Danny Carey has had plenty of opportunities to dazzle while playing drums for Tool, and has the chance to really showcase his prodigious talent with Volto!. Joining Carey are highly respected session bassist Lance Morrison and Pigmy Love Circus’ John Ziegler on guitar.
Together they play intense, admirably melodic instrumental fusion, joined on some tracks by Jeff Babko on keys. The band tap into the spirit of 70s jazz-rock with detailed arrangements and intricate interplay between the musicians.
Their ability to lock in and navigate through treacherously technical sections is evident from the outset, with the crunchy groove of Grip It and the rousing Tocino. Carey steals the spotlight with a blistering solo on Drumbeaux, but he can do much more than barnstorm, sitting back and letting Ziegler hog the glory with his blues-tinged lead on I’m Calm Now. The band can move between moods at a moment’s notice – BHP has a crunchy, heavy riff offset with elegant jazz passages.
Tool fans may be disappointed by the complete absence of tortured anguish, but this is an album of gifted players stretching out and clearly enjoying themselves, playing music they love. Impressive.