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Matte Henderson with Marco Minnemann: The Veneer Of Logic

Guitarist’s powerful debut, with added Crimson appeal.

American guitarist Matte Henderson’s impressive debut is also a collaborative effort featuring Marco Minnemann’s trademark ebullient drumming.

Throw in contributions from Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, David Torn and Trey Gunn into the mix and you’ve got a highly King Crimson-ised result. Regardless of such luminaries, Henderson’s soloing commands just as much respect. He nails breathtaking runs and fearlessly executes harmonically inventive leaps with all the icy composure of a test pilot pushing at the outer edges. Brimming with deranged Mellotron and riotous, punishing grooves, _The Veneer _Of Logic is also interspersed with sampled speech crackling between the breaks and beats. Bringing a skewed and, with a Charles Manson cameo, occasionally chilling commentary, they sometimes detract from what is otherwise a fine instrumental album. No coincidence then that the most successful moments come in the final third after the samples disappear. Delighting in extreme shifts of focus, Henderson’s use of acoustic guitar during Single Cell Shark produces an unexpectedly dazzling effect. Overall, a persuasive calling card.