Band: Jason Rubenstein
Band Website: www.jasonrubenstein.com
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2014
More familiar in the worlds of TV sound design and studio production, multi-instrumentalistJason Rubenstein found himself unemployed in late 2013 and began writing music for New Metal from Old Boxes the very next day. This is actually his sixth CD release and one that sees a return to his Progressive Rock roots, having played in a prog band in the eighties. As a result, Rubenstein choose to employ vintage equipment such as Hammond, Oberheim and Moogs to get the sounds he was looking for.
New Metal from Old Boxes is just over fifty-minutes long, with twelve instrumental compositions. The music hearkens’ back to early days sound wise however the production techniques are very contemporary. The music tends to be on the “heavy” side, but just to clarify, not heavy as in Prog-Metal, but rather heavy in terms of musical intensity. Most of these tunes are in the three or four-minute range and set themselves up around a core theme or melody leaving room for keyboard runs and guitar riffing against synth strings layered in the background. There are instrumental change-ups every few minutes: a heavy guitar riff repeats itself four or five times then stops for an unusual keyboard pattern then back to the guitar riff. Each time there’s a slight change in the performance and then suddenly the whole songs shifts tonally while staying with the same tempo. In fact many of these compositions have consistent bass and drums throughout and the real performance tends to be on guitars and synths providing the musical change-ups. As is often the case with prog, jazz influences crop up here and there as part of the rocky repertoire.
As far as Progressive Rock instrumental albums go, New Metal from Old Boxes is pretty unique. Produced with a certain spaciousness, each instrument is clearly heard. Like most instrumental albums, it’s busy music, but never “overly” busy. Unusual musical patterns and rhythms abound. Instrumental interplay between guitars and keyboard form the basis of much of these compositions and it’s rich in sounds old and new. Well done.