01 December 2017 (released)
22 January 2018
Drummer extraordinaire Jody Giachello has his hands in many pots. The Berklee-trained percussionist has played with the house band for the Carson Daly Show, toured with jazz prodigy Taylor Eigsti, played with L.A. punk/hardcore outfit Chotto Ghetto and toured with the world's largest traveling magic show The Illusionists. Currently, he is the touring drummer for indie darlings Haim. However, Giachello's passion project is the Millennial Kingdom series released under his alias Fourth Dimension. In this installment (Vol. 2), parts 7 through 12 demonstrate his tremendous prowess behind the kit with highly syncopated pieces that blend jazz and hard rock in a way that at first seems bewildering but is actually a very natural progression.
Going all the way back to heavy metal's inception, jazz has been an integral part of its genetic makeup. Although the blues and rock n roll get the majority of the credit, metal wouldn't be what it is today without jazz. The genre's progenitors Black Sabbath began as a jazz band, Earth. All throughout their catalog, jazzy breakdowns are common. Fast forward to the 21st century and progressively minded bands like Animals as Leaders are reinventing jazz with extended range guitars and mind-crushing polyrhythms. Upon listening to Millennial Kingdom, one is instantly reminded of the Animals as Leaders spin-off project T.R.A.M. which the group's guitarists released in 2012 with the horn player from the Mars Volta Adrian Terrazas and drumming dynamo from Suicidal Tendencies, Eric Moore.
The opener of this installment 'Super Nova' begins on a woozy note with detuned vocals and sickly descending keys playing over a meandering synth bass line. Giachello's drumming has an incredible elasticity holding the beat back then rapidly ratcheting forward with the fluidity of ocean waves. A jubilant keyboard line emerges from the soup to lift up the track allowing the shredding wah guitar solo to burst out frantically like a newly sentient machine getting its first taste of the elation of self-awareness. To close out the track Giachello erupts in a monumental solo as the other instruments freak out around him as if they are literally being melted by the insanity of his playing. So much space has been covered and it's only the first track.
'Har Megiddo (Armageddon)' has Giachello maintaining a rigorous rolling beat while the horns and keys trumpet a murky and somewhat melancholic fanfare. The bass breaks off in a manic solo while the guitar cries with a nasal talkbox solo. The guitar transitions to frantic caws as Giachello whips up yet another frenzy. Left in a daze, we return to the original refrain yet we've been blown hundreds of miles from where we began as if we were swept up in a tornado. We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!
Every song on this album is equally thrilling and monumental. Giachello and his band have crafted another six movements of mind-blowing atmospheres that not only show off their chops (which they have in spades) but create new unexplored sonic landscapes in which to walk (or fly) around. Few have found that winning combination of jazz freedom and hard rock intensity. This project has mastered it.