For those about to prog, we salute you! Well, not really, but it’s a cool idea isn’t it? Artist and master-of-qall-musical-trades Tony Arnold has decided to welcome and entice potential and veteran progressive rock fans with a comprehensive new sampler released on his own label Gray Mortuary. Originally starting the label as a vehicle to circumvent the tyranny of the major label system and enable him to release his myriad of music projects on his own terms and his own timetable, one of the first releases on Gray Mortuary was music from Arnold’s duo project Menage ‘A Twang.
Upon the dissolution of that project, the label has been used as a vehicle to release music from Arnold’s many other musical endeavors (he has released almost a dozen albums in the past few years alone) such as Macular Degenerates, The Pachinko Allahs, and Musaphonic. The name of the label originates from a song on Arnold’s first solo collection, Ophidian Lullabies, which became a sort of blueprint for his later projects of which this is Arnold’s most recent. Arnold’s Gray Mortuary work is distinguished from most of his other projects by the copious use of electronic soundscapes to anchor the compositions and Arnold’s projects are essentially solo efforts, as is this effort, which means every sound is played by Arnold. Quite awe inspiring, to be honest, as the textures and arrangements used are often quite inventive. While the album is definitely a sampler, there seems to be a thread running through Arnold’s work making each of these songs sound like they have come from the same project, which is also quite uncanny.