This duo of Dave Graziani (guitars, piano, vocals) and Chris Lepri (drums, bass) sounds like and operates as an ensemble, When Summers Gone, handling all instrumental and vocal chores between 'em. The vibe here is at one with a slightly less raucous version of Metallica, Megadeth, or Savatage with Terminal Power Company, perhaps a bit of Pantera, and other doom-oriented metal groups tossed in. The whole concept for December followed on a series of trials for Graziani, including the suicide of a friend not long after high school.
Of note are Graziani's unusually subdued but highly descriptive guitar leads atop dark and churningly doleful enscripted chords. Both he and Lepri hail from the less-is-more school, thus making every note count…and count they do. These are well composed tracks piercing brain and heart while capturing the body—good intelligent headbangery, in other words—but linger a good deal longer in the memory than most of this genre's fare. There's an insistence and gravity that's hard to shake...not that you'd want to anyway.
After paying dues in several bands, the guys got together to get serious, one of those situations where, after all the experimentation was done, they realized what was obvious all along. This is what makes December sound like a suite—which it for the most part is, sonically and thematically. Don't mistake some of the very familiar song titles for compositions by others—Funeral for a Friend (Elton John), Ocean Boulevard (Eric Clapton), and Echoes (Pink Floyd)—as they're not covers but quite original, written by WSG. And don't for a moment think you're going to be in for a mellow winter's eve at any point—the disc title is about the dead dark section of the year, not festive holidays.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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