Every once in awhile, a musician with a vast knowledge and a superior grasp of music theory comes along and makes sense of what others might call noise. Virtuoso composer/keyboardist Jimmy Pitts is one of those guys. Jimmy has performed a diverse array of music ranging from the frenetic metal and technicality of Scholomance, Spastic Ink. and The Fractured Dimension to Jazz, Classical, Rock, World music, & the avant garde. He bought the new Waxen album and I am honored and humbled by his words, check out his great review and check out his music if you haven't!
"I received the new Waxen album from Toby Knapp - a man I have long lauded as the hardest working and most productive musician I know. Toby is a legend in the metal and guitar scenes, which is a reputation he has earned by moving effortlessly and authentically through power metal, Neo-Classical, and, as is the case here, raw and honest Black Metal. What strikes me from the very first chords is the visceral tone and recording quality, akin to classic Darkthrone or Burzum, while retaining its own atmosphere, and next I am ripped into Toby's dark mind with epic riff after epic riff, all the deep chords you expect from the style, the grind, and then, what's this? Melody and beautiful soloing that somehow doesn't take away the intensity, but gives it maturity and heart - blackened as it is. The vocals are extremely harsh and distorted and augment the utter desolation of much of their musical bed, as does the cover art. It is a whole and unified statement that Toby is a master of this style of music, and in his virtuosity as a guitarist, he has breathed new life, respectability, and perhaps hints of the other styles he is known for, particularly the more Classically influenced soloing, into a genre that at its best can be extreme art and one of my all-time favorite forms of metal, and at worst a childish and ridiculous attempt at frightening the weak-minded. Waxen is equal to the best in the genre, and having a musician of Toby's experience and calibre is the perfect compliment to an album which is a labor of, for lack of a better and more sinister term, love." - Jimmy Pitts