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Nullius in Verba by Nicholas D'Amato's Royal Society

Nullius in Verba is a thought-provoking guitar trio date from bassist Nicholas D'Amato's Royal Society. The Society's geodesic improvisations draw from several different wells. The improvisations seem fairly free, but there also appears to be an underlying structure to much of it. They aren't afraid to flex their musical muscles, but the whole is something other than a stereotypical fusion blowout.

Guitarist Wayne Krantz sometimes recalls avant gardists like James "Blood" Ulmer, Marc Ribot and the Magic Band's Robert Lucas by using disjointed picking and assembling jagged runs, as on the opening "Sequitur." Riding the wah and incorporating feedback On tracks like "Pivot" he sounds like nothing so much as as Miles Davis-era John McLaughlin. The main riffs on "Sequence" and "Ratio" are as heavy and algebraic as anything the Red-era King Crimson did, though D'Amato is more fluid and funk-inclined than John Wetton and drummer John O'Rielly less overpowering than Bill Bruford.

Nullius in Verba is an interesting release. There are definitely moments of excess, such as D'Amato's heavily processed solo "Expanded," but there at least as many moments where the group shows surprising restraint. With a uniquely East Coast sound, Nicholas D'Amato's Royal Society comes across like a jazzier version of Philadelphia's instrumental metalists Stinking Lizavetta and/or a rock-oriented edition of the Music Revelation Ensemble.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Nicholas D'Amato's Royal Society
  • CD Title: Nullius in Verba
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Buckyball Records
  • Rating: Four Stars
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