I like the change in the middle of the song during the solo from a major to minor key, back to major, back to what the song was. Seamless but damn it works really well. And then, just when you think it’s going to end, it hits with another powerful chorus and ending.

“Writing On The Wall” gives us an immediate driving beat, and it sticks throughout. The guitar tone is fat and heavy, a little middy too, really enjoyable. From start to finish, everything about it resonates. I like the effects used in the song too. Jeff’s vocals really emphasize the instrumentation and power behind the song.

“Rivals” has this unique muted start, which at first might have you think the song is going to be more atmospheric, but in reality, the song is far from it. It feels like the drums are doing a little more than other tracks. Throughout the song are some very good harmonies, and the more you get in, you begin to feel the vocals in this song really do kick ass. I mean – let’s be real, Jeff Scott Soto being a part of the band means it’s going to kick ass regardless, but something about this song and the harmonies really enhances that fact. This is hands down my favorite track on the album. I think because the mix of everything really works well, there’s a good balance of everything to listen to.

“Blind Man’s Victory” is a somber song from the start, but we have another ’90s alt-rock feel. With a mix of minor and major at various times. The riff drives hard in the chorus, while the verse has a distinct and unique heavy tone but soft feel. Around 3:25, tempo changes and rhythm changes hit, and the song gets quite a bit harder. The solo(s) in this song carry their weight in audio gold and musical versatility for sure. The screams give this song some nice edge.

“Dying Days” starts immediately giving your head a reason to move up and down. This so far from what I’ve heard has the most intricate guitar work in the verse. Whereas the chorus has chord holds, it’s a nice switch up in the agenda. I like the placement of this song on the album too. We get another kick-ass solo that has any air guitarist doing their thing. I like the guitar and drum riff after the solo; it has a proggy feel with cutting tones. We get another solo and go back into the song as it was when you first heard the chorus. The ending chunky staccato guitar work nicely to finish the song.

Now this song, “The Good, the Bad, and the Insane,” took me for a loop, with a mariachi feel to start the song – the best intro to any song on this album. And then add in everything else, and this is a resounding 10/10 song. The many changes in the song really help break up the song. I found myself playing this song over a few times to enjoy it. I’m glad they extended the song out a bit to almost six minutes. A song like this deserves that attention. The ending… yes, that’s all I can say.

“Disarray” takes everything you thought you knew about this band and brings it into one song. From double pedal and soaring solos to solid rhythm changes and even soft lines where you least expect. This is a great song to end the album. The church bells and vocals at the end of this album are a nice touch.

So here we are, at the end of the album. Upon first listen, you’ll immediately be moving your head along to most everything. But dive in deeper and you’ll find a whole world of tones and shifts waiting to be discovered. Keep listening to this album because not only is it worth it, who knows when you’ll see this supergroup perform live or record again. I hope they knock it out of the park with this album and future albums. This lineup is a killer one.

 

Written by: Chris Rugowski

Ratings: 10/10

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